Old-Time Stewart County Communities












































Bear Spring is located five miles southeast of Dover on highway 49. It is one mile from the Cumberland River. It was a thriving village during the 1800's and early 1900's. It is so named due to a folk legend concerning a pioneer family living by the large cave spring. They were awakened one night by the barking of their dogs and upon checking to see what the racket was about, the man of the house found a large bear in the spring and shot it. A newspaper clipping of 1928 states, "The furnace built at Bear Spring in 1830 took its name from the spring at the head of the hollow where the last bear was killed about the time those animals became extinct in Stewart County."

The first iron furnace was built there in 1830 and the community served for a time as the headquarters of the county's iron industry. During the late 1890's a railroad was built from Bear Spring to Tennessee Ridge where it connected with the L & N railroad. One of the well known personages who lived in this area for a time was John Bell, a Tennessee politician who was a candidate for president of the United States in 1860.

(Return to table)


 The community of Bellwood, just west of Cub Creek, was a small place but at one time had four furnaces producing iron ore. These furnaces were a target of Union gun boats during the Civil War. It also had a cross-tie yard and a stock barn. Cross-ties and dry goods were sent from this area down the Cumberland River. The community got its name from a husband and wife team who settled on a farm here. John Bell was a part owner in the Yeatman and Woods Furnace Company, of which Yeatman was the husband and Woods the wife. When Yeatman died, Bell married Mrs. Wood and the two settled on a farm in the area, naming the community Bell-Wood.

(Return to table)


The Big A community is located on Old Highway 79 and received its name from an A shape made by the direction of roads. It is said the name was suggested by Mr. Bob Gafford when the school was built in 1912. Land for this school was donated by John Wyatt, whose family was the first settlers of the area. The first teacher was Mr. Landon Bagwell. This was a farming community, raising tobacco, wheat, corn, and truck patches.


A large limestone rock estimated to be one hundred feet high and the same in width and length is responsible for the name of the community of Big Rock. A cave opening in the rock leads to an underground lake, sporting blind fish. This rock is located on a hill near what was once the old Methodist Church, and later the Big Rock Church of Christ. During the 1800's the community thrived with such industries as hardware, mills, tobacco warehouse, and others.

Many of the Samuel Feltner photos were taken at the rock - a popular gathering-spot on Sunday afternoons.


Early teachers of the Big Rock School

Principals: Chap Handling, Wallace Cherry

Emma Martin

Gustie Parker


First church was the Missionary Baptist, organized in 1830

  Blacksmiths:  Will Smith, Thomas Smith, Jack Nichols

  Postmasters:  Ed Martin, Joe Frier, Edwin Barrett

  Boarding houses:  John Guin, Jimmy Smith

  Tobacco Warehouse (1915):  C.W. Joiner, William Martin


1887 Residents Include:  Milton Legate, H. L. Pate, Griffin Reynolds, W.M. Cherry, C.W. Blane

  Grocers/Hardware:  Edward Martin, Vienna Lee, Massey Yarborough, Curt Cherry, Willie Martin

  Doctors:  Green, Cherry, Broaddus, E.W. Thomason


Bumpus Mills was named in honor of the first postmaster, Andrew Jackson Bumpus, who purchased the mill in 1868 and established a post office in 1874.

Early settlers in the area included surnames such as: Hargis, Wallace, Scott, Crow, Greenhill, Fentress, Shemwell, Miller, Ross, Cherry, Clark, Pugh. It is located on Saline Creek, ten miles north of Dover, five miles east of the Cumberland River and three miles south of the Kentucky/Tennessee state line. A mill was established as early as 1807 by William Allen.  It passed through the Wallace and Stancil families.  In 1846, it was rebuilt by George Acree and W. H. A. Pugh, and consisted of saw, grist and flour mills, plus planing and turning machinery. These mills were operated by water power from the creek.


