The Historical Dendroarchaeology Of Two Log Structures At The Marble Springs Historic Site, Knox County, Tennessee, U.S.A.
AffiliationLaboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee
Department of Anthropology, The University of Tennessee
Governor John Sevier
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Collection InformationThis item is part of the Tree-Ring Research (formerly Tree-Ring Bulletin) archive. For more information about this peer-reviewed scholarly journal, please email the Editor of Tree-Ring Research at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CitationSlayton, J.D., Stevens, M.R., Grissino-Mayer, H.D., Faulkner, C.H., 2009. The historical dendroarchaeology of two log structures at the Marble Springs Historic Site, Knox County, Tennessee, U.S.A. Tree-Ring Research 65(1):23-36.
AbstractThe Marble Springs homestead in south Knox County serves as a significant heritage site for the state of Tennessee because it was the final home of one of our nation’s most important founding statesmen and first governor of Tennessee (1796 to 1801, 1803 to 1809), John Sevier. Recent archaeological and historical research had called into question the authenticity of the original John Sevier log cabin located at the Marble Springs homestead. We used tree-ring dating to determine the year(s) of construction of the Governor John Sevier cabin and the adjacent Walker Springs log cabin (which had been relocated to the site later and has no ties to Gov. John Sevier) by first extracting cores from all accessible logs in the cabins and then evaluating the cutting dates of these logs. A nearby reference chronology at Norris Dam anchored the Gov. John Sevier cabin chronology from 1720 to 1834 and the Walker Springs cabin chronology from 1675 to 1826. The cutting dates obtained from six logs in the Gov. John Sevier cabin suggest construction of the cabin was completed sometime between late 1835 and early 1836. We were able to date cores from 29 logs from the Walker Springs cabin, which strongly support final construction between late 1827 to early 1828. Our dendrochronological analyses suggest that the cabin at Marble Springs long thought to be the original cabin occupied by Gov. John Sevier was instead likely built during the occupancy of the property by a later tenant, George Kirby, in the early to mid-1830s, well after the death of Sevier in 1815.