Furs to Factories Heritage Trail

Exploring the Industrial Revolution in the Tennessee Overhill Region

This part of the southern Appalachians, with its early trade paths and vibrant Cherokee centers saw drastic changes as towns created by copper mining companies, railroads, and textile mills sprang up practically overnight, many becoming boom towns filled with young people who came in from nearby farms and places all over the world to create a diverse landscape and culture. This story can be discovered by visiting museums and historic sites along the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Trail. Call the Tennessee Overhill for a free guide brochure entitled "Furs to Factories" at 877-510-5765 or email at info@tennesseeoverhill.com.  

Today's explorers will wind along Overhill highways through a landscape of places that do not necessarily fall within a chronological order. Instead, these places serve as a record of change over time, each place acting as an exhibit, a layer or one chapter that is woven into the larger story. Since many of the Overhill towns began as company towns, suggested stops throughout the area often highlight specific occupations and industries—fur trading, copper mining, textiles, logging, railroading, dam building, farming, cottage industries, and tourism. Along the way travelers will discover museums, historic sites, rivers, valleys, and places that speak of a time of great change.

Some of the museums and historic sites along the trail:

  • Furs and Hides: Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, Fort Loudoun State Historic Park
  • Agriculture: Mayfield Dairy Visitors Center, McMinn Living Heritage Museum, and the Historic District of Reliance
  • Gold Panning at Coker Creek
  • Textiles: Englewood Textile Museum, McMinn Living Heritage Museum
  • Cottage Weaving Industry: Coker Creek Crafts Village, Coker Creek Village, Englewood Textile Museum, McMinn Living Heritage Museum
  • Copper: Ducktown Basin Museum 
  • Railroads: L&N Depot Museum in Etowah, Sweetwater Heritage Museum, Niota Depot
  • Logging: Tellico Ranger Station, L&N Depot in Etowah
  • Rivers & Dams: Ocoee Scenic Byway, Ocoee Whitewater Center, Sugarloaf Mountain Park
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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 35.3239631 Longitude: -84.5249367 Elevation: 801 ft

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Hours Open

Museum Hours Vary - Contact each museum before planning your trip.

Time Period Represented

1700s-1900s

Seasons Open

Varies

Visitor Fees

Most museums are free or have very minimal admission fees.

ADA Accessibility Notes

Check with each museum. 

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