Elizabethton in Carter County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Mary Patton's Powder Mill
During the early years of European settlement in this valley, Mary McKeechan Patton (1751-1836) operated a gunpowder mill along Powder Branch not far to the south of this spot. Mary McKeechan was born in England and her family immigrated to Pennsylvania in the late 1760s. Mary served as an apprentice to a gunpowder maker while she was a girl and, in 1772, married John Patton, an Irish immigrant who served in the Pennsylvania militia. The Pattons had two children and operated a powder mill in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. During the early days of the Revolutionary War, the Pattons sold their mill and settled here, where they began operating a powder mill in 1777. In 1780, British Major Patrick Ferguson demanded that the settlers in this area stop resisting the British and pledge allegiance to King George III. If they did not, Ferguson warned, he would march over the mountains and lay the country waste with fire and sword. In response, more than 800 frontiersmen mustered at Sycamore Shoals, where local settlers helped to supply them for the coming battle. Significantly, Mary Patton provided at least 500 pounds of vital gunpowder. The force,
Source: R. A. Howard & E. A. Gerhardt, Jr., Mary Patton: Powder Maker of the Revolution (1980)
—Department of Appalachian Studies, East Tennessee State University
Erected by Department of Appalachian Studies, East Tennessee State University.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Patriots & Patriotism • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Revolutionary • Women. A significant historical date for this entry is October 7, 1780.
Location. 36° 19.201′ N, 82° 16.72′ W. Marker is in Elizabethton, Tennessee, in Carter County. Marker can be reached from Sparks Road just north of Milligan Highway (Tennessee Route 359), on the right when traveling north. Marker is located along the Tweetsie Trail, 2/10 mile northeast of Sparks Road. Access is via bicycle or foot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Elizabethton TN 37643, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Powder Branch (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Buffalo Creek (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sabine HillHauling Ore from the Cranberry Mine (approx. 0.7 miles away); Constructing a Mountain Railroad (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Sabine Hill (approx. 0.7 miles away); Cranberry Furnace Company Quarry (approx. 0.7 miles away); Restoration of Sabine Hill (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elizabethton.
Also see . . .
1. Mary Patton: Gunpowder Maker. After the war, Mrs. Patton made and sold powder to many buyers. Gunpowder was made successfully due to Tennessee’s resources, such as caves to provide some of the ingredients needed. Gunpowder has three main ingredients: potassium nitrate or saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal. Potassium nitrate was mined from caves in the area where Mary Patton lived. (Submitted on October 16, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Mary Patton undisputed Revolutionary War hero, historian says. The powder produced by Patton was said to be of exceptional quality. “It was fine powder and it was coveted,” Bogart said. “It sold for about $1 a pound. That was a lot of money then.” Patton’s mill actually (Submitted on October 16, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 16, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 687 times since then and 351 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 16, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.