by James Cook
County Line is a very, very old community that I believe dates back to the late 1770’s. We just cannot prove that yet.
This community was located at the extreme eastern edge of Grainger at the county line with Hawkins. The community was at the crossroads of the road to Noeton, which ran from Hawkins County on the east to Holston River on the west at Noeton. This road to Noeton crossed a road that ran from the Old Stage Road [Lee Highway/11-W] south through this community and on to Holston River and Morristown. County Line community was situated mainly in the area of this crossroads.
Before TVA took the land, County Line was a small, thriving community. It included County Line Church, which was multi-denominational, including all Christian faiths. This church is documented back to 1792; but, again, I believe it’s much older.
The first minutes book is dated 1792 – 1816 and is in the possession of a Matthew Davis. He approached the East Tennessee Historical Society about microfilming the book and his transcriptions of the minutes. This was completed and published in 2007 by ETHS in their tri-annual publication, Tennessee Ancestors. The second minutes book (1817 – 1841) is missing at this time.
The last 2 books, covering 1842 – 1941, were donated to the Grainger County Archives by Carole and Dr. Robert Overholt of Knoxville. Stevvi Cook has transcribed both of the books (1842-1941).
The last church secretary was Edith Stubblefield Odom, who is Carole’s grandmother. The church was disbanded on November 9, 1941, and they "began tearing the church away" on November 17, 1941.
In addition to the church, there were a couple of stores, a grist mill and possibly a small dairy. The church cemetery is located across a creek that ran down the valley, which was not taken by TVA, and includes approximately 100+ graves, most of which are only marked with field stones or not at all. We’ve been cleaning out trash, clearing brush and trees, fencing and mowing the cemetery for 6 years now.
Older people who lived in this area have told me that there was an older church building east and between the crossroads and Hawkins County along with a cemetery. Others say there were several graves but few marked. One grave marker is shown on the land acquisition map by TVA. This community is clearly defined on this map.
County Line is still shown on some modern maps.
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