Forts and Stations


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 Early Forts and Stations

White's Fort was established on the present site of Knoxville in 1786 by James White. White moved after spending a year along the French Broad River east of Knoxville. White built a log cabin and barricaded it with a wall, which earned it the name of "fort." White's Fort was on the North Carolina Road, and travelers frequently stayed with him, as his was the first cabin in the area. Soon after building his cabin, White erected a small tub mill where nearby settlers could grind their corn. In 1792, the land surrounding White's Fort became the capital of the Southwest Territory and was renamed Knoxville. A re-creation of White's Fort is located in downtown Knoxville about five blocks from its original site.

Adair's Fort

Photo credit: Mary Hitchcock

Adair's Station, or Fort Adair, was founded by John Adair in 1789. The fort was a four room log house located along White's Creek, five miles north of White's Fort and two miles from Emory Road. Emory Road was part of the "Yellow Mountain Trace," and Adair was appointed to supply provisions for the Cumberland Guards, who escorted travelors along the Yellow Mountain Trace to the Cumberland settlements. Other families to join Adair were the McMillans, Conners,Grills, Halls, Tillerys, Weavers, Smiths, Lewises, Andersons, McCampbells, Karns and Sanders.


Ball Camp        


Ball Camp is located on Plum Creek in Hines Valley, about thirteen miles west of Knoxville. The community is still known by the same name. Nicholas Ball was an American Revolutionary veteran, originally from Virginia, who was killed by Indians in 1793. He built a blockhouse at this location some time in the late 1780's. Ball Camp was located along the Emory Road.

Bartlett's Station was formed by Nicholas Bartlett around 1786 along Stock Creek near the Blount County line. Bartlett operated a mill along the river. There were several early residences along Stock Creek and the Little River. Link to marker and history: Link


Campbell's Station in west Knox County began in 1787, when Colonel David Campbell and his brothers James and Alexander built a blockhouse on the west bank of Turkey Creek near the present Avery M. Russell House(NR 6/5/75). A tavern, tannery, wagon shop and cabinet factory were located there, on the road to Nashville, in the early 1800s. Samuel Graham Ramsey founded Pleasant Forest Church there. By 1810, Charles McClung and William Campbell had opened a general merchandise store. Alexander Campbell moved to the Riverdale Community in 1792, when he felt it was safe from Indian attack. His house is at 6722 Thorngrove Pike (SurveyNo.2496). His son, William, soon followed, and located in the Riverdale Community around 1815. William's house (Survey No. 2500) still stands. George Farragut lived a few miles away at Stoney Point, later known as Lowe's Ferry. Other settlers in the area were the Russells and the Lowes, who built a fort south of Campbell's Station on the Tennessee

Cavett's Station

Cavett's Station

Ebenezer was probably the first settlement in the Sinking Creek ,Ten Mile Creek area. Ten miles west of Knoxville, Ebenezer Byram built a cabin around 1786.

Gilliam's Station was built by Devereaux Gilliam around 1786 on or near the Brakebill Indian Mound, located on the river bank in the forks of the river, about five miles east of Knoxville.

A sudden invasion of Little River settlement produced an alarm and the settlers temporarily forted at Gillaim's the alarm subsided and the people returned to their plantations. The population accumulated rapidly being accessible by the two rivers the neighborhood received many families from the upper counties in boats and canoes. Amongst these were James Anderson, Moses Brooks and George McNutt, Esq., who removed from Chucky and settled on the north side of Holston above Knoxville. James White the year before had moved from his first cabin in the Fork and settled. (Source: The annals of Tennessee to the end of the eighteenth century, James Gettys McGready Ramsey, John Russell, 1853. p. 372)  

Greene's Station was approximately five miles east of Gilliam's Station on the south bank of the French Broad River. It was established by Greene around 1786, soon after James White located directly across the French Broad River. Other early settlers in the area included James Cozby, the Reverend James Kennedy, Alexander Campbell, John McNutt and Jeremiah Jack. Greene's son-in-law, Samuel Bowman, established a ferry here in the1830's



Manifold Station

Manifold's Station was the first station north of the French Broad River west of Henry's Station on Dumplin Creek in present-day Sevier County. Manifold's Station was built in 1797 and was located at the corner of present-day Kodak and Deeton Hollow Roads. It was built along the North Carolina Road that led to Warm Springs, North Carolina. It served as a stage coach stop and inn until 1820. Early settlers in the area included the Newmans, Thomases, Kellys, Huffakers, Keeners, Cunninghams, Johnsons and Fraziers. Henry Huffaker ran a ferry from the Seven Islands Community, across the French Broad, to a landing along the stage road, one to two miles west of the station. Houses which represent the first or successive generations of these families still exist as the community of Seven Islands. Located at the intersection of Kodak Rd and Deaton Hollow Rd.


Menifee's Station

Photo credit: Kenny Redmond

Menifee's Station was built c. 1787 by John Menifee in the Beaver Creek Valley, ten miles northwest of Knoxville. Menifee was given a grant of land by North Carolina for his services in the Revolution. His cabin was located on the Old Clinton Pike. His fort was on the frontier, and his cabin served as an outpost with a special guard to report Indian uprisings. In the early 1800s, Menefee sold the land to the Bells. The area later became known as Powell's Station or simply Powell.



Reynold's Fort is believed to have been located on Emory Road, West of Harbison's Crossroads. The Crossroads are at the head of Beaver Creek, five miles west of Corryton. John Reynolds built a fort here in about 1788. Harbison, a Revolutionary War veteran, acquired land in the area in 1797. Another settler was Nicholas Gibbs. The Gibbs community, located at Harbison's Crossroads, is named for Gibbs. Nicholas Gibbs built a cabin in 1792; located on Emory Road, it remains today. Other early settlers in the area included the Tarvers who built the Tarver-Roberts House on Bud Hawkins Road.


Sawyers Fort

Sawyer's Fort

Sawyer's Fort was ten miles east of Adair's Station, near Corryton. In1785, Colonel John Sawyer acquired one thousand acres in the eastern part of the county. He built a two-story log house, surrounded by a stockade on the bank of Big Flat Creek, where Emory Road crosses the creek. In 1795, Sawyer bought more land from Stockley Donelson to sell to other settlers.

Colonel Sawyer fought in the Battle of King's Mountain. He was a member of Washington Presbyterian Church, organized in 1802.

Well's Station was established in 1791 by Amos Wells on what is now Hind's Creek. It is located approximately five miles from Ball Camp and is where Nicholas Ball was killed.