Early Churches


Saline Creek Primitive Baptist (1812)

Free Will Baptist (Liberty - 1840s, later split into Brandon's Chapel and Pleasant Hill)

Church of Christ


Blacksmiths:  Pink Miller, Jim Page

  General Stores:  Pugh, Hargis, Clark, Luton and Crow

(Return to table)


Carlisle was established at least by 1828, when one of the first furnaces was built there. It apparently was named for a sister city, some saying the city was Carlisle, Pennsylvania where a similar pig iron was produced, and others naming Carlisle, England. It was a thriving town during the 1800's with timber jobs, furnace jobs, a wagon spoke factory, a stave mill, blacksmith shops, and general merchandise stores.



It has been said that in early days Spout Spring was an area teeming with wildlife: turkeys, squirrel, deer. Later coaling timber-timber cut and burned to produce charcoal- contributed to the demise of the area in this regard. The charcoal from the timber was used in furnaces throughout the county to melt iron ore. For this reason, the area was called Coalin, short for coaling. The communities that sprang up in the area of people finding jobs from this industry, passed away as the furnaces were shut down.

(Return to table)


This community was established about the year 1840, and was named for an old commissary that stood there about that time. The commissary was established to provide food and supplies for Bellwood furnace workers. Today the ridge also carries the nickname "Can't Find It Ridge".


The earliest settlers to Cub Creek arrived about 1780. It was said that the creek was named by early settlers who found a bear cub wading in the creek upon their arrival. Early settlers in the area were: Brown, Crockerell, Norfleet, Lewis, Harris.


First Church

Cub Creek Church-Land donated by Nathan Parker in 1819


Other Early Churches

Missionary Baptist-1886

Roxe Valley Church-1895


Early Teachers at Atkins School (est. 1920)

Horace Wallace

Miss Dortch

Miss Crutcher

Miss Cherry

Miss Weeks

Lester Acree

Charlene Murray

This explanation on the location of Cub Creek from Chuck Allen, e-mail: Cub Creek is between Big A and Indian Mound. If you want to drive there from Dover, turn right on old 79 at The Headquarters. Drive about 6 1/2  miles and you'll be in Big A. About 1/4 to 1/2 mile more there will be a paved road turning to your right. This is Cub Creek Rd or some call it Indian Mound Rd, but turn there. You'll go down a hill and into a holler, follow this road for a couple of miles and you'll get to a 4 way intersection, and a little bridge. You're in Cub Creek area, if you go straight at the intersection you can go to Commissary Ridge or Indian Mound. If you take a right you will go up Shepards Holler and back out to Red Top, or if you turn left you can go out to Bellwood.

(Return to table)


Established in 1814, Cumberland City was originally called New Lisbon. It is located on the south side of the Cumberland River, being sixteen miles southeast of Dover and twenty-four miles southwest of Clarksville. Later it was known as Bowling Green, and this nomage carried until the year 1860 when the railroad was built. The town's name was changed to Cumberland City because the L & N Railroad already served another town in Kentucky known as Bowling Green. The town saw action during the Civil War when three steamers-the Thomas E. Tutt, Ben South, and Echo, were destroyed there on Dec. 1, 1864 under Gen. H.B. Lyons. The town has continued to grow throughout the years.


Merchants during the 1800's

William Martin and John House (1812)

George Stacker

Thomas Bayless

Nathan Thomas

Jefferson Gentry

Nathan Allman

Daniel Lowery

Joseph Newberry

John Parchman

Fitz and Baker

Andrew Halliday

Stacker and Carter

W.T. Thomas

Thomas Brothers

J.L. Thomas

Patterson and Lowery

John F. Bishop

Lowery and Glasgow

Virgil B. Moore

Batson E. Neblett

William S. Bailey


Early hotels


Sam Bellar


J.P. Bedwell


First Post Office

Est. Sept. 12, 1866-William H. Marshall, Postmaster


1893-Cumberland City Academy Founded

Founders: W.T. Thomas, Robert Steele, J.H. Gayer

(Return to table)



Dover was established in 1805 when a commission was appointed to establish a county seat for Stewart County. It is possible that the name comes from the white cliffs along the Cumberland River which may have reminded the English commissioners of the town of Dover, England. The first courthouse was log one-story building erected in 1806. A second brick courthouse was commissioned in 1823, but was burnt by Federal troups in 1862. Prior to the burning, Federal troops allowed all records to be removed and hidden in a cave for safe keeping. The third courthouse was erected in the town square in 1870, and stood until 1965 when it was replaced by a more modern building. The town is now a major stopover for people enjoying the LBL area, and visiting Fort Donelson National Park.



