Smoky Mountain Historical Society

Middle Creek-Pigeon Forge

     Mordecai Lewis built his mill on the east side of the West Fork of the Little Pigeon River in 1794. After his death in 1818 his son-in-law, Isaac Love, purchased the property and built the Pigeon Forge in 1820. It had one bloomary fire and one hammer driven by water. John Sevier Trotter was operating the mill and forge in 1859. Also on the east side of the river were the homesteads of Levi Lewis and Barefoot Ruyan.
Lower Middle Creek flows from the old John Marshall place to the Little Pigeon Forge River near Sevierville.
     A tradition states that the Robert Shields family had a blockhouse for protection from the Indians in 1784 in the vicinity of the present Middle Creek Church.
    The Middle Creek Church is on the site of the old campground meeting held by area churches in the 1830’s
    Early land grants “on the waters of Middle Creek” include those of John and Charles Clabough, Thomas Locke, John Trotter, Meedy White, Jennet Tipton, Timothy Reagan, Jesse, Richard and Benjamin Shields, and John Marshall.
    Running parallel with Lower Middle Creek from Pigeon Forge to Sevierville is the old Ore Bank Road over which oxen pulled the sleds of iron ore from the mine site to the Pigeon Forge.
    The old road from Middle Creek followed the eastern side of Shields Mountain to the Long Ford of the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River. Somewhere near the area where Bird’s Creek empties into the river, Thomas Shields was killed by Indians in 1973 as he worked in the sugar tree orchard.
    Roberts School House, built on Philip Roberts’ land in 1857, was used as a Methodist Church and continued to be used as a Methodist Church.
    Upper Middle Creek rises near the south end of Shields Mountain on the west side of the mountain. The narrow valley is the site of the old road leading from the Pigeon Forge to the Sweden Furnace on Dunn Creek.
The mountainous terrain between Upper Middle Creek and the West Creek and the West Fork of the river is the site of the communities of Huskey Grove, Big Ridge, Gnatty Branch, and Boogertown (Oldham’s Creek.)
    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:  The cemeteries in this section were visited and recorded by Beulah Duggan Linn, Brent Ogle, Scott Ogle, Reba Hood, Ruth Ownby, Estel Ownby, and Jim Shular.
1.      Big Ridge
2.      Boogertown
3.      Aaron Eledge
4.      Nelson Fox
5.      Huskey Grove
6.      Lawson
7.      Thomas Locke
8.      Marshall Grove
9.      McMahan Chapel
10.    Middle Creek
11.    Mt. Zion
12.    New Salem (Colored)
13.    William Harrison Ogle
14.    Parton
15.    Pigeon Forge Baptist
16.    Pigeon Forge Methodist
17.    Sevier County
18.    Shiloh AKA Shiloh Memorial
19.    Smoky Mountain Memorial Gardens
20.    Unidentified
21.    Mary Williams
22.    Williamsburg