Sewanee History
The Other Side of Sewanee
The Other Side of Sewanee Other Side of Sewanee



     THE OTHER SIDE OF SEWANEE spotlights the town of Sewanee, Tennessee, and its people.  Much has been written about the University of the South, but hardly anything is known about the town, its people, and the adjacent communities. 


     The first residents on the Sewanee Mountain were the Creek and Cherokee Indians.  They lived on the Cumberland Plateau when it was known as “The Nation”.  The first known white settlers were Jesse Barnes and George Smith who lived on the mountain before 1827.  In 1856, the steepest railroad in the country was completed to the coal banks at Midway.  The railroad brought the coal miners and railroad workers to the area.  By 1860, the Episcopalians built the first log buildings associated with the University of the South.  The Civil War soldiers burned all the cabins associated with the University of the South.  After the war, the Episcopalians returned to the mountain and built the University of the South, and the town of Sewanee was born in the midst of a wilderness.


     By the 1870s, churches, schools, and stores had been built.  People came from all over to be a part of the growing population of the mountain town.  Even one of Queen Victoria’s former guards lived in the village with a group of Confederate Veterans.  There were people from all over Europe living on the mountain and operating businesses.  1n 1888, an order of Episcopal Nuns came and established a girls’ school.  In 1911, President William Howard Taft came to visit the beautiful town perched high upon the Cumberland Plateau. 


     THE OTHER SIDE OF SEWANEE is about the people who built those magnificent rock masterpiece buildings in the University of the South.  It’s about a teacher who taught in a one-room schoolhouse, made fires in the stoves to keep her students warm, cooked food for their lunches, and provided them with a good education.  It’s about soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom.  It is mostly about ordinary people who stay in the background, but play an essential part in any success story.  


    Information from land grants, deeds, and other documents concerning early Sewanee are presented in this book to provide the reader with a better understanding of what it was really like.  A list of names and information are provided about the people who were living at Sewanee from 1860 through the 1920 census years.  Some land grants were signed by James K. Polk and Sam Houston.  This book is also geared to help people find their family roots and ancestors at Sewanee.


Each book costs $15.00 (which includes shipping & handling).