“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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A Tennessee Overhill Experience - From Furs to Factories Historical Markers

This trail tells the story of land and people and how the Industrial Revolution in the Upland South shaped both. Museums and historic sites reveal the stories of Cherokee settlements, European explorers, fur traders, miners, mill workers, railroaders, and farmers – the ordinary people who came to the Tennessee Overhill to live and work. There are 15 interpretive sites on this driving trail.
From Furs to Factories Marker image, Touch for more information
By Darren Jefferson Clay, July 17, 2021
From Furs to Factories Marker
1 Tennessee, McMinn County, Athens — From Furs to FactoriesThe Tennessee Overhill Experience
McMinn County Courthouse Square The courthouse square traditionally was the social, economic, and political center of county seats across the South. A succession of enterprises—dry goods stores, a laundry and tailor shop, stagecoach . . . Map (db m177734) HM
2 Tennessee, McMinn County, Englewood — EnglewoodA Textile Mill Town
Expansion of textile manufacturing into the Southern states provided the first large-scale “public work” opportunities for local women. Englewood’s textile workforce, from the workers of the first spinning mill built on a nearby farm in . . . Map (db m109276) HM
3 Tennessee, McMinn County, Etowah — EtowahA Railroad Town
The Louisville and Nashville (L&N) built Etowah between 1904 and 1906 as division headquarters for its new Cincinnati to Atlanta line. Workers were transferred from other L&N facilities or recruited from nearby farming communities, other states, and . . . Map (db m109275) HM
4 Tennessee, Monroe County, Sweetwater — The Tennessee Overhill ExperienceFrom Furs to Factories — Sweetwater-An Historic Commercial Center —
Prosperous farmer, railroad investor, and legislator, I. T. Lenoir deeded a track of his farm in 1858 for the location of a railroad depot on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad which bisected the fledging town of Sweetwater. Within a few years, . . . Map (db m117113) HM
5 Tennessee, Monroe County, Tellico Plains — The Tennessee Overhill ExperienceFrom Furs to Factories
Tellico Plains Early Iron and Logging Industries Tellico Plains’ first industrial venture, the Tellico Iron Works, started around 1825 with the construction of a foundry by an early white settler. Local legend, however, holds that native . . . Map (db m116822) HM
6 Tennessee, Monroe County, Vonore — Overhill Fur & Hide TradeThe Tennessee Overhill Experience-From Furs to Factories
From the beginning of the eighteenth century until the American Revolution, Cherokee hunters and trappers traded tens of thousands of animal pelts for manufactured goods imported by licensed British traders. The first resident trader in the Overhill . . . Map (db m116823) HM
7 Tennessee, Polk County, Benton — Nancy Ward
According to legend, Nancy Ward (Nanye’hi or Na-ni) was born in the 1730s at Chota in the Overhill Towns, at a time when Cherokee society was largely traditional despite the extensive fur trade. As the child of a Cherokee woman, Nancy was by birth a . . . Map (db m109274) HM
8 Tennessee, Polk County, Ducktown — The Tennessee Overhill ExperienceFrom Furs to Factories — Mining in the Copper Basin —
Mining in the Copper Basin In 1843, a prospector, hoping to find gold south of the Coker Creek mine fields, instead located one of America's richest copper reserves. Over the next century, American and foreign companies chartered more . . . Map (db m116819) HM
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Jun. 8, 2023