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Anderson County Tennessee Historical Markers

 
"The Coal Creek War" Marker image, Touch for more information
By Tom Bosse, March 4, 2017
"The Coal Creek War" Marker
Tennessee (Anderson County), Briceville — 1D 32 — "The Coal Creek War"1891-92
Coal Creek valley was the scene of an armed rebellion against the state by free miners seeking an end to the common practice of leasing convicts to coal companies. On Oct. 31, 1891 the convict laborers at Briceville were freed by armed miners. The . . . — Map (db m102292) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Briceville — Briceville Church
Built in 1888 by Welsh coal miners, the church and its cemetery are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Miners who fought the Tennessee National Guard over the use of convict labor during the Coal Creek War and the church was a . . . — Map (db m102331) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Briceville — Cross Mountain Disaster
The Cross Mountain Mine opened in 1888 approximately one mile up Slatestone Road to the west. By 1911, it had two power plants to generate electricity, providing incandescent light for the main entries. Coal was cut by electric chain machines and . . . — Map (db m102329) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Briceville — Legacy of Condy Harmon
Powell Harmon wrote a farewell letter before suffocating in the Fraterville Mine in 1902 that said, "My boys, never work in the coal mines.: His eldest son, Briceville student Condy Harmon, knew that honoring such a request would subject his family . . . — Map (db m102425) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Briceville — Miners' Circle Cemetery
Thirty-one of the 84 miners who perished in the December 9, 1911 explosion of the Cross Mountain Mine are buried in concentric circles around a monument beside Circle Cemetery Road. The arrangement of headstones may be rooted in the Welsh ancestry . . . — Map (db m102427) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Briceville — Welsh in Coal Creek
In the last half of the 1800s, the Welsh in America published books in their native language at a time when it was illegal to do so in Great Britain. Coal Creek miners Rees R. Thomas and his son David R. Thomas donated a rare collection of those . . . — Map (db m102333) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Clinton — City of Pearls
In 1895, Sam Hendrickson (pictured) started Clinton's pearling industry. Clinton's citizens used braille boats (pictured) with braille hooks (pictured) to drag the bottom of the Clinch River for mussel shells (pictured). Young's Island (pictured) . . . — Map (db m112097) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Clinton — 1D 41 — Clinton High School
Following a court order by Federal District Judge Robert L. Taylor, on August 27, 1956, 12 black students, now known as "The Clinton 12", enrolled in Clinton High School without incident, making it one of the first desegregated public high schools . . . — Map (db m121331) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Clinton — Prelude: The Green McAdoo School
Freedman's Hill, or Foley Hill as it came to be known, has long been an educational site for the African American community, whether in the schoolhouse built by the Freedman's Bureau after the Civil War, later destroyed by fire, or the churches of . . . — Map (db m70646) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Clinton — 1D 20 — The Market Place of Pearls
From about 1895 to 1936 Tennessee was one of the nation's six leading states in marketing pearls. Clinton was listed as one of three Tennessee towns known as centers of the pearling industry. New York dealers came regularly to Clinton during the . . . — Map (db m112098) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Fraterville — Fraterville Disaster
The Fraterville Mine exploded on May 19, 1902, killing all 216 miners. Poignant farewell messages were found on the bodies of Jacob Vowell, Powell Harmon, John Hendren, Harry Beach, Scott Chapman, James Brooks, R.S. Brooks, George Hutson, Frank . . . — Map (db m102428) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Fraterville — Itinerant Miners' Cemetery
Itinerant miners worked in the Fraterville Mine alongside miners with long-term contracts and strong local ties. Bodies of the itinerant miners were not claimed after the 1902 explosion and were buried adjacent to the railroad spur that led to the . . . — Map (db m102429) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Fraterville — Village of Brothers
Major Eldad Cicero Camp, a Civil War Union veteran, U.S. District Attorney, and businessman, never used convicts in his mines. Instead, he established contracts with experienced miners. Fraterville, the name of Major Camp's first mine and the . . . — Map (db m102430) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Norris — Civil War in Anderson County"Skulking bushwhackers"
Divided loyalties in Anderson County, as elsewhere in East Tennessee, often erupted in violence. It was commonplace for guerillas on both sides to raid farms and capture opposing sympathizers. In the county seat of Clinton, Confederates . . . — Map (db m119021) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Norris — Norris Dam
Named for George W. Norris United States Senator from Nebraska in recognition of his public services.

