Sevier County History
- When you think of Southern Appalachia and the Great Smoky Mountains, you envision images of cold, clear water rushing over river rocks worn smooth by the passage of time, quiet walkways through native forests of hardwoods, evergreens and pines, seemingly endless ridgelines towering over mist-filled valleys, pinkish lavender rhododendrons in full bloom, and the soft fragrance of the mountain laurel as it floats on the Spring breeze.
- John Rice Inwin is recognized as one of the leading authorities on the history and culture of South Appalachia. His primary interest has been the people of the mountains, whom he describes as "perhaps the most interesting, colorful, lovable and misunderstood groups in the country".
- "It is my conviction that the true breed of diminishing mountain folk of Southern Appalachia are among the most admirable people in world. They are kind, gentle and compassionate, yet tough and resourceful. Above all, they are interesting. I have always loved these people. As a child, I hunted, worked and visited with the elders of the community, including my four grandparents, who were all descendants of the pioneers that settled in Big Valley, in East Tennessee in the 1700's".
- Mr. Inwin is the author of seven books, most of which are distributed nationally, and he has gained repeated national attention in connection with the Museum of Appalachia, a village depicting pioneer life, located at Norris, Tennessee.
- John Sevier was born in Rockingham County, Virginia on September 23, 1745. This American pioneer and politician was the foremost figure in the settlement and early government of Tennessee. Not long after he moved to the North Carolina frontier (now Eastern Tennessee) in 1773, he became a leader in the region. He led expeditions against the Cherokees during the American Revolution and took part in the Battle of King's Mountain in October, 1780. After the land reverted back to North Carolina, when the State of Franklin collapsed, he served as a U.S. representative from that state from 1789 to 1791. He died on September 24, 1815.
- The 603 square miles that make up Sevier County has changed considerably in the past few decades, as an agricultural area, recreation area, and tourism mecca. The Country's economy continues to grow and expand, and still maintains its agricultural beginnings and small-town ambiance.
- Indian habitation in the area dates back more than 12,000 years. Historically, there are many sites of numerous Indian cultures-of nomadic hunters and settled agriculturist, before the area became prime hunting territory for the Cherokee just prior to the white settlers moving in.
- Most natives can still trace their family roots to the early population, mostly made up of Virginia immigrants of English, Scot and Irish descent that arrived just after the Revolutionary War. These early Virginia traders made their way to the area by following the Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto.
- Originally part of North Carolina, Tennessee pulled away, formed its own government, and became the State of Franklin. When the area applied to Washington to become the 14th state, there were not enough votes for approval and the application was denied.
- When the State of Franklin collapsed, Tennessee was founded and admitted to the Union in 1796, with John Sevier as its first governor. Sevier also served as the governor of the State of Franklin from 1784 to 1788.
- Sevier County's most notable landmark is The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the oldest mountains on the North American continent. It is because of its location near the mountains that gives Sevier County its agricultural past and present, and its current status as one of America's best
playgrounds. In the past, the mountainous ranges made it difficult for settlers to travel far to get the necessities and extras needed to live. The early settlers learned how to create and make do with what the area had to offer, and their creativity and craftsmanship is still treasured today.
- Sevier County is a historical place with modern amenities. It is a place that continues to grow at and unbelievable pace, but still treasures its history.
Its a place where many love to call home, more love to visit and everyone is welcome.