THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN FREEDOM

SYCAMORE SHOALS STATE HISTORIC AREA

ELIZABETHTON, TN

In the late 18th century, settlers began arriving in what is now Northeast Tennessee in search of a new life. John Carter, one of the chief leaders of the era built his home, the Carter Mansion, three miles from Sycamore Shoals. The structure, which dates back to the mid to late 1770s, still stands today and is the oldest frame house in the state of Tennessee.

In 1772, settlement leaders came together to establish the first free and independent community on the continent four years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Three years later, the Transylvania Purchase took place at Sycamore Shoals when Judge Richard Henderson negotiated an agreement with the Cherokee.  Fort Watauga was then built in 1776.

On September 25, 1780, the Overmountain Men who defeated the British in the battle of King’s Mountain gathered first at Sycamore Shoals. This battle was seen by many as the turning point of the American Revolution, saving America from British rule.

Visitors can now get a first-hand look at this amazing 70-acre state park and learn the history behind the first permanent settlement outside the original 13 colonies. Countless 18th century artifacts dot the landscape, which includes a visitor center and museum, the reconstructed Fort Watauga and the historic Carter Mansion, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. A 450-seat amphitheater, the site for the official outdoor drama for the State of Tennessee, Liberty: The Saga of Sycamore Shoals, sits adjacent to the fort.

Photo(s) courtesy of Elizabethton Star

SYCAMORE SHOALS STATE HISTORIC AREA

ELIZABETHTON, TN
1651 W Elk Ave, Elizabethton, TN 37643
(423) 543-5808

WHAT’S NEARBY

Find great places to eat, shop and play while you are on the Trail.

WHERE TO SHOP

visitorcenter

Elizabethton/Carter Co. Visitors Center Gift Shop

downtown

Downtown Elizabethton