The Embreeville Community Washington County Tennessee
EMBREEVILLE is a small community located in upper East Tennessee, it is one of the few communities inbetween the town of Erwin, and the oldest town in Tennessee, Jonesborough. The Embreeville community starts around 2 miles past Lamar school, it run's parallel with the Nolichuckey River, and spans from the intersection of highway 81 and St. Rt. 107 to the line of Unicoi county and Washington County. Anyone who has any ideas or information that you would like to see added email me, my address is at the bottom.
Our site has now been online for almost 7 years. EST. August of 2001 last updated 3-18-08 GOD BLESS EVERYONE!
Mining in Bumpass Cove started in the 1770s in a mine owned by William Colyer. Lead from the mines is reported to have been used to make bullets for the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. The ore was said to be so rich that it could be smelted over an open wood fire and molded into bullets.
Upon the property's acquisition in 1820 by the Embree brothers, the area came to be known as Embreeville.
The ironworks in Bumpass Cove continued in operation for more than 50 years after Elijah Embree's death in 1846. However, its success was inconsistent because of war, reconstruction, turbulent economic conditions, and falling prices for commodity iron products.
In 1862, the second year of the war, General Duff Green, a politician and industrialist, acquired the property on credit. Green renamed the plant once more—this time the Confederate Iron Works.
At the end of the war, Duff Green and associates incorporated the Tennessee Mining and Manufacturing Company with capital of $200,000. They drew up grandiose plans to develop their 40,000 acre tract, not only for iron working but also for agriculture and textile production. A town of 20,000 people was envisioned. However, the devastating impact of reconstruction on the southern economy prevented Green’s plans from materializing.
Early in 1892, the Embreville Freehold completed the centerpiece of their industrial complex, a blast furnace with a capacity of 150 tons per day and an 80 foot smoke stack. One hundred homes were also built for employees who worked 11-hour shifts for an average of $1.10 per day. By the end of the year, total output from the mines had been reached 375 tons per day. However, the venture was plagued with technical difficulties, among them the relatively poor quality of the iron ore. Most of the mined ore contained only about 40 percent iron and was contaminated by zinc.
Like Duff Green, 30 years earlier, the British investors had grandiose plans for the area. They planned to create, in the horseshoe bend of the Nolichucky River close to Bumpass Cove, a town for 30,000 people covering 1,000 acres of land. It was to include streets of densely packed row houses for the workers, boarding houses, and hotels. Company stores, or commissaries, were also planned where employees could buy food, clothing and other items. The Embreeville Town Company was formed in June 1891, pledged to develop. Promotional materials boasted:
(I)t would be difficult to find in the State a Town site better situated than that which has been chosen for the town of Embreeville… The plan of the town has been carefully prepared by an experienced English draughtsman and architect, by whom the various avenues and streets, in their relations to the furnaces, rolling mills, public buildings, and railway stations, have been conveniently arranged.
This time, Embreeville was spelled in the more traditional way. A plan was also drawn up to build a hydroelectric plant to generate electricity for the town . None of these ambitious plans was realized, perhaps fortunately since much of the land intended for the town lay on the flood plane of the Nolichucky River. However, some English-style houses were built for the company’s managers, and a few still survive. Notably, the impressive Cape-Cod building, currently housing the Chucky Trading Post restaurant, was built as the residence for the senior representative of the Embreville Freehold but later was enlarged as a boarding house for senior employees.
The Embreville Freehold Land, Iron and Railway Company, Ltd., came to an end in economic depression. The panic of 1893 saw the failure of an estimated 15,000 American businesses, including several railroads. Interestingly, the British investors had come to the U.S. partly to escape the depression that had started in Britain in 1890. The company was voluntarily liquidated November 7, 1893. The town of Embreeville was officially liquidated in September 1896
Elijah Embree was one of the leading industrialists of the early 1800s. He was followed by several prominent men who continued his iron-working ventures, particularly in and around Bumpass Cove. Some had visions of turning Embreeville into a large city. These efforts failed, but perhaps they laid groundwork for the industrialization of Northeast Tennessee and growth of the Tri-Cities metropolitan area to a level which even these entrepreneurs could only have dreamed of.
After the mines were shut down in Bumpus Cove, many of the workers left the former
In 1971 Embreeville school was shut down, and all students were to go to Lamar school, which was no longer a high school. High school students in Lamar, and Embreeville went to David Crockett high school.
In the mid 1970's chemicals were being dumped into the old mines in Bumpus Cove. The