Near Cumberland City in Houston County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
The Wells Creek Basin
Between 100 and 200 millions of years ago, a meteor near 1,000 feet in diameter, weighing in excess of 100 million tons and traveling more than 10 miles per second, struck the earth at this location with a shattering impact. Scientists believe it penetrated about 2000 feet before exploding. Shock waves raced in all directions, and a fiery, mushroom cloud of fine rock dust and debris rose high in the air. The impact created a crater about four miles in diameter and one- half mile in depth.
Scientists believed the earth's surface appeared to be damaged forever. Millions of years passed and erosion and vegetation softened this ugly scar left by the impact. The rim of shattered rock disappeared, and the level of adjoining land was lowered hundreds of feet by erosion. Since its discovery, geologists have studied this phenomenon. It was discovered about 1860 when railroad construction revealed rock formations that suggested a violent event had occurred. This marker is located close to the center of the impact.
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Natural Features • Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Historical Commission series list.
Location. 36° 21.668′ N, 87° 39.413′ W. Marker is near Cumberland City, Tennessee, in Houston County. Marker is on Cumberland City Highway (State Highway 149) 0.3 miles south of Kizer Ridge Road, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located in front of the Highland Rim Headstart facility. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3215 Cumberland City Highway, Erin TN 37061, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Limekilns (approx. 4½ miles away); Bear Spring Furnace (approx. 9.6 miles away); Stewart Station (approx. 10½ miles away); Streight's Raid (approx. 10.9 miles away); Palmyra Furnace (approx. 11 miles away); Withdrawal From Donelson (approx. 12.8 miles away); Colonel Thomas J. Davidson's Brigade (approx. 13.1 miles away); Brown's Brigade (approx. 13.1 miles away).
Also see . . . Wells Creek Crater on Tennessee Landforms. Contains scientific information and links to maps of the crater. (Submitted on September 8, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 8, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 129 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 8, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.