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Carter County is one of the oldest counties in the state of Tennessee and is steeped in a rich history that draws visitors from all over the world. Here are some interesting facts about Carter County's past that you may not know.

1. The county is named after one of the founding fathers of the United States, Samuel Carter. Samuel Carter was a politician and also served as a judge before serving in the US House of Representatives.

2. The town of Elizabethton is the county seat of Carter County and was founded in 1799. The town was named after Elizabeth Taylor, the wife of one of the founders of the town, Colonel John Carter.

3. Carter County was the site of the first known white settlement in Tennessee. The Watauga Association was formed here in 1772, which was the first attempt at a representative government in America.

4. In the early 1800s, Carter County was known as one of the most important salt-producing areas in the United States. The salt production was so valuable that soldiers during the Civil War destroyed many of the salt mines in the county.

5. The covered bridge in Elizabethton, known as the Bonnie Kate Bridge, is one of only four remaining covered bridges in Tennessee. It was built in 1882 and was used for both pedestrian and horse-drawn traffic.

6. In 1906, a train derailment near Hampton, Tennessee resulted in a disaster that killed 23 people. The accident was so devastating that it caused national news coverage and spurred Congress to pass safety legislation.

7. The county has a rich musical history, with many notable country musicians hailing from Carter County. This includes the legendary Carter Family, which consisted of A.P. Carter, his wife, Sara, and his sister-in-law, Maybelle. They are known for their influential recordings, which helped shape the country music genre.

Carter County is a remarkable place with an abundance of history. From its important role in government to its noteworthy musicians and devastating events, the county has much to offer those interested in exploring its fascinating past.

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