Built for the people of The United States of America by the Tennessee Valley Authority under direction of the Congress and the President. . . . — Map (db m102771) HM

Tennessee (Anderson County), Norris — The Tennessee Valley Authority
The American Institute of Certified Planners has designated The Tennessee Valley Authority as a National Planning Landmark Founded in 1933 and encompassing a multi-state region of more than 40,000 square miles, T.V.A. was the first large-scale . . . — Map (db m101833) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Norris — The TVA System of Multi-Purpose DamsBuilt for the People of the United States of America — Norris Dam
The Tennessee River has its headwaters in the mountains of Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. The main stream forms at Knoxville, where the Holston and the French Broad Rivers join.

The valley, 41,000 square miles in area, . . . — Map (db m101834) HM

Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1942
The war years during the first part of the year was dreadful. German submarines were wreaking havoc with our shipping in the Atlantic; the Japanese were winning in the Pacific, and the Germans were driving across North Africa. In late May, a . . . — Map (db m112276) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1943
The year opened with fierce fighting on battlefronts all over the world – Stalingrad, North Africa, the South Pacific. Here, February saw groundbreaking for Oak Ridge’s Y-12 Plant and the X-10 Graphite Reactor. Starting April 1, armed guards . . . — Map (db m112277) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1944
New arrivals to this fenced in area called the Clinton Engineer Works were amazed at the extensive construction at every turn – more Cemestos “alphabet” homes were going up on Black Oak Ridge, as were more “flattops” in . . . — Map (db m112278) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1945
The new city was crowded – all 90 dorms of singles, housing for families at a premium. In May the population peaked at 75,000. Y-12 had 22,400 workers; K-25, 11,000; X-10, 1,500. People at the plants were urged to work harder than ever at . . . — Map (db m112548) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1946
This was the world’s first fully peacetime year since 1938. Cities everywhere began struggling to change things back to normal; Oak Ridge was different – we had never been normal. Things here were also in a state of flux because the success of . . . — Map (db m112280) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1947
Although many residents still felt Oak Ridge was a wartime town, they were now encouraged to view their city as possibly becoming a permanent community. This transition was kicked off January 1 when the Manhattan Engineering District handed off . . . — Map (db m112281) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1948
Union Carbide agreed to manage X-10 as well as the Y-12 plant with their new defense mission, and the K-25 uranium enrichment plant. Carbide named Nelson Rucker as X-10 executive director who with Alvin Weinberg instilling a sense of stability as . . . — Map (db m112282) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1949
On January 20 “The Oak Ridger” published its first edition. It told the city’s stories for decades, like a favorite talk about colorful, hard-driving General Leslie Groves, Manhattan Engineering District commandant. When he had needed . . . — Map (db m112283) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 28 — Castle on the Hill
The Administration Building for the Clinton Engineering Works opened March 15, 1943. Dubbed "The Castle", it became headquarters for the Manhattan Engineering District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, from which all Manhattan Project construction was . . . — Map (db m112099) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Construction Workers
Starting with farmland in November 1942, 110,000 construction workers in two-and-a-half years built two huge uranium-235 production plants, Y-12 and K-25, at a cost of $759 million; X-10 and S-50, at a cost of $23 million; and the town for those who . . . — Map (db m112348) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Dedicated to the Memory of Those from Oak Ridge Who Gave Their Lives That Freedom Might Live
1942 - 1992 Samuel Karl Asher • Michael Roger Baker • James Edward Barlow • Jeff Thomas Barnett, Jr. • Martin Owen Boone • Joseph Keith Bradley • Gerald Wayne Davidson • Luther E. Davis • Ronald Edward Hibbard • David William . . . — Map (db m112461) WM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 24 — Elza GateThe Elza Gate
From April 1, 1943, until March 19, 1949, this was the site of Elza Gate. Elza Gate was the primary entrance to the secret community of Oak Ridge and along with six other entry points, it was manned by armed guards. Elza Gate took its name from a . . . — Map (db m88625) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Erected in Memory of New Bethel Baptist Church
Opened 1851 - Closed 1942 Church building Stood 47 feet in front of this stone In Memory of our Dead And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be . . . — Map (db m70485) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — K-25 – The Gaseous Diffusion Plant
In 1940 Columbia University scientists led by John Dunning began their research to beat Germany to the atomic bomb. But it took four years before they learned how to make the key to the gaseous diffusion process – a very porous, strong . . . — Map (db m112350) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Manhattan Engineer District – USAEC
In 1943, General Leslie R. Groves, commander of the Manhattan Project, delegated to Colonel Kenneth D. Nichols the responsibility for administering what was to become a $2.2 billion effort. The Colonel had his headquarters here in a rambling, . . . — Map (db m112345) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 23 — Oak Ridge
In 1943, Oak Ridge was created as the residential center for the Clinton Engineering Works. Located on the northeast corner of a 59,000-acre reservation acquired by the government in 1942, the community was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, . . . — Map (db m81358) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Oak Ridge – Secret City
In November 1942, Army Engineers were ordered to build a town for 13,000 people. A year later their target grew to 42,000, and the actual population reached 75,000 in September 1945 – almost three times the city’s 2005 population. Shown on no . . . — Map (db m112549) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project
