Tag Archives: Clinch River

Planning Ahead for Roane County

{Ron Woody, Roane County Executive}

The county has recently taken some progressive steps in planning the county’s future. If one feels that nothing has been accomplished we understand, but below the surface, work has been going on, plans have been formulating, and execution of plans have taken place and/or are ready to take place. So, what plans are we talking about?

First, I think more of our county leadership recognizes that Roane County is not an industrial mecca. As an industrial agent recently said, “More than half of our proposals are put in the waste can because we are in a high wage, low unemployment area and new companies do not want to compete for the workforce.” The high wage, low unemployment is due to TVA, DOE, and related contractors. Slowly, a shift in thinking is taking place. What are our county’s assets? Great climate, a beautiful water system of rivers in Tennessee, Emory and Clinch, and friendly cities and communities. Maybe investments should be made in our recreation and tourism industries?

The county has been putting plans together for years for recreation and tourism development and as noted in last month’s newsletter, has hired master planners to complete the process. This year the county is eligible for a $250,000 recreation grant but we must match $250,000 local funds. The county does not have $250,000 but has taken the needed steps in the 2020 Budget to secure a large portion. Further, the county is applying for Tennessee RiverLine 652 project from the University of Tennessee. More details about this will be discussed in a future article.

The county is further working with Legacy Park Foundation and the National Park Service as the Manhattan Project Historical National Park is coming online in Roane County.

New trail systems, (both land and water), a National Park within Roane County, new courtesy boat docks on the reservoir, enhancements to Riley Creek Campground, and other recreation assets are helping Roane County lay the foundation for a vacation, recreation, and tourism destination.

More to come…

Thomas N. Clark, One of the First Seven Commissioners

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

Thomas N. Clark, Sr. – Thomas N. Clark, Sr. was born 1763 May 5, probably in Scotland and died 1847 Oct 21 in Roane County. He married Susannah Randolph Payne (1768-1842). Clark was one of the first seven commissioners of Kingston of 1799. He was a charter member of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Kingston and a Trustee of the Rittenhouse Academy. He rented the ferry across the Clinch River at Kingston from an Indian named Doublehead for $600 per year. At that time only Indians could own ferries and toll gates into the Indian Territory which was West of the Clinch River at that time. It later became known as Clark’s Ferry. Clark’s “Big Spring” supplied the water of Kingston until the building of Watts Bar Dam. In many ways, he is considered the father of Kingston. He and his wife are buried in the Bethel-Kingston Cemetery.

Thomas N. Clark Sr.

 

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, November 2018.

John Muir on Roane County

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

John Muir, (1838-1914), was a well-known conservationist and naturalist. In 1892 he founded the Sierra Club and served as president until his death. Muir helped to establish the Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks. In 1867, he began what was called “the thousand-mile walk to the Gulf” collecting plants and passed through Roane County. The following is from his journal about his trek through Roane County:

“September 12 [1867]. Awoke drenched with mountain mist, which made a grand show, as it moved away before the hot sun. Passed Montgomery [which was the county seat of Morgan County at that time], a shabby village at the head of the east slope of the Cumberland Mountains. Obtained breakfast in a clean house and began the descent of the mountains. Obtained fine views of a wide, open country, and distant flanking ridges and spurs. Crossed a wide cool stream [which would have been the Emory River], a branch of the Clinch River. There is nothing more eloquent in Nature than a mountain stream, and this is the first I ever saw. Its banks are luxuriantly peopled with rare and lovely flowers and overarching trees, making one of Nature’s coolest and most hospitable places. Every tree, every flower, every ripple and eddy of this lovely stream seemed solemnly to feel the presence of the great Creator. Lingered in this sanctuary a long time thanking the Lord with all my heart for his goodness in allowing me to enter and enjoy it. Discovered two ferns, Dicksonia and a small matted polypod on trees, common farther South. Also a species of magnolia with very large leaves and scarlet conical fruit. Near this stream, I spent some joyous time in a grand rock-dwelling full of mosses, birds, and flowers. Most heavenly place I ever entered. The long narrow valleys of the mountainside, all well watered and nobly adorned with oaks, magnolias, laurels, azaleas, asters, ferns, Hypnum mosses, Madotheca, etc. Also towering clumps of beautiful hemlocks. The hemlock, judging from the common species of Canada, I regarded as the least noble of the conifers. But those of the eastern valleys of the Cumberland Mountains are as perfect in form and regal in port as the pines themselves. The latter abundant. Obtained fine glimpses from open places as I descended to the great valley between these mountains and the Unaka Mountains on the state line. Forded the Clinch, a beautiful clear stream, that knows many of the dearest mountain retreats that ever heard the music of running water. Reached Kingston before dark. Sent back my plant collections by express to my brother in Wisconsin. September 15 [1867]. Walked all day across small parallel valleys that flute the surface of the one wide valley. These flutings appear to have been formed by lateral pressure, are fertile, and contain some fine forms, though the seal of war is on all things. The roads never seem to proceed with any fixed purpose, but wonder as if lost. In seeking the way to Philadelphia [this was in Monroe County, near the Roane County line. It became a part of Loudon County in 1870], I was told by a buxom Tennessee ‘gal’ that over the hills was much the nearer way, that she always went that way, and that surely I could travel it.

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, August 2018.