Along The Byway
Scott County was created in 1849.
Scott County Chamber of Commerce
12025 Scott Hwy.
Helenwood, Tennessee 37755
Total Area: 525 square miles
Water Area: 1 square mile
Density: 41.78 residents/square mile
County Seat: Huntsville – Population: 961
Largest City: Oneida – Population: 3,615
The route of the Cumberland Historic Byway enters Scott County on SR 63, which is officially designated as the Howard H. Baker Highway in honor of one of Scott County’s most celebrated citizens. A native of Huntsville, Howard H. Baker, Jr., served as a U.S. senator from Tennessee, senate majority leader, White House chief of staff for President Reagan, and U.S. ambassador to Japan during his long career in public service (U.S. Senate Historical Office n.d.). Scott County was created in 1849 from Anderson, Campbell, Fentress, and Morgan counties and is named for Winfield Scott, a veteran of the War of 1812 and commander of U.S. troops at Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, and Molino del Rey in the Mexican War.
The rugged yet beautiful landscape of the Cumberland Plateau attracts countless hikers, kayakers, campers, and other outdoor recreationists to its abundant forests and parks, most notably the Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area, which encompasses 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau. Scott County abounds with miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, and its rich natural resources have been utilized since antiquity.
Scott County holds the distinction of having voted against secession by the largest margin of any Tennessee county at the outset of the Civil War. Locals were so opposed to the Confederacy that the county court not only announced the county’s secession from the Confederate State of Tennessee, but that the county would henceforth be known as the “Free and Independent State of Scott.” After the war, the region’s economic activity centered on timber, mining, and industrial development. The construction of US 27 in the 1920s provided residents with an important transportation link to the rest of the state and beyond.
Three properties in Scott County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Barton Chapel, First National Bank of Huntsville, and the Old Scott County Jail. In addition, 89 architectural resources are located within the Scenic Byway’s one-mile buffer. These resources were originally surveyed by the University of Tennessee in 1999. Two Tennessee Historical Commission historical markers are located along the Cumberland Historic Byway corridor. One, titled “Independent State of Scott,” is located in Huntsville and commemorates a speech delivered by then-U.S. Senator Andrew Johnson on June 4, 1861, in which he called for the creation of the Free and Independent State of Scott in response to Tennessee’s decision to secede from the Union. The second marker is located on SR 52 and recognizes the establishment of the Rugby Colony.
The Old Scott County Jail was listed on the National Register in 1973 for its architectural significance as one of the oldest buildings in the town of Huntsville. Designed by Chattanooga architect J. G. Barnewell, the Old Scott County Jail was constructed in 1907. The building is constructed of red sandstone, which was quarried locally and cut into blocks at the town spring. The jail is topped with a castellated roof line that gives the building its distinctive, fortress-like appearance.
The First National Bank of Huntsville was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 for its association with the commercial history of the town of Huntsville. The finely constructed bank was built by contractor Rufus M. Holmes of Gwinnett County, Georgia, in 1909. Located on the courthouse square, the vernacular-style commercial building is constructed of rough-faced sandstone blocks, which were locally quarried and hauled by mules to the construction site. After the bank failed during the Great Depression, the building was used as rental property and as government offices before returning to its original use as a bank in 1973.
West of Huntsville, the Cumberland Historic Byway turns south onto US 27 toward the community of Robbins, where the National Register-listed Barton Chapel is located. Recognized for its architectural significance as a local interpretation of Gothic Revival architecture, Barton Chapel was constructed in 1926 and designed by the prominent Knoxville firm of Barber and McMurray. The church’s interior features such architectural elements as exposed trusses and a compound, pointed chancel arch. The building is named after William E. Barton (1861-1930), who served as the first pastor of the First Pilgrim Congregational Church of Robbins, Tennessee, before rising to national prominence as an author of both religious and secular works during his tenure as pastor of the First Congregational Church in Oak Park, Illinois.
Upper Cumberland Quilt Trail
Multiple Counties in Tennessee
The Upper Cumberland Quilt Trail is part of a commitment to preserve the historical craft of traditional quilting. By following the maps, you will see not only the beautiful and historic barns owned by local farm families, but also gorgeous quilt squares displayed on businesses and homes in the various communities. Quilt squares range from 2’x2’ to 8’x8’ wood squares. The blocks are replicas of treasured family heirlooms. In painting their favorite patterns on barns, businesses, and homes, we are honoring local quilters who are well known for their skills of using every piece of scrap fabric to create a beautiful work of art that is also a useful item in the home.