In August 1945, citizens of this Secret City learned, most of them for the first time, that their hard work had made possible a weapon that was instrumental in bringing peace to a world anguished by the brutal, six-year war in which 54 million . . . — Map (db m112346) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Oak Ridge Hospital
The medical director responsible for the nationwide Manhattan Project, Colonel Stafford L. Warren, M.D., had his headquarters in Oak ridge. A professor of radiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, Warren was recruited specifically . . . — Map (db m112352) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Oak Ridge Schools
The need for good schools here posed special problems. The large transplanted population wanted schools at least as good as those they left behind, and the school population was destined to skyrocket from 830 in October 1943 to 8,223 in October 1945 . . . — Map (db m112550) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — ORINS / ORAUOak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies / Oak Ridge Associated Universities
In 1946, 14 southern universities formed the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (ORINS) – the first peacetime institution of this Secret City – to help faculty and students benefit from the outstanding research staff and facilities . . . — Map (db m112344) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — The Birth of the City of Oak Ridge, TennesseeTransformation of the Citizenry
In wartime 1943, realizing that unhappiness with living conditions would imperil the already fragile prognosis for producing uranium-235, the Army overseers of Oak Ridge strove to make life as pleasant as possible for the uprooted professionals sent . . . — Map (db m112457) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — The Birth of the City of Oak Ridge, TennesseeTransformation of the Housing
What most branded Oak Ridge as a temporary wartime community was its housing, almost half of which was added in a great rush during 1944-1945 as the town grew to five times the originally planned population of 13,000. Many thousands of the later . . . — Map (db m112458) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — The Birth of the City of Oak Ridge, TennesseeTransformation of Education and Health
At the same time the Government was starting large construction programs in 1948 to build permanent housing, work started to replace the hurriedly built wartime schools. The first permanent school finished was Willowbrook Elementary in September . . . — Map (db m112459) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — The Birth of the City of Oak Ridge, TennesseeTransformation of Municipal Services
In 1948, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) assigned the task of transforming the “Secret City” into an incorporated city to Frederick W. “Fred” Ford, the AEC’s new Community Affairs Director. In addition to managing the . . . — Map (db m112460) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 33 — The Chapel-on-the-Hill
Built in 1943 near the main business district (Jackson Square), this standard Army chapel was soon known with the Manhattan Project as "The Chapel-on-the-Hill". On 30 September 1943 it was dedicated for Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant worship. The . . . — Map (db m112102) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 34 — The Emery Road
On a route that was first authorized to be "cut and cleared" in 1787, the Rock Pillar Bridge 60 yards to the north-northeast was built in the early 1900's. This road became known as the Emery Road and was one of the earliest routes used in the . . . — Map (db m89677) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 25 — The Guest House
The Guest House provided accommodations for visitors to the Clinton Engineering Works (Oak Ridge) during the time of the Manhattan Project, which led to the development of the atomic bomb. The Guest House hosted such dignitaries as physicists J. . . . — Map (db m114613) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 27 — The Robertsville Community
The Robertsville Community was settled in 1804 by Collins Roberts, who had received a 4,000-acre land grant in this region. Robertsville was one of four communities in the area that predated Oak Ridge. The community was dispersed in 1942 when the . . . — Map (db m95701) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 29 — The Scarboro Community
The Scarboro Community was founded by three brothers in the early 1790s. Jonathan, David and James Scarborough traveled from Virginia and settled here. Scarboro was one of four area communities that predated Oak Ridge. The community remained largely . . . — Map (db m32575) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Violent Clashes"Flying...in the wildest disorder"
With the threat of war looming, Anderson County residents voted overwhelmingly against secession in 1861. When Confederate forces occupied East Tennessee and established a conscription center at nearby Clinton, Unionists slipped into Kentucky to . . . — Map (db m112103) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — X-10 – The Clinton Laboratories
In December 1942 University of Chicago physicists demonstrated that the newly discovered element plutonium could be made using a “pile” of uranium and graphite blocks. Aware that Germany was seeking to develop a weapon of unprecedented . . . — Map (db m112351) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Y-12 – The Calutron Plant
The top priority of the secret wartime Oak Ridge project was the Y-12 plant. That was the code name given to the process considered the best bet for separating weapon-grade uranium-235 (U-235) from U-238. This isotope separation process was the . . . — Map (db m112349) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Rocky Top — American Chestnuts
Convicts cut trees from Militia Hill and surrounding hillsides in 1892 so soldiers could spot attacking miners. Many of those trees were American chestnuts. Convicts and soldiers could not know that a fungus carried by Chinese chestnuts, brought to . . . — Map (db m102280) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Rocky Top — Breastworks
Soldiers of the Tennessee National Guard became easy targets for miners positioned on higher ground after trees were cut from Fort Anderson. Convicts then dug these breastworks to provide cover from attacking miners.

