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TN History for Kids

Cocke County

A stream runs through Del Rio, Tennessee, in Cocke County
A sign along the Appalachian Trail in Cocke County

Cocke County is one of seven east Tennessee counties that contains parts of the Appalachian Trail, which runs 2,175 miles through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. There are people who have hiked the ENTIRE Appalachian Trail; it takes about four to six months.

In Cocke County, the Appalachian Trail crosses Interstate 40, which means that, here, the best known footpath in America crosses one of the busiest interstates in America. Now, one would think that this contrast would merit a plaque, or a sign, or something. But we're sorry to say that the only clue that the Appalachian Trail goes under Interstate 40 is a white speck on the traffic sign, meant to assure hikers of the way.

The tower at the summit of Mount Cammerer

Having said that, we strongly recommend hiking the trail in Cocke County, because it is here, on the Appalachian Trail and along the Tennessee/North Carolina border, that you would find the fire tower at Mount Cammerer.

It's a good looking fire tower, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great Depression.

Also regarding Cocke County: You may have seen a television show called Christy, about a woman who leaves her home to go teach in a fictional place called Cutters Gap. Well, it really happened in Cocke County.

The novel Christy was written by Catherine Marshall. She wrote the book based on the experiences of her mother, Leonora Whitaker Wood, who in 1910 left her home in Asheville, North Carolina, to teach at a Presbyterian mission in Del Rio, Tennessee. The book tells about the many hardships that “Christy” (Wood) encountered and how her faith in God helped her overcome them.

Today Del Rio is a peaceful place, as you can see in the photo shown above.

The Odell House in "old" Newport

In 2013, Tennessee History for Kids produced a poster that featured some of the state's most important "endangered" buildings.

One of them was the Odell House near the French Broad River.

Built in 1814, the Odell House is the only structure remaining from the time when the Cocke County seat was located in the "old" location of Newport (by the river). In 1884, when the railroad came to the county, the courthouse and the town around it were moved to the "new" location of Newport.

Here is a photo of the Cocke County Courthouse.

Cocke County

County seat: Newport

Population (2015 estimate): 35,162

See also:  Appalachian Trail VIRTUAL TOUR