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!
4.5 Million BC
Ancient sinkhole collapses, capturing hundreds of prehistoric animals.
Woodland Indians build substantial village along the convergence of the Nolichucky River and Big Limestone Creek.
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.
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.”
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.”
The Watauga Association builds Fort Caswell (later called Fort Watauga) to fend off attacks by Native Americans.
Community of “Blue Plum” settled in modern-day Johnson City.
Town of Jonesborough is founded, seventeen years before Tennessee was granted statehood. Today, it’s the oldest incorporated town in the state.
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.”
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.
Davy Crockett born on the banks of the Nolichucky River near modern-day Limestone.
Future President Andrew Jackson spends several months in Jonesborough awaiting a caravan.
First newspaper (in what is now Tennessee), The Knoxville Gazette, is printed by George Roulstone in Rogersville.
State of Tennessee created.
The nation’s first anti-slavery newspaper, The Emancipator, is printed by Elihu Embree in the town of Jonesborough.
Great Stage Road (from Nashville to Winston-Salem) opened through Johnson City as first road (along modern West Market Street).
Future President Andrew Johnson makes his home in Greeneville.
The Railroad Advocate is published in Rogersville, aimed at luring the railroad into the area.
Movement forms to connect Cincinnati and the Carolinas by railroad.
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.”
Johnson’s Depot becomes Johnson City, with Henry Johnson elected as mayor.
Bluegrass pioneer Fiddlin’ Charlie Bowman is born in Gray Station (now Gray).
Trolley operations begin in Johnson City.
East Tennessee State University founded in Johnson City.
Country music is born on State Street in Bristol when Ralph Peer discovers the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Stoneman family.
Mobster Al Capone occupies a hideout in Johnson City. Johnson City acquires the nickname “Little Chicago” for its speakeasies, bootleggers, and illegal activity.
Bristol Motor Speedway is constructed.
First National Storytelling Festival is held in Jonesborough.