Elkton

During the period between 1807 and 1810, the first settlements of Giles County were established on Elk River near the mouth of Richland Creek. Settlers arrived either by traveling on the Tennessee River and up the Elk to Richland, or by the "Bumpass Trail". Trees and canebreaks 15-20 feet tall were cleared and farming began in this rich valley. The whole section was a territory and the land was homestead.

      After the county was organized, William and John Price laid off a town and sold lots at the mouth of Richland Creek. This settlement was known as Elkton and became a focal point for shipping for about 15 or 20 years. Several years later, Dr. William Purnell and others laid off a town and sold lots three miles upstream from Elkton. In order to distinguish between the two settlements, one was called Lower Elkton and the other Upper Elkton. Shipping products by flat boat was abandoned and the population of Lower Elkton dwindled.
      Captain Thomas Phillips built the first house in what is known as Elkton in the latter part of 1810. Jacob Miller built a house around 1830 adjacent to the town which was later known as the William A. (Buck) Baugh place and is now owned by Frank McCormack. Colonel James Terrell settled the place later owned by Jacob Miller, then E.E. Harney lived there, later Dr. James A. Bowers. It was bought in 1885 by E.N. Grigsby. The house still stands on Highway 31 and was recently sold by Mrs. R.E. Grigsby. The home was in the Grigsby family around 100 years.
      Many of the old landmarks in Elkton have vanished. John Sheppard built a large frame house on the east side of the square about 1820. This was later owned by Adrian D. Bull and became known as the "Bull Place". This house burned in 1966. Several generations of the family lived there and are buried in the old rock-walled family cemetery.
      There were two fine springs, one on the eastern side of the town later known as the "Bull Spring". The other spring was located near the center of town and known as the "Town Spring".
      The first road was the Stage Coach Route built around 1810. Around 1840, the turnpike was extended through all of Giles County to the Alabama State Line.
      Many of the homes and other old buildings in Elkton were destroyed by the great flood of 1902. Years later a fire swept through Elkton destroying the bank, barber shop, and skating rink. After these two tragedies, Elkton never regained prosperity. Thus the town which was once thought to be the most promising location for the county seat dwindled away and became the small town that it is today. The population in 2000 was 510.

      The community is now working to revive itself with activities. The "Spirits of the Elk Historical Festival" held the fourth weekend of each September beginning on Thursday involves three activities into one weekend. The purpose of the festival is to honor those who walked the Trail of Tears in Giles County, Tennessee. Friday is the children's day from 9 a.m. till 2 p.m. Saturday activities begin at 9 a.m. and last till everyone is gone!!! Sunday activities begin at 12 Noon and end at 6 p.m. Entertainment will include a Cherokee Native Flute Artist, an Award winning Hoop Dancer, a Cherokee Storyteller, a Drum Performer, a Grass Dancer, and a Fancy Shawl Dancer. Special demonstrations are also scheduled. Another activity scheduled will be the Annual Antique Tractor Show and the Annual "Trail of Tears" Volksmarch. The Sanctioned Volksmarch is only one of three held in the great State of Tennessee. For more information, visit http://www.elktonhistory.org

      There's even a beautiful historical home called "Grigsby-Brown Station" open for tours of six or more that only costs $4 per person and that includes refreshments. Phyllis and Don Brown are the owners and the home is filled with art and artifacts about the area and the home. They are located at 8240 Elkton Pike and you can contact them at 931-468-3030 or visit their website at http://www.mywebpage2.com/gbs


"Working for Your Business"

GILES COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
110 North Second St.
Pulaski, TN 38478
(Ph) 931-363-3789 (Fax) 931-363-7279 (e-mail) gilecofc@bellsouth.net




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