The 250-year pioneer heritage of Erwin and Unicoi County is an intrinsic part of East Tennessee’s historical landscape. By the early 1700s, the legendary Long Hunters had ventured into this wild frontierthen part of North Carolinafollowing the abundant game and trade with the Native Americans. This river-fed land was soon dubbed “Greasy Cove” as a meeting place where game was cleaned. Around 1760, settlers found their way into the valley, carving homesteads out of hidden coves or fertile flatlands alongside the Nolichucky River. Unicoi County was established in 1875. The advent of the railroad in 1890 brought a new prosperity. By 1909, the Carolina,
Clinchfield, and Ohio Railroadlater known as the “Clinchfield”was in its boomtime, as was Unicoi County. Around 1916, the Ohiobased Southern Potteries arrived, and famed Blue Ridge hand-painted china dinnerware was born. Today, sheltered on three sides by the natural beauty of Cherokee National Forest, the area of Erwin and Unicoi County is popularly known as the Valley Beautiful.
About the Author
Linda Davis March is a native of Unicoi County. She coauthored the first edition of The Insiders’ Guide to North Carolina’s Mountains in 1995 and has contributed to numerous regional publications, such as the Johnson City Press, the Erwin Record, the Asheville Citizen-Times, Mountain Xpress, and the Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost magazine, among others.