Located in northeastern Tennessee, Unicoi County is a place of great historical importance. From the Cherokee people who once called the area home to the founding of the county, there are many interesting facts to discover about Unicoi County's history. In this article, we will explore seven of the most fascinating facts about this unique area of Tennessee.
1. Unicoi County was once Chickasaw land.
The area that is now home to Unicoi County was originally inhabited by the Chickasaw people. These Native Americans were known for their hunting and fishing skills and their expansive knowledge of the natural world. In the early 1700s, the Cherokee people began to move into the area, eventually forcing the Chickasaws out of their ancestral lands.
2. The name "Unicoi" is Cherokee.
When the Cherokee people settled in the area, they named it "Unicoi." This word means "white" in Cherokee and is believed to refer to the white cliffs that are visible in the region.
3. Unicoi County was not formed until the 19th century.
Although the area that is now Unicoi County was settled by Europeans in the 1700s, the county itself was not formed until 1875. Prior to that, it was a part of Washington County.
4. The first railroad in Tennessee was built in Unicoi County.
In 1856, the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad was built through Unicoi County. This was the first railroad in Tennessee, and it paved the way for increased transportation and commerce in the region.
5. The Unaka Mountains are located in Unicoi County.
The Unaka Mountains are a range of mountains that run through Unicoi County. These mountains are known for their beauty and their importance in Appalachian folklore.
6. The Clinchfield Railroad once had a major impact on the local economy.
The Clinchfield Railroad was a major employer in Unicoi County for many years. The railroad was known for its innovative engineering and technology, which allowed it to transport goods faster and more efficiently than its competitors.
7. Unicoi County is home to the oldest continually operating courthouse in Tennessee.
The Unicoi County Courthouse was built in 1876 and is still in use today. It is the oldest continually operating courthouse in Tennessee and is a testament to the county's rich history and enduring legacy.
In conclusion, Unicoi County is a fascinating place with a rich and varied history. From its Native American roots to the development of the railway and its oldest courthouse, there are many interesting facts to discover about this unique area of Tennessee.
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