Greene Co., TN

Greene Co., TN

Greene County, TN


Greene County lies in the Great Valley of Tennessee in the northeast corner of the state. Its valleys are enriched by the disintegrated limestone that lies below them. Bays Mountain, one of the three sets of high ridges that run through the valley, is located on the north side of the county and is drained by Lick Creek. The Unaka, or Great Smoky, Mountains to the east slope down to the Nolichucky River. The resources of Greene County, including the creeks and rivers, plentiful game, and good bottomlands, attracted generations of Native Americans. Places like the Camp Creek site, along the banks of the Nolichucky River, document Native American activities during the Woodland Period.

Settlement began about 1772 when Jacob Brown and a couple of families from North Carolina moved to a camp on the banks of the Nolichucky, the first in its valley. In 1775 Brown leased from the Cherokees a large tract of land which was titled to him as part of the Washington District of North Carolina. In 1777 Henry Earnest, a Swiss immigrant, established Elmwood Farm along the Nolichucky River. It is the oldest Tennessee Century Farm. A great influx of settlers between 1778 and 1783 made residents of the area anxious for separate government, which was achieved through the efforts of Daniel Kennedy and Waightstill Avery. Greene County, part of North Carolina, was established in 1783 and named in honor of General Nathanael Greene of Rhode Island, under whom many settlers had fought during the Revolutionary War. Greene County participated in the State of Franklin movement along with fellow upper East Tennessee counties Sullivan and Washington. The split that precipitated the end of the State of Franklin occurred during the 1785 constitutional convention held at Greeneville.

Modern Day Adjacent Counties

Hawkins County, TN (north)
Washington County, TN (east)
Unicoi County, TN (southeast)
Madison County, North Carolina (south)
Cocke County, TN (southwest)
Hamblen County, TN (west)

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