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Unicoi County, Tennessee
Tennessee GenWeb Project

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Updated September 26, 2010

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Unicoi County is about 1,900 feet above sea level and is  surrounded by the Unaka mountain range which is part of the southern Appalachians.  The Unakas [some of the oldest mountains in the US] split off from the Blue Ridge Mountains south of Roanoke, Virginia and extend all the way to northern Georgia.  The Unaka range segments itself  as follows:  a) Iron Mountains, b) Unakas, c) Bald Mountains, d) Smokies, e) Unicoi system [which traverses Unicoi Co.].   Nearly 50% of Unicoi county's land  is owned by the Federal Government managed by the U.S. Forest Service for  national resource management.  And because of this, it has greatly curtailed suburban sprawl and overdevelopment.  Therefore, the Unicoi mountain watershed provides  some of the purest drinking water in all of Tennessee. 

Unicoi county was formed in 1875  and the following towns were absorbed into the new jurisdiction as follows:
a) Limestone Cove, b) Marbleton, c) Buffalo Valley from Old Carter County; 
a) Unicoi, b) Dry Creek, c) Erwin, d) Bumpass Cove, e) Love Station, f) Shallow Ford, g) Temple Hill, h) Coffee Ridge, i) Clear Branch and  j) Flag Pond from Old Washington County. 

Before Tennessee became the 16th state in 1796, the area which surrounds Unicoi/Carter/Washington counties was part of the State of Franklin named after Benjamin Franklin.   The State of Franklin included territories from both eastern Tennessee and Western, North Carolina.  The area was created shortly after the Revolutionary War which only lasted for about 4 years.   In 1799, there was a mass campaign to survey the boarders between North Carolina and Tennessee.   Government leaders and private investors  summoned surveyors from all over to not only assess the land's boundaries which separated North Carolina from Tennessee, but account for the areas natural resources, wildlife, passages to cross the mountain range to the valleys on either side and target any hostile local inhabitants.  Because of the area of the State of Franklin, the state lines between NC and TN shifted often, which explains why some border families who were enumerated in North Carolina  later showed up in Tennessee later. 

The first U.S. Postal route between Abington, Virginia to Knoxville, Tennessee was established in June 1794.   It took the post rider about 4 days each ways to pick up and delivery mail to its destination.    Blountville, Rogersville, Greenville, and Jonesboro  were the en route stops.   In December of 1832, John Longmire was appointed as the area's first official postmaster of Unika with a salary of $300./yr.  William Williams was Longmire's successor in March 1836.  In the same year of 1836, the area of Unicoi Co. [Greasy Cove]  was listed as District #2 in Old Washington Co. called "Mire's" District named after John Longmire.   In July 1840, Charles Longmire, a descendant of John assumed post.

Unicoi County Profile

Detailed Road Map of Unicoi County


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