History Of Sevier County Region 

Sevier County



One of the larger counties in the state of Tennessee, is bordered by Blount County on the west, Knox County on the northwest, Jefferson County on the northeast, and North Carolina on the south. The county was established in 1794 and covers about 600 square miles.

There are three distinct regions in Sevier County, Appalachian Mountain region to the north, Foothills region in the central portion and the Great Valley of East Tennessee, which stretches some 9,200 square miles across Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. Elevations in the county range from a height of 6,643 ft above sea level at Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, to a low of 850 ft above sea level in the French Broad River. The French Broad River joins with the Holston River in Knox County to form the Tennessee River. The Tennessee Valley Authority dammed the French Broad River in 1943, which created Douglas Lake.

Sevier County Courthouse      Sevierville, Tennessee

The Sevier County Courthouse was completed on November 10, 1895 with Kenneth McDonald as the supervising architect. This is the fifth courthouse for Sevier County and was built for a little over $22,000. Limestone came from a nearby quarry and Isaac Dockery, a notable African American brick mason in Sevierville, manufactured the bricks. The centerpiece of the courthouse is the Seth Thomas clock which is located in the 130ft tall tower. This clock cost more than $1,300 and is still in flawless operation today. Several finishing touches were made over the next several months and the first court was held on October 5, 1896.

Harrisburg Covered Bridge            Harrisburg, Tennessee

This grand example of a covered timber truss bridge is located in north central Sevier County just off of Old State Highway 35 near U.S. 411. The original bridge was destroyed on February 25, 1875 during a great flood in Sevier County. The Trotter Covered Bridge was also destroyed along with many houses, mills and other bridges. Elbert Stephenson Early who was a resident of Harrisburg rebuilt the Harrisburg Covered Bridge later in 1875. This is the only surviving covered bridge in Sevier County and is still being used for both foot traffic and vehicles. The bridge is 83 feet long and 14 feet wide on the outside with almost 11 1/2 feet clearance inside. In 1969, the bridge was in need of much repair and restoration. The Spencer Clark Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) stepped in and financed the restoration of the bridge in 1972. The Harrisburg Covered Bridge has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.

The McMahan Indian Mound         Sevierville, Tennessee

The mound is located on the Forks of the River Parkway in Sevierville, across from the Sevier County Public Library. The mound is largely undisturbed, but small sections have been removed due to construction of adjacent businesses. This Mississippian substructure, 16 feet high and 240 feet in circumference, built during the Dallas phase (1200-1500), was first excavated in 1881, with artifacts being sent to the Smithsonian. Later excavations exposed nearby villages of the Woodland Indian dating from 200 A.D. to the Cherokee who roamed this valley when pioneers settled in the late 1700s. Today, weary joggers and walkers from the nearby nature trail, can stop and enjoy this beautiful setting. 

Kodak Flour Mill                              Kodak, Tennessee

The current Kodak Flourmill was built in 1916 and stands as a reminder of Sevier Counties agricultural history. The Kodak Milling Company was the first major flourmill in operation in Sevier County. Beginning in 1912, Harvey Underwood, a former employee of J. Allen Smith & Company at Knoxville, operated a flour mill in Kodak. Underwood purchased wheat from the surrounding farmers and after milling it into a flour form, he transported the product down the French Broad River to Knoxville. Harvey Underwood's son, Cecil P. Underwood, constructed a larger and more modern mill of rusticated concrete block, and sold his flour to area residents and, to the White Lily Foods Company at Knoxville. The Kodak Mill closed its doors long ago, but this piece of history still stands tall today.

Henry's Station and The Treaty of Dumplin Creek   Kodak,Tennessee

Adjacent to the Kodak Mill is a marker describing the Treaty of Dumplin Creek which was signed on June 10, 1785 at Henry's Station which was recently lost. This treaty made it possible for Sevier, Knox and Blount counties to be settled without resistance. An additional marker at the site reads: The only treaty made by the State of Franklin was signed here after some negotiation. Commissioners were John Sevier, Alexander Outlaw and Daniel Kennedy. Signatory Cherokee chiefs were the King of the Cherokee, Ancoo of Chota, Abraham of Chilhowee, The Sturgeon of Tallassee, The Bard of the Valley Towns and some thirty others.

Middle Creek United Methodist Church       Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

This church is located on Middle Creek Road between Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and was built by Cisco Williams, a carpenter from Sevierville, in 1902. Middle Creek United Methodist is Sevier County's best example of a Gothic Revival style church building. Sevier County has many churches representing a wide variety of denominations including, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic and others. There are many examples of small country churches in the County and several larger churches with close to 2000 members.

Founded in 1795 and incorporated in 1901, Sevierville, (pronounced Se-VEER-ville) was named for John Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee. It is the oldest and largest of Sevier County's four cities and is the eighth oldest town in Tennessee. About 200 years ago, Sevierville was no more than a small rural community with one church, two mills, one tavern, one trading post, two lawyers and a stable for a courthouse. It was a stopping off point for settlers heading West toward the frontier, and as East Tennessee was settled, Sevierville became an important trading and commercial city. The city celebrated its bicentennial in 1995. Sevierville, the county seat of Sevier County, is the first city many people see when they arrive in the Smokies. Just minutes from Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sevierville combines a relaxed hometown atmosphere with ready access to hundreds of vacation attractions and recreational opportunities. Over the years, Sevierville, as the county seat, has known five different courthouses, with the last being built in 1895-96 for $22,000. The courthouse was later renovated in 1970-74 for $577,000 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sevierville is located in a picturesque valley at the foot of the Smokies. Take Exit 407 off Interstate 40, about 18 miles east of Knoxville. Downtown Sevierville is 10 minutes away on Hwy. 66. For a more scenic route, try U.S. 441 South from Knoxville or 441 North from Cherokee, N. C. U. S. 411 also connects through Sevierville and provides a journey through the East TN foothills. Knoxville's McGee/Tyson Airport is about an hour away, with over 90 commercial flights a day. The Sevierville-Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Aviation Center can accommodate a variety of private aircraft and has full service and maintenance facilities. Sevierville has preserved its southern charm and the quaint personality of a small, historic town. The atmosphere in Sevierville is friendly, relaxed, and fun. Downtown features a beautiful brick courthouse (see picture) with a four-sided Seth Thomas clock that still chimes every half hour. A bronze statue of Sevierville's own Dolly Parton adorns the courthouse lawn. And the entire downtown area encompasses Sevierville's historic district, where a walking tour unfolds the history of the nation and its expansion westward. Sevierville also keeps the modern traveler in mind, with accommodations ranging from family motels to romantic mountain hideaways. Shopping is some of the best in the Southeast. Offerings range from mountain crafts to antique emporiums to outlet malls featuring famous brands. There are restaurants for any taste, from fast food to fine dining, and outdoor activities include tennis, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and golf. Sevierville is one of those rare cities where you can honestly say that it's a nice place to visit -- and live. It's often been called "your hometown in the Smokies." Sevierville's historic downtown is now home to several wedding chapels and Temple's Feed Store, where County Commissioner, Jimmie Temple, has married more than 8,000 couples in his family-owned feed store. Also in downtown is Virgil's '50s Restaurant, home of chicken fried steak, curly fries, a genuine soda fountain and the town's bus station. While staying in Sevierville, visit our 100-year-old courthouse, stroll along our Riverwalk, enjoy our beautiful parks and use our new Civic and Community Center for business meetings, working out or just taking a dip in the pool. Once you discover all the treasures of our charming small town, you'll understand why.