This community is twelve miles west of Dover on the Tennessee River, and is named for Gustavus Henry, the Confederate senator from Tennessee. A Civil War battle was fought here in 1862, and trenches remain. The fort surrendered on February 6th. An area with a rich history, it saw show boats dock at its shores, battles with early Indians, the rise and fall of the iron ore industry, as well as its claim to fame in the War Between the States. One of the earliest settlers was Samuel Boyd, arriving in 1795 from North Carolina, and followed by George and Mary Boyd. They constructed a log house with port-holes for Indian fighting in 1810. Other settlers included: Sikes, Wofford, Boswell, Gray, Campbell, and Marshbanks. By 1850 the community was well established, boasting such trades as hatmaker, blacksmith, shoemaker and tanner.


Early Postmasters

J.W. Rice

James T. Wofford

J.M. Keel



J.H. Crutcher-Panther Creek

J. H. Boswell-Fort Henry

W. H. Scarborough





WWI Casualties

Mitchell Sills

John Wofford

Grady Rushing

Douglas Lyons-awarded Distinguished Service Cross

(Return to table)



Ephraim Gatlin and his nine brothers arrived in the area around 1800 from North Carolina. Ephraim settled in this spot now on Lake Barkley. The Brandons received this area by will through the Gatlins. Thence it was known as Brandon Springs. A small settlement, the only work done in the area was farming, making cross-ties and saw milling. This area, in the northwestern part of Stewart County, is now a part of Land Between the Lakes under supervision of Tennessee Valley Authority, and has become a popular hunting, fishing, and camping spot.



This small community is located between Blue Creek and Bumpus Mills. It is names for an early settler in the latter 1700's, Robert Hayes, who was awarded one thousand acres of land by the state of North Carolina.


Early settlers to this area recognized a large Indian Mound. Later this mound would be excavated by a team of archaeologists during the late 1920's and early 1930's. Their findings determined that the Mound Builders, early native Americans, were in the area from about 1200- 1700 a.d. That data was verified by the Smithsonian Institute which now houses some ot the articles found there.


First Merchant

1818-James Williams


Early Settlers by 1837

Mark McGregor

James Wilson

Hezekiah Rorie

Richard Bagwell

Williams families


Early Postmasters

John Frazier

Joshua Hamlet

Andrew Halliday

Jane Richards


First Mill

abt. 1820-Peter Kendall


Furnaces in the Area

Cross Creek

Blue Spring


Early Doctor

R.A. Stone-at least 1854


Union Soldiers

John Lahiffe

Washington Smith

Richard Eiley

Polk Walton


Confederate Soldiers

William Rorie

Rufus and George Lewis

Marion Tippit (died in Yankee prison camp)

John Mann

Asa Rorie

(Return to table)



Located near Bumpus Mills on the Cumberland River, this community was named in honor of Robert Jackson who bought 640 acres in 1820 from John Donelson by cutting cord wood for steamboats. It at one time boasted a brick mill, tobacco warehouse, general store, fairground, and post office.


Early settlers with the surname of Hilmus arrived to establish this community around 1850. It is located off Highway 79 and on the edge of what is now Kentucky Lake. Its name comes from the abundance of leatherwood bushes in the area, with bark that resembles leather. Actually Leatherwood is more of an area encompassing several communities: Asbury, Possum Hollow, Largent Hollow, and others. A large and prosperous iron industry, LaGrange Iron Works was located here and closed in 1927.



Located on Leatherwood Creek, this early settlement was named in honor of a Methodist bishop.