Museum of Scott County
Sitting on the campus of Scott High School, the Museum of Scott County is truly a step back in time. The student-built, student-operated museum is the only one of its kind in the U.S. and captures the pioneer heritage and spirit of Scott County. Started as a single building, the museum has grown to include several acres of authentic pioneer-era buildings that were moved to the campus piece by piece and reassembled. Next door is the USS Tennessee Battleship Museum, a memorial to the ship that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many pieces of authentic memorabilia are on display, along with a number of photos taken as the ship was used in active duty.
Firemen’s Fourth Celebration
The Huntsville Fire Department’s firefighters and friends host one of the largest Independence Day festivals in the region. Held each July 4 on the courthouse mall in Huntsville, the event is a longstanding tradition and attracts more than 10,000 for the annual fireworks spectacular at sundown on Independence Day. The event begins on July 3 with food, crafts, and entertainment featuring local musicians, and continues on July 4. Independence Day begins with a Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast and continues with the annual 4th of July parade through the streets of Huntsville at 11 a.m. Kids’ games and carnival rides fill the afternoon, leading up to the 10 p.m. fireworks display.
Scott County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade
The annual Scott County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade will depart from HBD Industries at 2 p.m. (see website for date) and travel along Industrial Lane to Alberta Street, then north to Municipal Drive before disbanding.
Built in 1926, Barton Chapel is a historic chapel on US 27 in Robbins, Tennessee. Barton Chapel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 for its architectural significance as a local interpretation of Gothic Revival architecture. Constructed in 1926 and designed by the prominent Knoxville firm of Barber and McMurray, Barton Chapel is named after William E. Barton (1861-1930), who was the first pastor of the First Pilgrim Congregational Church of Robbins, Tennessee.
Old Scott County Jail
The Old Scott County Jail was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 for its architectural significance as one of the oldest buildings in the town of Huntsville. Designed by Chattanooga architect J. G. Barnewell, the Old Scott County Jail was constructed in 1907. The building is constructed of large stone blocks and is topped with a castellated roof line that gives the building its fortress-like appearance.
Laurel Dale Cemetery
Just across from the entrance to the Gentleman’s Swimming Hole hiking trail is historic Laurel Dale Cemetery. Many of Rugby’s early colonists are buried there, including the seven 1881 victims of typhoid and the founder’s mother. The cemetery has been the final resting place for many people through the years and is still in use today.
First National Bank of Huntsville
The First National Bank of Huntsville was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 for its association with the commercial history of the town of Huntsville. Built in 1909, the vernacular-style commercial building is constructed of sandstone blocks.
Independent State of Scott Historic Marker
The Independent State of Scott historic marker is located in Huntsville and commemorates a speech delivered by United States Senator Andrew Johnson on June 4, 1861, in which he called for the creation the free and independent State of Scott in response to Tennessee’s decision to secede from the Union.
Wings Over Big South Fork
Friends of the Big South Fork, the Scott County Airport Authority, and the Big South Fork Airpark host the annual Wings Over the Big South Fork in September. The event has grown into one of the largest air shows in East Tennessee, with stunt pilots, plane rides, and demonstrations. The vendor area offers arts, crafts, and other merchandise from area vendors and craftsmen. Admission is free!
Oneida Municipal Golf Course
The Oneida Municipal Golf Course is a city-owned, city-operated, 9-hole course. Originally opened in 1967, the course was privately owned by a group of local businessmen until the town purchased the course to prevent it from being developed. The golf course hosts the Boys & Girls Club of Scott County Golf Tournament each year, as well as the Oneida High School golf team.
Brimstone Recreation Area
Brimstone Recreation Area has 300+ miles of OHV Trail on 19,196 acres, on which they offer trail-accessible luxury cabins, a campground, SXS/ATV rentals, canoe/kayak rentals, and hunting and fishing in the remote wilds of northeast Tennessee and in the heart of Appalachia. Brimstone Recreation Area is an outdoor recreation company offering the adventure seeker the ultimate outdoor experience. Brimstone is committed to preserving nature through good stewardship and sharing nature with thousands of outdoor enthusiasts who seek to experience adventure in its purest environment every year .
