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Coal Creek Watershed Historical Markers

 
Briceville Church Marker image, Touch for more information
By Tom Bosse, March 4, 2017
Briceville Church Marker
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), 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), 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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