Tellico Block House Site, at the junction of the Tellico & Little Tennesse Rivers, was not far from Chota the capital of the Cherokee Nation. Here early traders and the Cherokee swapped goods. A large indian settlement grew next to this trade center and is now under the waters of the Tellico Lake between the Block House Site & Old Fort Loudon.
Historic Fort Loudon, at the junction of the Tellico and Little Tennessee Rivers, was built around 1756-57 on land given to the English by the Overhill Cherokee. This strategic outpost was the limit of the far west expansion of the English Colonies. Built to defend the Cherokee against their enemies, ironically, around 1760 the fort was besieged by the Cherokee and abandoned by the English.
South-West Point at the junction of the Tennessee & Clinch Rivers, near the town of Kingston, was built around 1792. Settlers and travelers were pouring into Tennessee and constant skirmishes with the Cherokee led the U.S. goverment to construct the fort for their protection. The garison was under the command of General John Sevier until it was abandoned around 1807.
Chota, The ancestorial home of the Cherokees in Tennessee lies a few miles up stream of Fort Loudon on the banks of the Little Tennessee River. This cultural center had both summer and winter round houses. Cherokee farms and houses spread out on the river plain around the center. This area now has a memorial to the seven clans of the Cherokee built on the orginal site of the large round house and a memorial to their great warrior Oconastota.
William Blount & Blount Mansion, Born in North Carolina in 1749 he became governor of the "Southwest Territory" in 1790. During his service to the Continnetal Army he bought many land grants consisting of territory that would become the state of Tennessee. In 1795 he helped guide the territory to statehood and won election as the first Senator from Tennessee.
During his tenure as territorial governer he negotiated several treaties between Indians and settlers that benefited both parties, but were doomed to fail as settlers moved beyond negotiated boundries and both side participated in hostilities.
During one of these negotiations on the banks of the Tennessee River he found the site for his new home. He constructed a frame house with a traditional hall, parlor, two floors, and sleeping loft. The indian name, "the house with many glass eyes," indicated the presence of the numerous glass windows. The house "Blount Mansion" is now open to the public as a musem.
Sequoyah, (George Guess); Inventor of the Cherokee alphabet, was born near the forks of the Little Tennessee and Tellico rivers during the 18th Century. He is credited with developing a writing system based on the Cherokee language. This system was so easy to learn that within a few months of its acceptance all Cherokee could read & write in their own langauge!
The Sequoyah Birthplace museum is located about 20 miles east of I-40 near the town of Loudon TN. Artifact are from excavations of the Little Tennessee River area near the museum.
James White Fort overlooks a strategic bend of the Tennessee River. The orginal block house constructed in 1786 was the first building in this location. The grounds were later enclosed to become a fort. In 1790-91 Governer William Blount declared the town, named Knoxville after Secretary of War Henry Knox, Capital of the Territory South of the Ohio River. Photos are from recent trade gathering with characters and events much like they would have been in the late 1700 - early 1800s.
"There is something about this land that stirs my soul"