By: Judge John L. Kiener

   The period of  significance listed in the Knob Creek Historic District designation is 1750-1799  and 1925 to 1949.  The description  of the “diamond-shaped”  area stated  that it included nearly 137 acres with Indian Ridge on the northwest, an unnamed  ridge on the southeast, the Clinchfield Railroad on the southwest and State  Route 137 on the northeast. The railroad tunnel in the district is currently the  subject of replacement planning by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.  In all likelihood, it will have an adverse effect on the historic nature of the  property.  Holley has written the  following updates and corrections to the original Knob Creek Historic District  Nomination Form –

     Ruth Krouse  House.  It was not built in 1934 but  in 1912 by Jacob Krouse, Margaret’s great uncle and brother of her grandmother  Isabell Krouse Sherfey. He and his wife Martha Pritchett and children lived in  the home until 1916 when Jacob built a weather board house to the left of the  Krouse residence.     The house has now been moved to  another location. The original home was located near what is now the North Point Medical Building.  A large spring on the property is bubbling up as a rough and wet place at  the intersection of Oakland and Market Place  Blvd.

     The barn on the  property was pushed over and burned.  The same is true of other outbuildings on the property. The stone chimney  for the log house built about 1800 was not the foundation for the home built in  1934.  There was a log house that  Margaret’s Uncle Jake lived in with his wife Martha Pritchett while building the  Ruth Krouse home.  Ruth was his  granddaughter.  The log house was a  few feet to the west of the Krouse home.  Ruth sold the log house to Charles Roller and he built another house out  of the logs.

     Ruth and her brother  J. C. Krouse sold their land and buildings in about 1994.  In 2013, they still live in Johnson  City.

     The Homer Sell House,  now standing as a restaurant called Café Pacific, was built in about 1915. There  was a shed roofed open barn that was torn down by the owner Dr. Donald F. Tarr.

     Margaret comments that  in the Genealogy & History article dated September 25, 2012 under “Property  Abstract” the land description to the Bashor Mill states the real estate is on  the water of Knob Creek & Indian Ridge with title granted to William  Cox.  From the book titled “NORTH  CAROLINA LAND GRANTS IN TENNESSEE, 1778-1791” complied  by Goldene Fillers Burger, the Cox  property was not on Knob Creek. It was on Millers Creek.

      The initial  Grant Number 512 of 400 acres to Charles Duncan was issued on November  10, 1784but was not  entered until November 28, 1778 in Deed Book 69, Page 109 describing the  property as “on Nobb Creek.” Subsequently,  Duncan had a second land grant of 113 acres issued August 16, 1787 “on  the waters of Knobs Creek” and recorded as Tennessee deed No. 496 (Grant Number  759). 

     The Historic Register  Nomination Form says the house at the mill was built in 1915.  It does not seem possible that the Henry  Bashor children were born there since Henry and his wife left Tennessee sometime before 1866.

                                                        SOME OTHER  PROPERTIES

     The Charles Duncan  House was built about 1785 with an addition in the 1930s.  The present owners, George and Margaret  Holley, restored the log house in 1995.  Margaret’s mother, Mrs. John Sherfey, was not a resident of the Duncan log house in 1906.  She arrived on Knob Creek after her  marriage to John Sherfey in 1921.  She died in 1991.

     Charles Duncan’s  daughter Stacy married James Melvin.  Mary Duncan married William Melvin and Joel Duncan married Jane  Melvin. 

     The Sell house build  in the 1830s partially burned down in 1988.  Later it was torn down.  The location is now the parking lot of  Kohl’s Store.  Marian Sell is  deceased.

    The steeple on the Knob Creek Church of the Brethren was added in 1997 or  1998.  The Church was built in  1904.  Religion was important to the  settlers.  Many of the families were  of German descent, including the Krouses and the Bowmans, who established the  Church.  The Knob CreekChurch of the Brethren was sometimes called the German Baptist Church.  The congregation built a log house in 1834 to hold services, but that was  replaced in 1905 by the present structure. Oak HillSchool, built in 1886, was moved to Jonesborough  and is now used by the Heritage Alliance to give students an experience in  19th century education.

     The Miller House,  built between 1810 and the 1820s, and was owned by George W. Hamilton at the  time of the nomination for Historic District status.  The home was torn down but the house  logs were saved by Hamilton’s son.

     Danver Minga, owner of  the Peter Bowman house on the date of the nomination, is now deceased.  Robert Minga, owner, then allowed  developers to tear down the house and barn.   

     The Bowman Cemetery is now cared for by the Knob Creek Church of the Brethren. The Carathers-Tester Cemetery is also known as the Duncan-Melvin Cemetery. It was established in the 1840s but today  is not very well maintained.  Charles Duncan is buried there.

     Samuel Fain received a  land grant in 1783.  The location of  Fain’s home is not known.  His land  grant was west of the Charles Duncan House.  The reference to a Peter Baldwin’s house  as “four-square” with a hip roof should be to Peter Bowman’s home.  A later building, the Homer Sell House,  combines the “four-square” and a bungalow to form a semi-bungalow house.