War correspondents from . . . — Map (db m102279) HM

Tennessee (Anderson County), Rocky Top — Coal Creek War
Welsh miners from the Knoxville Iron and Coal Company began mining coal at the foot of this hill in 1867, but were replaced by convict laborers during a strike in 1877. After convicts were brought to a mine in Briceville in July 1891, miners and . . . — Map (db m101896) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Rocky Top — Convict Lease System
After the Civil War, southern states leased convicts to private industry to cope with a growing number of convicts and dwindling state budgets. The system degenerated to where primarily young African-Americans were being arrested and forced to work . . . — Map (db m101897) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Rocky Top — Fire on Coal Creek
Soldiers responded to attack by firing cannons from here into the Miners Nest encampment on Walden Ridge, located south of the Wye Gap. Soldiers also shot cans filled with mud through the Wye Gap into the town of Coal Creek to signal that the town . . . — Map (db m102281) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Rocky Top — Fort Anderson
The Tennessee National Guard built Fort Anderson on Militia Hill in 1892 to restore order during the Coal Creek War. The fort is located off Vowell Mountain Road, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the . . . — Map (db m101893) HM

Tennessee (Anderson County), Rocky Top — Ghosts of Convict Miners
In 1877, convicts replaced striking Welsh miners in the Knoxville Iron and Coal Company Mine, located in the hollow to the south. Prison records show that 131 convict miners died there from 1877 to 1893, while others were caught igniting methane gas . . . — Map (db m101892) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Rocky Top — Militia Hill
Fort Anderson was built here on Militia Hill in January 1892 as a base for the Tennessee National Guard to protect convict laborers and restore order. Hostilities escalated with as many as 2500 miners from Tennessee and Kentucky participating in the . . . — Map (db m102277) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Rocky Top — Siege on Fort
The Tennessee Coal Mining Company in Briceville dismissed convict labor in February 1892 and sold stock in the company to miners. Subsequent attempts to convince Gov. Buchanan to remove troops from the watershed failed, so miners attacked at this . . . — Map (db m102284) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Rocky Top — State Coal Mine
The arrival of General Carnes with the bulk of the state militia overwhelmed the miners by the late summer of 1892. Although they lost the final battle, Coal Creek miners won the war when newly-elected Gov. Peter Turney fulfilled a campaign promise . . . — Map (db m102282) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Rocky Top — Why Miners Fought
Agricultural land in the region was owned and being farmed by 1880. Younger sons of farmers sought opportunities in mining, learning new job skills from experienced Welsh miners. Mining also offered opportunities for African-Americans who comprised . . . — Map (db m101895) HM

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