Local History
Coker Creek History The Coker Creek area has thrived for hundreds of years. It was first inhabited by Indians, who were mostly of the Cherokee nation. In the late 17th century, Scotch-Irish immigrants began coming over the mountains from North Carolina, and from Pennsylvania, and Virginia to begin settlements. They were followed later in smaller numbers by the English, French, Welch, Swiss, and Germans. In the early 19th century, about twenty five years before the California rush, gold was discovered in Coker Creek, and in other parts of eastern Tennessee, and north Georgia. These areas became the source of much of the nation’s gold production for several years. This discovery led to the removal of the Cherokee Indians from the southeast. The Unicoi Trail in Coker Creek is part of the infamous “Trail of Tears” on which 17,000 Cherokee Indians were relocated. Coker Creek eventually became one of the major logging areas in Eastern Tennessee, and remained so for many years. Through recent years, Coker Creek has evolved into a tourist stop, known for its beauty, hiking trails, creek gold panning, fishing, and local water falls. Its popularity has risen with the addition of new Hwy 68, which passes through town and is the main thruway to Tellico Plains, and the Cherohala Skyway.