Category: Local Information

“Disappearing Appalachia”

By , August 20, 2014

There are several photos and bits of historical information about Grainger County locations in an on-line article from the Tennessee Alumnus magazine. Click here to read the article.

Historic Joseph Cobb House

By , February 13, 2014

House Built in Grainger Six Years After County’s First Settlement

by C. C. Justus

Built only six years after the first settlement in Grainger county, a historic house is now one of the old landmarks in that section.  It was constructed of hewn logs and weatherboard by Joseph Cobb, whose wife was a niece of William Bean, said to have been the first white settler in Tennessee.

Joseph Cobb HouseThe mother of the present register of deeds, J. J. Brady, was born in this house seventy years ago, now it’s part of the burnaby condos for sale, you can get his house by contacting their agency.

Brady and Sheriff J. H. Whitehead, who now live in the house are among the few democrats who have held county offices in Grainger.

Two hundred yards from the house is a giant cedar tree, large enough in pioneer days to hide an Indian, who was shot out with a rifle.

The Beans owned the lands of the historic site.

[Click the image for a larger version.]

Source:  Unidentified newspaper clipping, dated 10 Feb 1924.  Submitted by James Cook.

Grainger County History DVD Available

By , January 26, 2012

DVD frontThe Grainger County Historical Society’s excellent DVD production, The Valley of Independence, is available for purchase.

While it deals primarily with Grainger County, several adjacent areas are discussed in conjunction with the Civil War and development in the region.

Order yours today by sending a check for $14.95 ($10 for DVD; $4.95 for priority shipping) to:

Grainger County Historical Society
PO Box 215
Rutledge, TN 37861

Historical Movie Preview December 2, 2011

By , November 28, 2011

The Grainger County Historical Society will debut its historical film, Valley of Independence, The History of Grainger County, on December 2 at 7 p.m. at the Old Rutledge High School auditorium.

Tickets are available for purchase at all branches of Citizens Bank & Trust Co. of Grainger County at a cost of $10 per ticket.

Attendees are asked to park at Rutledge Middle School by 6 p.m. and ride the shuttle bus to the Old Rutledge High School.

County Line Community

By , July 1, 2011

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.

Miscellaneous Features Identified in the GNIS

By , June 23, 2011

Geographic features that appear on topographic maps in the United States are listed in an online database maintained by the federal government’s United States Geological Survey and the U. S. Board on Geographic Names.

This entity is usually referred to as USGS. The database is called the Geographic Names Information System, or GNIS. Many genealogists use it frequently to find places, identify the county location, and determine the coordinates.

The following table contains all topographic features in the GNIS identified as airports, fire departments, towers, tunnels, mines, and parks within Grainger County. Places that no longer exist are identified with “(historical).”

The table also includes the latitude and longitude and name of the 7.5′ USGS topographical quadrangle map on which the place is shown.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of all miscellaneous topographic features in the county. It is simply the government’s mapping system’s list. Click here to search GNIS for other topographical features or locations.


Name Latitude Longitude Elevation Quadrangle Map
Landing at River’s Edge Airport 360841N 0833614W 981 Joppa

Fire Departments

Name Latitude Longitude Elevation Quadrangle Map
Bean Station Volunteer Fire Department 362033N 0831700W 1145 Bean Station
Blaine Volunteer Fire Department 360806N 0834300W 1037 Luttrell
Grainger County Rescue Squad 361645N 0833118W 997 Dutch Valley
Rutledge Volunteer Fire Department 361631N 0833047W 1083 Dutch Valley
Thorn Hill Volunteer Fire Department 362201N 0832404W 1424 Avondale
Washburn Volunteer Fire Department 361726N 0833542W 1434 Dutch Valley

Lookout Towers

Name Latitude Longitude Elevation Quadrangle Map
Avondale Lookout Tower 361936N 0832832W 2480 Avondale


Name Latitude Longitude Elevation Quadrangle Map
Oakman Tunnel 362146N 0833300W 1106 Dutch Valley


Name Latitude Longitude Elevation Quadrangle Map
Mitchell Quarry 361424N 0833557W 991 Joppa


Name Latitude Longitude Elevation Quadrangle Map
Buffalo Springs Game Farm 361231N 0833351W 1165 Joppa
Buffalo Springs State Game Farm 361225N 0833345W 1145 Joppa
Grainger County Park 362035N 0831951W 1099 Bean Station
Grainger County Park 361250N 0832812W 1089 Talbott
Harrell Park 361812N 0831953W 1096 Bean Station
Rutledge Recreational Park 361636N 0833030W 1096 Dutch Valley

Langley, the William M. Cocke Estate

By , June 21, 2011

The William Cocke House was probably built soon after Cocke purchased the 300 acre tract from Frederick Kearns on October 8, 1847. This beautiful estate is situated in a fertile valley along Richland Creek; this land was occupied as early as 1796 when Michael Kearns purchased the property from one Christian Rhodes.

Langley Estate

A familiar landmark to the community, the Cocke House stands as an excellent example of the Greek Revival style of architecture as displayed in East Tennessee. Langley is a beautiful Antebellum home built by William M. Cocke in 1850, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since1973. Langley is situated on 6.13 acres of land and is privately owned;and is currently listed with a local Real Estate office for sale. The ten-room house is located east of Rutledge about 9 miles on Route 2. Welcoming one’s sight though the front entry-way, the spiral staircase takes the visitor’s sight up toward the second floor of bedrooms; along the foyer, and the parlor with its beautiful chandelier are just some of the spectacular features of this showplace.