Common surnames in the area are: Rainwater, Lane, Settles, Warden, Tomlinson, and Stavely.



The Clark and LaGrange furnaces were located at Stribbling, a community of about two thousand at the mouth of Leatherwood Creek, during the late 1800's. Further up the creek was the Leatherwood Community. Early residents included: Stavely, Boren, Hart, Settle, Bartel, Pearl, Cathy, Moore, Harris, Kirksey, Hilmus, Bell, Scarborough, Reed, Watkins, Bell, Gray, Fowler and Lane.


Robert and Rebecca Gilbert Dinkins arrived in this area in the early 1800's where they puchased 1280 acres. The family was a prosperous one, and as their family and prosperity grew, so did a small community. The first post office opened around 1870-1880, and it is said that the post office was named Legate because more signatures bearing this surname appeared than any other. Robert Dinkins was known as a generous man and gave land for such buildings as a school and church.

(Return to table)


Founded in the early 1800's, this community was located near the Kentucky state line. Originally Fort Donelson was to have been erected here, but when Kentucky would not join the south, the Fort was erected at Dover, which was deemed safer.


There are actually two parts to this community, upper Long Creek and lower Long Creek. It is believed that Indians may have named the area because of the lengthy creek. Some early surnames in the area are: Byrd, Rainwater, Daniel, Cole, Hart, Biggs, Cately, Elwick, Bosley, Milan, Stacker, Phipps.


Model was originally known as Pryor's Creek, named for the first settler in the area about 1800. Later the Brian, Newall and Company renamed it Great Western for a furnace established there in 1854. A slave insurrection in the winter of 1856-1857 was the reason for the closure of the furnace industry. Following the Civil War, the Cincinnati Copperage Company, a maker of barrel staves, established the area as a "Model Town" meaning this to be a realestate operation. Model was located in the northwester part of Stewart County, seventeen miles northwest of Dover, and five miles from the Cumberland River on one side, the Kentucky river on the other. This settlement is no more, its inhabitants forced to give up their land to Tennessee Valley Authority for the making of Land Between the Lakes. Early settlers in the area included Dennis, Lancaster, Jackson, and Parker families, among others.


First Postmaster

Jethro Bass 1846-1850

Reinstatement of post office in 1857-John J. Gardner

First post office as "Model", 1887-William M. Boyd

(Return to table)


A very early log cabin in this area was partially destroyed by the earthquake of 1812. An early business here was a hoop shop, making wooden hickory rings to hold barrels together. The early owner of 640 acres of land in this area was John Donelson, governor of North Carolina. In 1814 he sold this land to two Nashville lawyers. The are is located near Pleasant Hill Church.


One of the earliest settlers in this area was Nathaniel Brandon, about the year 1888. It was primarily a small farming community. The first school was established in 1889.


A community of "no name", it began being called "North Stewart" with the construction of North Stewart School. The elementary school encompassed students of the Big Rock, Indian Mound, and Bumpus Mills area.


Located between Bumpus Mills and Dover, and not far from the Cumberland River, this area was most noted as the location of Pleasant Hill School on land donated by Henry Jackson in 1868.


An early community in Stewart County, there are several tales as to how it received its name. One version states that there was a crook in the river resembling the neck of a tea pot. Another, more colorful story tells that early in the 1800's a south side man and a north side man had an argument following a few hours of drinking at a pictnic. The southside man walloped the northside one with a skillet, whereupon the northside man smacked the southside one with a pot that then broke to its neck. Following this incident, the south side was known as Lick Skillet, and the north side as Potneck. Early settlers included: Cherrys, Lewis', Williams, Pages, Jacksons, Wallaces, Newberrys. POTNECK is located on the north side of Cumberland River about 6 miles north of Dover off highway 79, going toward Clarksville turn left on POTNECK Road. Stewart List subscriber, Chuck Allen writes, "Pot Neck is the area just across the river from Dover, actually behind the Headquarters toward Bumpus Mills, but there are people on and around Bagsby Hill that claim that area as Potneck too. I always considered the whole area as Potneck myself."


