Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cohutta Springs in the 1840s

Homesteaders poured into Murray County after the 1838 removal of the Cherokee. Land speculators had bought the land cheap. They quickly resold it at a profit ~ some in whole lots, others subdivided into halves and quarters. Many of the county's early residents were from nearby counties in Tennessee. (My own genealogical research shows that northern Murray County was pretty much settled by East Tennesseans from Blount, Sevier, and surrounding counties in Tennessee). The early days of settlement were pretty rough ~ there were some lawless elements in the county.

Once again, not much is known about these early times. Possibly, more research on the old deeds, plats and abstracts will help. My own speculation is that there were already grist mills in the area even before the Cherokee removal. An 1866 deed for lot 320 mentions a place where an old mill once stood. Allowing for time and the elements, one might assume that something as substantial as a mill had been there for at least twenty or thirty years before it disappeared, which might place it into the 1830s or earlier. (See notes below).*

*NOTE: My curiosity has been piqued in a big way by the old mill. It's a little tricky to research. I haven't walked up there myself. The location is in the woods, well north of the old Coffey Mill of the early 1900s, near North Cohutta and Hampton Springs. Crandall residents are familiar with the mill site. Differences in the old surveys of different eras make it a little tricky to line up the exact corners of lot 320 and the same lot on the modern map, as it it marked. The mill was on or near the old one-acre plat reserved by Morris and/or Edmondson in those very early deeds.

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