Sharps Chapel Community

American Revolutionary veteran Henry Sharp settled in the area on a 700-acres given as a land grant.  Also established in 1780's was Sharp Station, a fort overlooking the Clinch River, now located along the shores of Big Ridge State Park.  A post office was established in the area in 1866 and has operated continuously since that time. Initially the post office was called "Clinch River," but in 1869, the name was changed to Sharps Chapel.  The Sharps Chapel peninsula is bounded to the north by the Powell and to the south by the Clinch River.  Visitors will get a sense of the the original settlers' lives as they drive pass tiny agrarian communities each with a school, store, church and cemetery.  Other points of interest include a mine, the location of a TVA CCC camp, and Helm's Ferry which is the only the connector between the community of Braden and the rest of Union County. 

The Sharp Ousley house located in Sharps Chapel has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1978 and is being restored. Other historic buildings include the Dr. Davis store and office, Rush Strong School, Irwin Chapel, and Irwin School.


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Latitude: 36.341125 Longitude: -83.742599 Elevation: 1108 ft

About this Establishment

The drive begins at the Sharps Chapel Road entrance off of SR 33 at the Union-Claiborne County line.  The visitor wll drive through various small communities that were established by early settlers and visitors will see both the Clinch and Powell rivers while taking the tour.  There are numerous opportunities to stop for pictures, hiking, and wildlife observation.  This drive is suitable for motorized vehicle traffic.  Portions of the drive are suitable for biking, some hiking, and 4 wheeling.  Trails located in the Chuck Swan WMA  located at the terminus of the peninsula are also suitable for horseback riding. Brochures for this drive are available in the Union County Chamber Office

Time Period Represented

1780- Present

Hours Open


Visitor Fees


Seasons Open


ADA Accessibility Notes


Pet Friendly Notes



Great website, Please add more pictures, I have one two from US Gov’t site 1930's Stiners store TVA interviews, and Sherman Stiners house. Read the Speedwell, And Union county books. Best Regards

Sam Wells, 1/29/2017

Well here’s a quick question. Is Tom Coles store still in sharps chapel? The building is still there but not it is not always open.

Mark Tolliver, 5/28/2018

Does anyone remember where the cave was where salt peter was mined during the Civil War, or the grave with the glass insert it belonged to a lady named Matilda, I think the grave was at Lost Creek? I roamed all over those woods when I was little and I wished I could recall.

Geneva, 7/5/2019

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