This settlement is said to have received its name from a 75 pound pumpkin that once grew there. The Fairview School was located in this area. Early names in the area include Fitzhugh, Lancaster, Rumfelt, and Grizzard.


This settlement lies in southern Stewart County. Several versions are available as to the namingof the community. Some say it is short for "Pauper Zone", but more likely the name is for the road running along the ridge from St. Paul's Chapel to what once was Mount Zion Church.


This settlement is considered a part of Standing Rock. An early settler was Fate Clark. Never a thriving community, it boasted no schools, churches, or a post office. It is still a small settlement.


This was a very early settlement, being named for the creek that begins in Kentucky and runs until it empties into the Cumberland River west of Bumpus Mills. This creek is mentioned early in North Carolina records. The area was settled due to large tracts of land granted for services rendered by the state of North Carolina. Early settlers were: Biggs, Williams, Ross, Wallace, Walls. By 1813 aa church had been established and chartered.


This community received its name from the spring coming from a side of a hill. The spring was used by the Townsen family, as well as the cave near it, which they used to store vegetables.

(Return to table)


A large standing rock is responsible for the apt nomage of this early settlement. It is located about six miles off Highway 79 and has at times been known by various names: Dyers, Standing Stone, and Standing Rock. Earliest known settlers were James Gray and Brittan Sexton. Over the years general stores, saw and grist mills, churches, a post office, a Masonic lodge were all located there.


The Gatlin and Scarborough families first settled in this area ten miles northwest of Dover near Barrett's Creek in 1804 and 1805. Other early families included: Colemans, Nolens, Sextons, Weeks, Williams, Gardners, Boyds, Woffords. In 1854 it became the site of the Iron Mountain Furnace. The area was named for Hannible Allentharpe (shortened version was Ham Tharpe) who settled in the area just after the Civil War, moving from Henry County. He bought about six hundred acres of land and went into the merchantile business. Thereupon a town grew up around the store. Mills, a cotton gin, churches and a post office contributed to the settlement. Most of this area was lost to the Land Between the Lakes, but inhabitants of the area still enjoy Crutcher store.



W.D. Sykes

G. H. Moery

John Allen

B.F. Dunlap


This small community was located in the northwestern part of Stewart County near Gatlin Point. Early settlers to the area included surnames such as: Dennis, Miles, Hester, Parker, Robertson, Lancaster, Brandon, and Scarborough. This community dissolved with the making of the LBL area by Tennessee Valley Authority. Various cemeteries of the above mentioned families are still located in the area, but homeplaces are gone.


WWI Casualty

Judson W. Dennis


By 1828, William Thogmorton (or Throgmorton) owned land in this area. It is a small community located near Rivers Bend Park along the Cumberland River. Its first store was built by L.C. Summers around 1873.

(Return to table)


This early settlement was important to the tobacco industry, as tobacco crops were loaded on boats here for shipment to Clarksville tobacco markets via the Cumberland River. The first permanent settler in the area was Christopher Brandon, a colorful character in the county's history known as a hunter and keelboat/flatboat master. Other surnames prominent in the area were: Wallace, Frith, Skinner, Kingins, Roberts. It was founded in 1837 by Christopher Brandon and was a thriving community during the 1800's. Tobaccoport Cave abounds with legends, one of which being that a treasure taken from a ship on the Cumberland River is hidden there, and another that the county records were stored there during the Civil War for safe-keeping.


This early settlement received its name from Uriah or Hayden Wells. Uriah received the tract of land for Revolutionary War services and signed it over to Hayden. An old fort (then estimated at 100 years old) and a spring were located by early settlers in 1823. An Indian fortification about ninety feet square was also found here. Early mills in the area consisted of flour, grist, saw, planing and turning machinery that was supplied by the water power.


Early Mill Owners

Bryon O'Neal

W.R. Bell


Tavern Keepers

John Stimbol

John Stewart


(Return to top of page)

Return to MainPage