Friday, September 26, 2014

Louisville Part II Holston College

Holston College, Photo credit: The Prater Family

Holston College was developed on land belonging to the historically prominent Gillespie family who had come from Scotland by way of Ireland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and finally the Louisville area in what would be Blount County.  The migration began around 1740.  John Gillespie (1774-1842) helped build a school and businesses on William Gillespie’s property.  The school which would later be called Holston College had a Presbyterian-based education.  The Gillespie’s for generations were staunch Presbyterians. Grady Winegar

It was also known as Ewing Academy, Ewing and Jefferson College and Holston Academy. In 1901, it is listed as Ewing and Jefferson College and G. L. Miser is listed as the president or principal.
(Source: Annual Report of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction for Tennessee, Tennessee. Dept. of Public Instruction, 1901, Table XI)

Google map showing the location

Google map aerial view

Ewing and Jefferson College marker showing its location to the cemetery

Thursday, September 11, 2014


The Louisville area was settled in the early 1800s, and its situation on the Tennessee River* helped it grow into a key flatboat and steamboat port. It was incorporated in 1851. In 1974 Louisville's downtown was declared a national historic district by the National Register of Historic Places.

*The Holston River is now defined as ending at the French Broad River, where the confluence forms the Tennessee River just above Knoxville. Before 1933, the terminus of the Holston River was defined as where the Little Tennessee River enters the river. That point, the confluence of the Holston and Little Tennessee rivers, was considered to be the beginning of the Tennessee River.

According to Tennessee Valley Authority historians, when the TVA was created in 1933, Congress mandated that the TVA headquarters be located on the banks of the Tennessee River. Since the TVA headquarters were already designated to be located in downtown Knoxville, as part of area development on what was then the Holston River, to fulfill the Congressional mandate, the official start of the Tennessee River was moved upstream from Lenoir City to the confluence of the Holston and French Broad rivers.

Two hundred and forty-nine families in Blount, Loudon, and Knox Counties were relocated for the Fort Loudon Dam project between 1939 and 1942. (Source: All We Knew Was to Farm: Rural Women in the Upcountry South, 1919-1941, Melissa Walker, p. 154)