NOTE: I’ve always loved timelines, and the ability to see what was going on in a certain area at a certain point in time. So here’s one for Northeast Tennessee!

400-200 Million BC
Underground rivers form expansive caverns under Bristol and Blountville.

4.5 Million BC
Ancient sinkhole collapses, capturing hundreds of prehistoric animals.

10,000 BC
Native Americans begin hunting and camping in the Nolichucky Valley (known as Paleo-Indian period).

1,000 BC
Woodland Indians build substantial village along the convergence of the Nolichucky River and Big Limestone Creek.

1700
Pioneers and Native Americans carve first roads in the area, and meet in “The Trade Gap” to exchange wares. The village later became known as Trade, Tennessee.

1772
European settlers form the Watauga Association (a semi-autonomous government created on the frontier). It is later said to be America’s first “declaration of independence.”

1775
Daniel Boone carves wilderness trail through Fort Watauga and The Long Island of the Holston (modern-day Kingsport). The Yuchi Indians referred to the Long Island as “Tana-see,” which means “The Meeting Place.” Tana-see later became “Tennessee.”

1775
The Watauga Association builds Fort Caswell (later called Fort Watauga) to fend off attacks by Native Americans.

1777
Community of “Blue Plum” settled in modern-day Johnson City.

1779
Town of Jonesborough is founded, seventeen years before Tennessee was granted statehood. Today, it’s the oldest incorporated town in the state.

1780
The “Overmountain Men” muster at Sycamore Shoals before marching 200 miles to defeat the British Army at the “Battle of Kings Mountain” in South Carolina. This battle was the turning point of the Revolutionary War, and the men became known as “Tennessee Volunteers.”

1784
14th State of United States, called “Franklin,” names Jonesborough as its capital. The state narrowly missed approval by Continental Congress, and went back under North Carolina jurisdiction.

1786
Davy Crockett born on the banks of the Nolichucky River near modern-day Limestone.

1788
Future President Andrew Jackson spends several months in Jonesborough awaiting a caravan.

1791
First newspaper (in what is now Tennessee), The Knoxville Gazette, is printed by George Roulstone in Rogersville.

1796
State of Tennessee created.

1820
The nation’s first anti-slavery newspaper, The Emancipator, is printed by Elihu Embree in the town of Jonesborough.

1825
Great Stage Road (from Nashville to Winston-Salem) opened through Johnson City as first road (along modern West Market Street).

1826
Future President Andrew Johnson makes his home in Greeneville.

1831
The Railroad Advocate is published in Rogersville, aimed at luring the railroad into the area.

1835
Movement forms to connect Cincinnati and the Carolinas by railroad.

1857
East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad builds first railway line from Bristol to Knoxville. A water tank was built by Henry Johnson’s store, called “Johnson’s Tank,” which later becomes “Johnson’s Depot.”

1869
Johnson’s Depot becomes Johnson City, with Henry Johnson elected as mayor.

1889
Bluegrass pioneer Fiddlin’ Charlie Bowman is born in Gray Station (now Gray).

1890
Trolley operations begin in Johnson City.

1911
East Tennessee State University founded in Johnson City.

1927
Country music is born on State Street in Bristol when Ralph Peer discovers the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Stoneman family.

Late 1920s
Mobster Al Capone occupies a hideout in Johnson City. Johnson City acquires the nickname “Little Chicago” for its speakeasies, bootleggers, and illegal activity.

1960
Bristol Motor Speedway is constructed.

1973
First National Storytelling Festival is held in Jonesborough.

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