Surprising Stories from the History of Maryville, TN

Surprising Stories from the History of Maryville, TN

Maryville, TN, nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, has a rich and vibrant history that often hides intriguing tales beneath its serene exterior. Join us on a journey through time as we unveil some surprising stories from the annals of Maryville’s past.


The Birth of Maryville

Maryville’s origin story is as fascinating as the town itself. Established in 1785, it was originally known as Fort Craig and served as a crucial fortification during the tumultuous times of early American history. The town was later renamed in honor of Mary Grainger Blount, the wife of the governor of the Southwest Territory.


Underground Railroad Connection

Digging deeper into Maryville’s history unveils its role in the Underground Railroad. Many historic homes in the area, including the Crawford House, are believed to have played a part in providing shelter and assistance to escaped slaves seeking freedom in the 19th century. These houses silently witnessed acts of bravery that helped shape the town’s identity.


The Great Train Wreck of 1904

A historic and tragic event unfolded on Independence Day in 1904 when two trains collided in Maryville. The Great Train Wreck of 1904 resulted in several casualties and was a pivotal moment in the town’s history, prompting safety improvements in the railway system.


Maryville’s Ghost Stories

No exploration of a town’s history is complete without a touch of mystery. Maryville has its fair share of ghost stories and haunted locations. From the Blount County Courthouse to various historic homes, locals recount chilling tales that add an element of the supernatural to Maryville’s historical narrative.


The Birthplace of Mountain Dew

Did you know that Maryville is linked to the creation of the iconic soda, Mountain Dew? Barney and Ally Hartman, two beverage bottlers in the area, concocted a lemon-lime drink originally named “Personal Setup.” The beverage later evolved into the Mountain Dew we know today, with its roots firmly planted in Maryville.


Maryville’s Role in the Women’s Suffrage Movement

Maryville played a significant role in the fight for women’s suffrage. Suffragists, including Lizzie Crozier French, a prominent advocate for women’s rights, made their mark on the town. Their dedication to the cause contributed to the eventual ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.


As we delve into Maryville’s history, these surprising stories paint a vivid picture of a town shaped by resilience, innovation, and the indomitable spirit of its people. Each chapter adds layers to the tapestry of Maryville’s past, inviting us to appreciate the town’s unique journey through time. So, the next time you stroll through Maryville’s historic streets, remember that every corner holds a tale waiting to be uncovered.

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