Drove over to Kingston,Tn to check out Fort Southwest Point, when we entered the visitor center we were greeted by Mike Woody, the manager of the fort.
We were the only ones there so Mike walked us around the center and showed us all the artifacts and explained how they came into the forts possession.
Fort Southwest Point is the only Federal Era fort in Tennessee that is being reconstructed on it's original foundation, as of now they have completed about 250 foot of wall, a blockhouse and one of the barracks. Completion of the restoration is going to take quite a while for many reasons, first it is owned by the little city of Kingston,Tn so money is not unlimited, almost all of the work is done by volunteers and finally they have to wait for different archaeological digs and studies.
The visitor center has many unique artifacts and Mike was happy to explain all of them to us. He also explained that the location for the fort was chosen because it right were the Clinch River enters the Tennessee River so the Forts big guns could control both rivers, it's also on the Avery Trace which was the main road between Knoxville and Nashville, now US-70, and it was on the boundary of the US Territory and the Cherokee Nation.
Try to figure out what I'm holding in my hand and what it's use was, you'll find the answer later in the blog.
Part of a photo that they have in the visitor center showing their canon firing.
We found out a little secret about when they fire the old canons to get the big flash of flame and smoke they put a bag of flour in after the powder. In this picture they had run out of flour so they used corn meal instead and that produced the fireworks effect in the picture.
Typical Cherokee Cabin
Barracks, back wall of the building was also part of the outer wall.
Site where they have finished the an archaeological study, covered and waiting for funds to start the restoration of the building that was there.
It just looks like a bunch of stones but its actually a foundation for another structure on the grounds.
Group of volunteers rebuilding the Blacksmith shop.
When the fort was first built in 1796, it could house 600 soldiers and its purpose was to protect the settlers in the area and the travelers headed west along the trace from the Cherokee, later in its life the forts purpose made a 180 degree turn and it was manned to protect the Cherokee from the settlers and to prevent them from settling on Cherokee Territory. In 1807 most of the troops were transfer from the fort and it was used as a storage and security post until it closed in 1811.
Fort Southwest Point's Website Click Here
Answer: This the reverse side of the item I was holding. It's Tea, it was pressed into blocks for shipping, they would break off one of the eight squares and that would be the soldiers tea ration for the month. They would scrape off the tea with a knife into their cup.
Before we left mike told us about a cemetery he thought that we might find interesting, so we're on our way.
Bethel Historic Cemetery was started in 1811, and is the only cemetery in Tennessee that has a soldier from every American war buried in it. There are also several riverboat captains buried here, there stones normally have a stern wheel or anchor on them. In the middle of the cemetery there is a horse hitching post which is left over from when a church occupied the location.
Cemetery Website Click Here
We followed the Avery Trace on our way home, our first stop was Mt Roosevelt, about a mile of twisting, climbing narrow road and we were at the top over looking the city of Rockwood. There is a small picnic area with a nice view of the countryside, a lot of communication towers and a star that is about 30 feet tall and looks like it's lite up at night, but we'll be home by then.
About another 5 miles down the road and you'll spot a little parking lot, big enough for about 5 cars next to Ozone Creek, This is a nice little creek that you can pretty much step across. Follow the trail about 50 yards and you come to the top of Ozone Falls, if you're like me you'll get down on your hands and knees and crawl along next to the creek and look over the edge to see that it drops about 110 feet into a little pond. If you're like Cathy you'll be 50 feet back from the edge yelling give me the keys and cellphone before you do that. I just stuck the camera out over the edge and took the pictures, there is a trail down to the bottom that I wanted to take but it looked really steep and strenuous so I balked a few times before I let Cathy talk me out of it, now she owes me one for not letting me go.
Got back to Crossville in time to pick up our mail at General Delivery and head back to camp.