Carter County (TN) Images of America

Jackie and Dawn Trivette Peters

In the 1760s, the first Europeans crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains from North Carolina and down the Valley of Virginia into the area that today comprises Carter County, Tennessee. They illegally settled the fertile bottomlands, already cleared by Native Americans, along the banks of Watauga River where Elizabethton is now situated. This was in direct defiance of British law forbidding settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains. The settlers became known as the “Overmountain Men.” In 1775, they obtained clear title to the Indian land they had illegally occupied for years. Carter County was established in 1796 from Washington District, North Carolina. Early residents relied on natural resources for food and employment, and the mountains and streams supplied an abundance of wild game for hunters and trappers. Throughout the l800s, iron ore was mined, and furnaces operated along watercourses. Throughout the early 1900s, lumber companies offered logging and sawmill jobs, and in the 1920s, two huge textile mills began operating in Elizabethton, bringing Carter County into the industrial age. 127 pages.

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