White Knuckle Festival
Aimed at becoming the Woodstock of the ATV world, the White Knuckle Festival attracts thousands of people from across the eastern U.S. and some foreign countries. The largest festival of its kind in the region, the White Knuckle event is hosted by Brimstone Recreation and offers guided ATV rides, poker runs, mud bogs, and a wide variety of other activities. The three-day event is held on Memorial Day weekend each year and is headlined by a Saturday evening concert featuring one of Nashville’s best-known recording artists.
SxS & ATV Roundup Festival
Side-by-side and ATV enthusiasts from across the eastern U.S. trek to Huntsville each Labor Day weekend for Brimstone Recreation’s SxS Roundup. Three days of activities include product demonstrations, guided ATV rides, mud bogs, poker runs, concerts, and much more from Brimstone Mountain just outside of town.
North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area
Morgan, Scott & Campbell Counties, Tennessee
The North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area encompasses 140,000 acres of the Cumberland Mountains in Scott County, Campbell County, Anderson County, and Morgan County. The scenic WMA encompasses the Baker Highway corridor along the Scott-Campbell county line east of Huntsville and is popular for its ATV riding and wildlife viewing opportunities. Several hundred miles of trails within the WMA are managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Hunting is also popular on the WMA. Whitetail deer, eastern wild turkey, and wild boar are the most popular game animals, but a variety of upland birds and small game can be hunted on the WMA, as well. The WMA is home to the second-largest free-roaming elk herd east of the Mississippi River. Tennessee’s elk reintroduction program has been ongoing since 2000, and elk are a common sight in and around the WMA.
Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park
The Cumberland Trail is an ambitious hiking trail project under development in East Tennessee. When completed, the Cumberland Trail (CT) will extend 300 miles from its northern terminus in the Cumberland Gap National Park (KY) to its southern terminus at the Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park, located on Signal Mountain just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This scenic footpath follows a line of high ridges and deep gorges lying along or near the rugged, eastern edge of Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, offering a unique wilderness experience and many scenic views, waterfalls, landscapes, gorges, wildlife, and widely varying flora. As a remote, backcountry trail, it will meander through eleven Tennessee counties, primarily on public lands. These lands are managed by Tennessee’s Departments of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA), and Forestry.
Trails End Campground
Situated at the mouth of Brimstone Mountain and just south of the North Cumberland OHV area in Hunstville, Tennessee, Trails End Campground provides direct access to East Tennessee’s premier off-road trails. Whether your off-road vehicle of choice is an ATV, UTV, side X side, motorcycle, rail buggy, Jeep, truck, or even a Hummer, there’s nothing better than riding right up to the ol’ campsite.
Winterfest is the official “kickoff” to the riding season at Brimstone®. It is a group ride led by local trail masters in which riders from all over the country gather looking for good trails, good times, and good fellowship with other riders. On average, around 1,000 riders take part in it.
Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area
Fentress, Morgan & Scott Counties, Tennessee
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation area spans 125,000 acres across the Cumberland Plateau and boasts miles of scenic gorges. The area is also rich for its natural and historical features and has been developed to provide a number of outdoor activities for visitors. The river also features custom horseback riding trails for pleasure trail riding, hunting trips, anniversary rides, and overnight pack trips.
The Fireside Restaurant is a locally owned restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “It’s like eating at grandma’s house,” said one reviewer.
Elk Run Cabins
The cabins of Elk Run are nestled on a 23.5-acre mountainside in the peaceful Low Gap region of Scott County, Tennessee. These roomy cabins are perfectly located and are just minutes away from the many activities the Big South Fork region of the Upper Cumberland Plateau has to offer. The natural landscape of this area makes an ideal destination for outdoor recreation and has deep roots in Tennessee history and culture.
Grand Vista Hotel
Enjoy the Grand Vista Hotel’s friendly service and quality rooms, whether you find yourself traveling alone or with the whole family. The exceptional suites at Grand Vista Hotel are available for your stay overnight in Huntsville, Tennessee. The hotel is centrally located in the Big South Fork National Recreational area and two miles from the Brimstone Recreation area. They are also close to all that Huntsville has to offer. The hotel offers amazing amenities and a great place for the whole family to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. If you are visiting for business or leisure, their clean and comfortable accommodation at reasonable room rates will leave you feeling refreshed.