Star Interns look into community’s history

Published 6:09 pm Friday, June 9, 2017

BY Mo Wilson & Andrew Alley


EDITOR’S NOTE: During the month of June two students from the Upward Bound program at ETSU are joining the Elizabethton Star for their Career Work Study. Mo Wilson is a rising senior at Science Hill High School and Andrew Alley is a rising senior at Tennessee High School. During the month they will be learning about Carter County and sharing their adventures with our readers.

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In the town of Elizabethton, history lies on every corner. The town takes people on a path of knowledge dating back to the Revolutionary War. It also gives society an example of how the colonists lived in the late 1700’s. Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park and the Carter Mansion are two of the many locations that enlighten those who are interested in learning the history of a growing nation.

On a sunny day, many locals recommend visiting Sycamore Shoals, the historic park rich with events from the past. The park is within the area where many colonists during the Revolutionary War settled in search of better lives. While they prospered and rapidly grew, they were trespassing illegally on these lands. This was due to the Proclamation Line of 1763, preventing colonists from traveling west of the Appalachians into Native American territory.

Although the law prohibited westward expansion, this did not hinder their endeavors. Within the territory of Sycamore Shoals, there was immense conflict among Native Americans, as they believed that the colonists possessed no right to be on their grounds. Sycamore Shoals not only was in a heated battle with the Cherokee, but it also served as assistance in the turning point of the Revolutionary War — the Battle of Kings-Mountain. While the park has an abundant amount of history, Sycamore Shoals is also known for the scenery, the walking trails along the Watauga River, and the replica of Fort Watauga. 

Another recommended place to visit is the Carter Mansion. While the Carter Mansion is smaller than mansions today, it was considered a mansion at the time it was built. The commoners lived in log cabins similar to the ones shown at Sycamore Shoals; however, the Carter Mansion, built from 1775 to 1780, was the first lien structured house west of the Appalachians, and it provided significantly more space for amenities such as an office, extra bedrooms, and an entertainment parlor. A man by the name of John Carter was the one who built this property, and it eventually was passed down to his son, Landon Carter. There is not much known about the Carter Mansion, but there are many interesting artifacts within its doors. 

The small town of 14,000 holds many historical landmarks that must be preserved in order to keep our knowledge of the past alive. Not only are the landmarks educational, but also they are extremely appealing to the eye. Places like Sycamore Shoals and the Carter Mansion teach people a valuable lesson about how our nation has grown into what it is today.