Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area


The history of Fort Watauga and the overmountain settlement around Sycamore Shoals is interpreted today at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in Elizabethton, TN.

The complex includes a replica of Fort Watauga, a visitor center with new exhibits opened in 2013, and the nearby Carter Mansion.

Year round events are held at the park. Information is available at, the website of the Friends of Sycamore Shoals.

Daniel Boone was no stranger to this area or the people who lived here as he passed through here numerous times on hunting expeditions. In 1775, he was hired by Judge Richard Henderson of North Carolina to gather together the Cherokee leaders for a treaty to lease from them an extensive tract of land west of the Cumberland Gap. This was the Transylvania Purchase, concluded on March 17, 1775.

For more information about Sycamore Shoals and the Overmountain Men mustering for the campaign to pursue British Major Patrick Ferguson in 1780, visit and take an online tour of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.

Images Show

Historic site of Fort Watauga

Photograph by Randell Jones

At Monument Place on G Street, about 1 mile southwest Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, stands a river stone marker erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution on September 26, 1909. It marks the historic location of Fort Watauga. The metal plate reads: "To the memory of the Patriots who on their way to King's Mountain under Sevier, Shelby, and Campbell assembled here September 25, 1780." The inscription on a bottom panel reads: "Fort Watauga, first (settlers) fort built west of the Alleghenies, 1770" The front bottom panel reads: "1780, 1909 Erected September 26, 1909 by John Sevier, Bonny Kate, Sycamore Shoals chapters, D.A.R. 'The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.'" [View Additional File Details]

Transylvania Purchase

Photograph by Randell Jones

Hundreds of Cherokees gathered at Sycamore Shoals in March 1775 to conclude a treaty with Richard Henderson for the lease of 20 million acres lying between the Kentucky and Cumberland rivers. Before the treaty was actually concluded on March 17, Daniel Boone and 30 axemen departed to gather at the Long Island of the Holston in today's Kingsport, TN, to begin marking Boone's Trace to Kentucky. [View Additional File Details]

Statue of Overmountain militiaman

Photograph by Randell Jones

This statue welcomes visitors to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area visitor center, museum and book store. The plaque reads: "Dedicated to the spirit of the Overmountain Men Heroes of the American Revolution. A project of the City of Elizabethton Bicentennial Commission Dedicated September 25, 1999 Artist: Jon Mark Estep" For more information about the campaign of the Overmountain Men to the Battle of Kings Mountain, see to take an online tour of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail [View Additional File Details]

Siege of Fort Watauga

Photographs by Randell Jones, 2010

Reenactors portray attacks against Fort Watauga, keeping the Cherokee at bay. [View Additional File Details]

More scenes from Fort Watauga

Photographs by Randell Jones

The Carter Mansion was the first frame house built in the Overmountian region. The grave of powder maker Mary Patton is only a few miles away. A replica of Fort Watauga provides for a gathering of reenactors and militia drills. [View Additional File Details]

Cite this Page

“Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area,” Daniel Boone's Trail, accessed January 20, 2020, http:/​/​bythewaywebf.​webfactional.​com/​dboone/​items/​show/​11.​
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