Langley Interior

Langley stands as an ever present reminder of Grainger County’s political history; William M. Cocke was the grandson of General William Cocke who served as a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1796, circuit Court Judge, member of Tennessee General Assembly and the man for whom Cocke County, Tennessee. William’s father, Sterling Cocke represented Grainger County in the State House from 1815-1817, elected State Senate 1717-1819,and served as Attorney General for Tennessee’s 1st District from 1818-1833.The only child of Sterling and his first wife, Eliza T. Massengill Cocke,William Michael Cocke, born in Rutledge, Tennessee, on July 16, 1815, graduated from East Tennessee State College in Knoxville. He studied law and upon admission to the bar, returned to Rutledge to begin his legal practice.

Politically a Democrat, Cocke spent much of his adult life holding some type of elected office. Cocke was clerk of Grainger County Circuit Court from 1840-1845. He was elected to the State House of Representatives, serving from March 4, 1845 to March 3, 1849. He was later elected to the State Senate serving from 1855-1857. Cocke served in the 31st General Assembly in the second session of 1855-1896, replacing Christopher Hitch, who had resigned; representing Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, and Grainger counties as a Democrat. William Cocke had an uncle, John Cocke, who also served as a member of the Tennessee General Assembly.

On January 15, 1835, he married his first cousin, Sarah Frances Cocke,daughter of Willis and Margaret E. Rogers Cocke. They had seven children:Elisabeth T. (Mrs. William H. Turley), Charles, William M., Sarah Frances(Mrs. J. E. Rankin), Emma (Mrs. John Strong), Ellis, and Mary B. Cocke (Mrs. William D. Wadsworth). His second wife was Amanda Grigsby and his third Noel; no children by second nor third wife. From 1859-1865, he resided in Asheville, NC. About 1872, he moved to Lexington, Ky, and from there to Nashville, in Davidson County. He died in Nashville on February 6, 1896; buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville.

In November 1858, Cocke sold his property to James T. Carmichael and moved his family to Asheville, NC, for the duration of the Civil War. The house was the scene of considerable activities throughout the war. While Union troops camped along Richland Creek, the Cocke House was used as a field hospital.

Langley Entrance

This document was found on the Hawkins County TNGenWeb site, where it was used with permission of Ganell Marshall in 1998. Copyright of the article is held by her.

Grainger County on Wikipedia

By , May 19, 2011

Click here to view Grainger County’s entry on Wikipedia.

QuickFacts About Grainger County

By , May 19, 2011

<a href=”” target=”_blank”>Click here</a> to view the detailed listing from the U. S. Census Bureau.

Resource Contact Details

By , May 17, 2011

Grainger County

Grainger County Archives
E-Mail Mary Lynn Gilmore, Certified Archives Manager
PO Box 408 , 7850 Rutledge Pk., Second Floor
Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-3693
Grainger County Historian
Kenneth Coffey
Bean Station, TN  37708
Grainger Today Newspaper
Web Site
691 Main Street, PO Box 519
Bean Station, TN 37708
Phone: (865) 993-0713 Fax: (865) 993-6474
Grainger County Historical Society
PO Box 215, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-8345
Grainger County Chamber of Commerce PO Box 101, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-4222
Grainger County Clerk Highway 11W, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-3511
Grainger County Courthouse PO Box 116, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-3511
Grainger County Historical Society
PO Box 215, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-8345


Note:  There is no genealogy research collection in Grainger County libraries.  See the Archives, above.

Bean Station Public Library PO Box 100, Highway 25 E, Bean Station, TN 37708
Phone: (865) 993-3068
Blaine Community Library PO Box 66, Indian Ridge Road, Blaine, TN 37709
Phone: (865) 933-0845
Rutledge Public Library PO Box 100, Highway 11 W, Rutledge, TN 37861
Phone: (865) 828-4784
Washburn Community Library Route 1, Box 129, Highway 131, Washburn, TN 37888
Phone: (865) 497-2506


Claiborne County Historical and Genealogical Society PO Box 32, Tazewell, TN 37879
East Tennessee Historical Society PO Box 1629, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37901-1629
Phone: (865) 215-8824
McClung Historical Collection
McClung Digital Collection (regional images)
601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN  37902
Phone: (865) 215-8801
Knox County Archives (don’t overlook this!) 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN  37902
Phone: (865) 215-8800
H B Stamps Memorial Library (excellent!) 407 East Main Street, Rogersville, TN 37857-3366
(423) 272-8710
Hamblen County Archives Hamblen County Courthouse Basement, Morristown, TN 37814
Phone: (865) 586-1961
Hawkins County Historical & Genealogical Society PO Box 429, Rogersville, TN  37857-0429
Union County Historical Society 3824 Maynardville Hwy., Maynardville, TN 37807
Phone: (865) 992-2136
Union County Cemeteries Association PO Box 1315, Maynardville, TN 37807
East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association PO Box 3714, Knoxville, TN 37927
Phone: (865) 633-8337


Tennessee Historical Commission Department of Environment and Conservation, 701 Broadway, B-30, Nashville, TN 37243-0442
Tennessee Historical Society Ground Floor, War Memorial Building, 300 Capital Boulevard, Nashville TN 37243-0084
Tennessee Genealogical Society Library/Offices: 7779 Poplar Pike, Germantown TN 38138
Mailing: PO Box 381824, Germantown TN 38138-1824
Tennessee Sons of Confederate Veterans
Tennessee United Daughters of the Confederacy
Tennessee Society, Sons of the Revolution (SOR)
Tennessee Sons of the American Revolution (SAR)
Tennessee Daughters of the American Revolution

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