Site of Mill Dam

In 1820, Frederick A. Ross built a one-and-a-half-story white stuccoed brick mill on the west bank of the North Fork Holston River beside the ancient big elm tree. The mill’s race extended upstream to the mill dam built of oak timbers and fastened to the rock river bottom with iron pins. The race had first been used for Ross’ father’s iron forge. In 1803, William King of Saltville petitioned the Tennessee State Legislature to have Ross install a lock in the dam to allow the passage of salt-laden flatboats carrying from ten to thirty tons