Shelving Rock


On the evening of September 26, after completing their first day's march, the Overmountain Men arrived at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. They camped along the Doe River at a meadow known as "the Resting Place" and stored their gunpowder beneath an overhanging rock to keep it dry. A light rain had begun to fall

They men had driven a herd of beeves alongside them to provide food for the band of militiamen, but the beeves has slowed them down. Before leaving on the next morning, they slaughtered a few head of cattle and each man prepared a few day's rations for his wallet.

That overhang is known today as Shelving Rock. It has been partially filled during road construction along TN Hwy 143 along Heaton Creek leading to Roan Mountain State Park from US Hwy 19E running through the town of Roan Mountain.

Images Show

Shelving Rock overhang

Photo by Randell Jones

A rock overhang provided shelter for the gunpowder from a light rain as the Overmountain Men camped their first night along the Doe River. [View Additional File Details]

DAR plaque for Shelving Rock

Photo by Randell Jones

The John Sevier Chapter, Tennessee Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, placed a metal plaque at Shelving Rock in 1910. It was remounted in 1965. It reads: "First Night's Encampment of Kings Mountain Men September 26, 1780 They trusted in God and kept their powder dry Placed by John Sevier Chapter, DAR 1910 Reset 1965" [View Additional File Details]

The Resting Place

Photo by Randell Jones

A fairly flat meadow along the Doe River was known as the Resting Place and was the first open area with water that greeted travelers coming west over the mountains. This spot offered the fist night's rest to the Overmountain Men on September 26, 1780. [View Additional File Details]

Excerpt from "Before They Were Heroes at King's Mountain" by Randell Jones

pp 390-391 Pressing on in the afternoon, they continued up Gap Creek crossing over to Little Doe River and then Doe River, marching upstream to reach the "Resting Place," . . . The men pastured the cattle and hobbled their horses, letting them graze in the grasses alongside the strong mountain stream. Adjacent to the river was a prominent rock overhang know since, if not before, as Shelving Rock. The men stored their gunpowder underneath the rock ledge to keep it dry during the mist and rain, which began to fall that night. Knowing that the cattle had slowed the men's progress to this point and anticipating the steep climb over the Yellow Mountain the next day, the officers ordered the men to slaughter some of the beeves and to prepare rations for their trip. . . . Copyright 2011, Randell Jones Available [View Additional File Details]

"John Sevier and the Wataugans" by Richard Luce

Colonel John Sevier commanded about 240 militiamen, who rode with him from Washington County, then, NC, the Nolichucky River valley and the surrounding area. | Creator: Randell Jones, A Guide to the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail [View Additional File Details]

Cite this Page

Randell Jones, A Guide to the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, “Shelving Rock,” Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, accessed May 6, 2021, http:/​/​bythewaywebf.​webfactional.​com/​omvt/​items/​show/​19.​
View a Random Story

Share this Story