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Early Transportation

The City of Kingsport received its name from a simplification of the name “King’s Port” which was the old name given to the area along the Holston River by early pioneers. The Long Island of the Holston River in Kingsport has a vast and rich history and is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. It was the home of the sacred council of local Cherokee and was a meeting place for treaties and other dealings with other Native American tribes, early pioneers, and settlers. Also, the name of the State of Tennessee comes from the old Yuchi Indian word “Tana-see”, which means “The Meeting Place”. In 1775, Daniel Boone began the Wilderness Road from the Long Island of the Holston when he began his expedition through the now famous Cumberland Gap. In 1822, the Holston River was first chartered by boat. Early pioneers and settlers used the river to transport products and people to Knoxville, where the Holston meets up with the Tennessee River. From there pioneers quickly discovered that the conjoining river systems could lead to the Ohio River and eventually to the Mississippi River and Gulf of New Orleans. The development of the use of the Holston River for transportation and commerce brought many jobs and settlers to the area.