The Heritage of Daniel Haston


The Caney Fork of the Cumberland
Fords Above Great Falls - Pages 23-25
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Fords Above the Great Falls on Caney Fork and Tributaries

There were many fords in this area even up into the 1920's.  The following list is not complete but does include the more important fords.  It will be noted that several were in use before the first settlers arrived.

The question might well be asked, "Why list the names of so many names of fords both above and below the Great Falls when they are no longer in use and many are hidden under the waters of Center Hill and Rock Island dams?"  They are of interest to the local historian, help indicate the location of early roads and the family names attached to some of them help the present generation in tracing their family histories.

Bosson Ford - Near Rock Island, TN


Name of Ford River and Location
Blackwell Ford On Mountain Creek at the upper end of the William Hennessee Land.
Bosson Ford Caney Fork just above mouth of Collins River.  (see above map)
Blacks Ford On Collins River about 1 mile above bridge on Highway 70S.
Bright's Ford On Rocky River near the mouth of Laurel Creek.
Butts Ford On Caney Fork 1/2 mile below mouth of Lost Creek [Webmaster's note: also known as "Wallace Creek or Branch"] and just above Butts Bridge (built in 1924).  This is a very old ford and was an Indian crossing coming down Hickory Valley from Sparta, crossing Caney Fork and then following a southeasterly direction up the mountain and across Glade Creek.
Byers Ford On Collins River near the present highway bridge on Highway 70S.
Chattanooga Ford On Caney Fork a short distance below the Mitchell Ford and about 1/4 mile down stream from the Mitchell Bridge, at the lower end of Big Bottom.  It was possible to cross here and then take a road crossing at Butts Ford with a fairly direct route to Pikeville and Chattanooga.

Webmaster's notes:  According to Bonnie V. Dycus (December 26, 2003), who lived most of his life within a mile of this ford, the Chattanooga Ford got its name from a Chattanooga-based logging operation that set up at this location in the early 1900s.  Logs were cut up the river and floated down to this point, to be loaded on trucks and hauled to Chattanooga.

Cummings Ford On Caney Fork just below Cross Rock Spring, Reno Mill and the Reno Bridge.  In the first bend below the bridge.
Cunningham Ford On Collins River a short distance downstream from the Intake for water for the Power House.  James McGiboney, born 1847, said it was hard to get in and out of.  It gave access to the land in the bend between the Caney Fork and the Collins River and was referred to as "The Wilderness."
Denny Ford On Caney Fork just below the mouth of Dry Branch.  This branch comes in from the left bank or Van Buren County side.
Dillon Ford On Caney Fork about 1/4 mile above Walling Station.  It was a very old crossing used by the Indians coming South on the Chickamauga Path.  They also crossed the Caney Fork at Rock Island but Dillons was a better crossing.
Drakes Ford On Cane Creek a short distance above the mouth of the creek near an old mill.
Dungeys Old Ford On Caney Fork about 800 feet downstream from the mouth of Calfkiller River.  It was referred to in an 1849 grant to Simmons.  Dungey received a grant - Cert. 1807, Entered 1819, and surveyed 1820.  The Hodge Bridge carried the traffic in later years.
Flat Shoals Ford On Collins River 3 1/2 miles from mouth and on old road from Rowland (now called Campaign) to old community of Horseshoe Falls, to Keltonburg and Smithville.  This ford was in use long before 1826.
Gilmores Ford On Collins River.  Mentioned in Grant to John Gribble in 1851 near a bend in the river.  Probably near the old Hennessee bridge site.
Greens Ford On Calfkiller River.  Probably near Burroughs & Taylor Mill located East of Cave, Tenn.
Gribble Ford On Collins River.  Probably short distance down stream from Flat Shoals and on Gribble land.
Hash Ford On Rocky River, 3/4 mile above mouth and near Yost Bridge - abandoned in 1924.  See McClures Ford.
Head Ford On Laurel Creek - first crossing above mouth of Creek.
Indian Ford On Rocky River - See McClures Ford.
Isle Ford On Collins River about 6 miles above Shellsford.
McClures Ford On Caney Fork River close to the present Highway 70S Bridge.  Myer, page 850 quotes, "One of the early grants on Caney Fork near Rock Island calls for a line 'where the Chicamauga Path crosses the river at McClures Ford (later called Hash's Ford), near McClure's battle ground."  Myer, quoting from Mr. Roberts refers to "crossing he Caney Fork at Hash's Ford (know seventy-five years ago as McClure's Ford)."

     There was a ford at the location given above but it was a bad one and little used.  The main traffic crossed Caney Fork above the mouth of Rocky River and then forded that river at the Hash Ford which was called the Indian ford and McClure's ford. 
     The Hash Family lived almost within sight of the ford.  Mrs. Elizabeth Hash, born 1834 told Mrs. Jennie Hash Rucker that McClure's ford was on Rocky River near the old Iron Forge.  It as also called Hash Ford.  Other old people told her the same. 
     Capt. Roberts was incorrect in the same statement when he referred to the ford being "within three hundred yards of the stone fort, built by early whites in the bend of the river, where McClure's battle was fought with the Indians.  The stone fort was there when the first settlers arrived."  No mention is made of the Stone Fort in any of the three accounts of the battle.  (See Old Stone Fort.)

McElroy Ford Caney Fork River a short distance below where the Tosh Bridge was built.
Miller, Joab - Ford On Rocky River below the old Joab Miller Bridge.  (See Miller Bridge for further details.)
Mitchell Ford On Caney Fork at the lower end of Big Bottom and a short distance downstream from the end of the backwater of the Great Falls Reservoir.
Mormon Mill Ford On Caney Fork River about 1/2 mile downstream from the Butts Bridge.
Plumlees Ford On Caney Fork above the mouth of Calfkiller River.  Mentioned in an 1847 grant.  Also mention in a deed of 1841 referring to a ferry road and Parker Still House.
Porters Old Ford Probably same as Butts Ford.
Purvis or Paervis Ford On Barren Fork River.
River Hill Ford On Caney Fork River at the mouth of Cane Creek.  Crossed both Caney Fork and Cane Creek.
Rock Island Ford Caney Fork River.  See Bosson Ford.
Rowland Ford On Rocky River near old Iron Forge.  See McClures Ford.
Scotts Ford On Hickory Creek slightly over 2 miles north of Viola and a short distance downstream from the bridge on the Viola-McMinnville Road near the old bridge.  A very old ford on the old Elk River Road, sometimes called the Alabama Road.
Shells Ford On Collins River about 3 1/2 air miles East South East of McMinnville on the road to Little Cardwell Mountain.  Ford and mill mentioned in deed of 1886.
Simmons Ford On Cane Creek just above the mouth of Spring Branch.
Wallens or Wallers Ford On Calfkiller downstream from Harriett Iron Works which was located near the dam constructed for the Hydro-electric plant.
Yorks Ford On Laurel Creek a short distance above York's Mill.
Yost Ford Located near former Yost Bridge and also called Hash Ford.  See Hash Ford and McClures Ford on previous page.

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