Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   
Signature of Edward B. Walker Genealogy of Edward B. Walker
1756-1838, Duplin County, North Carolina - Sullivan, Claiborne, Hancock Counties, Tennessee

 

Mulberry Gap, Tennessee


Google Mapoffsite link graphic Little Sycamore Road
Mulberry Gap Road
Newmans Ridge Road
Wikipediaoffsite link graphic Powell River
Mulberry from the old Mulberry Gap school. Photo by Phillip A. Walker 9/2/2005. Click photo for a larger view.

The Mulberry Gap area, primarily in Hancock County, Tennessee, currently falls into the Sneedville Post Office area. As a geographic feature, it is a gap in Powell Mountain; the ridge on the other side of it in the photo here is Newman's Ridge, a major ancestral home to the Melungeons.

As with most places, the exact boundaries of the Mulberry Gap community varied over time, with places usually being called by frequently-changing post office names. A new Walker Map of Mulberry Area (beta)offsite link graphic is available as are more photos of landmarks in the area and more on Edward Walker's home.

Sarah (Crumley) Walker, the widow of Edward Jr., called the place where she lived "near Mulberry Gap". The exact location is on the southwestern end of Mulberry Gap Road near the intersection with Little Sycamore Road; in an earlier era, Little Sycamore Road was also considered part of the Mulberry road, and Walkers lived on Little Sycamore Road as well. Other names for the region in question and closely-surrounding areas are or have been:

  • Yellow Springs
  • Hoop/Hoop Creek
  • New Salem
  • Howard's Quarter


Generally, both this site and my Family Fileoffsite link to WorldConnect use "Mulberry Creek" to refer to the area where Edward Jr. lived and exact modern street names whenever known.

Mulberry Creek in front of Edward Walker, Jr.'s, home. Photo taken by Phillip A. Walker 9/2/2005.

The Mulberry area was settled early and was a thriving settlement by 1803. The Walkers seem to have settled the area around 1816 or 1817, although some perhaps a little earlier. Certainly, some friends and in-laws had moved to the area no later than 1802.

Bordered on one side by Powell's Mountain and on the other by Little Ridge, the area is a narrow, rocky valley typical of East Tennessee. Today, practically no one passes through the area on the way to anywhere; it is quite far from major roads and towns. It is a beautiful but isolated valley where farming is still common but not usually very profitable, and some new and some very old houses, including Edward, Jr.'s, can still be found.

But when the Walkers moved to the area and for many years thereafter, the area was a thriving community which was not particularly isolated at all. The Mulberry road, including what is now called Little Sycamore Road, was once a much more travelled path, and the Powell River is nearby. The transportation paths and modes of an earlier area gave area residents easy access to markets in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and even North Carolina, by land and by water. Among other things, a number of merchants would have been nearby to supply both locals and travelers.

Apparently in both the 1920s and the 1960s, portions of what is now Mulberry Gap Road have moved a little one way or another. While the current road is not exactly as the Walkers would have known it, the path is close. Near the home of Edward Walker, Jr., for instance, the road appears to have run directly next to the creek.

Using modern names, just to the north is Lee County, Virginia, and not far to the west is Bell County, Kentucky. This sliver of Hancock County is very near the Claiborne County border and was part of that county until Hancock County was established.

All original material © 2007-9 by Phillip A. Walker or by cited authors. Submissions are welcome. Reuse allowed under limited conditions. Page last modified Saturday, 26-Jun-2010 17:46:17 MDT .