Historical Markers in
Sullivan County, Tennessee

1840 Smokehouse Acuff Chapel AMVETS Memorial Anderson Townhouse Avery Treaty Bank Barn Bank Of Kingsport Barry Bales Battle of Blountville Battle of Blountville Battle of Blountville Battle of Blountville Battle of Blountville Confederate Memorial Battle of Island Flats Battle of Island Flats Battle of Kingsport Battle of Kingsport Birthplace of Bristol Birthplace of Country Music Bluff City Brick Kitchen Bristol Bristol Sessions Bristol Tennessee Post Office & Custom House Charles Wright Church Circle Civil War In Tennessee Colonel Gilbert Christian Confederate Hospital Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Donelson Flotilla Double Springs Douglass High School Doyle Lawson East Hill Cemetery Edward Cox Home Evan Shelby Evan Shelby's Fort Federal Underground Route First Country and Western Recording First Ironworks Flatboat Flatboat "Adventure" December 22, 1779 Fort Patrick Henry Founder of Bristol Great Indian Warrior Trading Path Historic Courthouse Bell Isaac Shelby (1750-1826) Island Road James Brigham Jimmie Rodgers John Isaac Cox Jonesboro Turnpike King College King Ironworks Cabin Kingsport Drug Kingsport Public Library Mississippi Country: The Bristol Sessions Netherland Inn Old Deery Inn Old Kingsport Presbyterian Church Original Site of King College Pactolus Ironworks Pemberton Oak Piney Flats Village Ralph Blizard Ralph S. Peer Rock Ledge Rocky Mount Shelby's Fort State Theater Suffering and Survival Sullivan County Sullivan County Veterans Memorial Taylor’s Meeting House The Boat Yard The Bristol Municipal Stadium The Cannonball House The Gem Theatre The Great Indian War Path The Long Island of the Holston The Old Schoolhouse Tipton Town House Train Depot Western Union Building Womack's Old Fort Yancey's Tavern
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The Great Train Robbery of 1866, one of the most famous train robberies in American history, took place in Tennessee. A group of Confederate veterans stole $90,000 from a train traveling from Nashville to Chattanooga.
Sullivan County, located in the northeastern part of Tennessee, has a rich history dating back to the late 18th century. The area was initially inhabited by the Cherokee and Shawnee tribes before European settlers arrived in the late 1700s. The first permanent settlement, known as Fort Robinson, was established near present-day Kingsport in 1771.

During the American Revolutionary War, Sullivan County played a vital role as a gateway for western exploration and expansion. The settlers faced numerous difficulties, including conflicts with Native American tribes and lack of infrastructure. However, following the war, the county experienced rapid growth and development, attracting many pioneers.

In the 19th century, Sullivan County became a hub of industry and commerce in East Tennessee. Kingsport, incorporated in 1822, boomed due to its location along the Holston River and proximity to the railway. The construction of a major steel mill and the establishment of Eastman Chemical Company further fueled economic growth in the county.

The 20th century brought significant changes to Sullivan County. With the advent of the automobile, tourism became an essential industry. Renowned for its natural beauty, the county's mountainous landscapes and proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains attracted visitors from across the country. Sullivan County also witnessed significant growth in the education, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors. Today, the county continues to thrive as a vibrant community, combining a rich historical heritage with modern amenities.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Sullivan County, Tennessee.

  • 1761 - Sullivan County is established as part of the Province of North Carolina
  • 1776 - Sullivan County becomes part of the newly formed State of Franklin
  • 1784 - State of Franklin collapses and Sullivan County returns to North Carolina
  • 1789 - Sullivan County is transferred to the Southwest Territory
  • 1796 - Tennessee becomes a state, and Sullivan County is included in its boundaries
  • 1861-1865 - Sullivan County plays a significant role in the American Civil War
  • 1910 - Bristol is established as a twin city spanning Tennessee and Virginia in Sullivan County
  • 1969 - The Bristol Motor Speedway opens in Sullivan County
  • today - Sullivan County continues to be an important area for commerce, tourism, and outdoor activities