Bean Station, Tennessee
|Town of Bean Station|
Main Street (Old US 11W) in Bean Station
"A Historical Crossroad"
Location of Bean Station in Grainger and Hawkins counties in Tennessee
|Founded by||William Bean|
|Named for||Bean family settlement|
|• Mayor||Ben Waller|
|• Vice Mayor||Jeff Atkins|
|• Town Council|
|• Total||5.99 sq mi (15.51 km2)|
|• Land||5.99 sq mi (15.51 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)|
|Elevation||1,112 ft (339 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||519.87/sq mi (200.72/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Area codes||865, 423|
|GNIS feature ID||2403829|
|Website||City of Bean Station at the Wayback Machine (archived December 30, 2005)|
Bean Station is a town in Grainger and Hawkins counties in the state of Tennessee, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,826, and was estimated to be 3,113 in 2019. Settled in 1776, it is considered to be one of the earliest settled communities in Tennessee.
Bean Station is located primarily at the junction of U.S. Route 11W and U.S. Route 25E, in the easternmost part of Grainger County. It is considered a popular lakeside community appealing to retirees and tourists, and a commuter town for the city of Morristown in neighboring Hamblen County.
Early years and settlement
In 1775, pioneers Daniel Boone and William Bean had first observed what is now Bean Station after crossing the gap at Clinch Mountain during a long hunting excursion. After fighting in the American Revolutionary War one year later, Bean was awarded 3,000 acres (12 km2) in the area he previously surveyed for settlement during his excursion with Boone. Bean would later construtct a four-room cabin at this site, which served as his family's home, and as an inn for prospective settlers, fur traders, and longhunters. This inn and its area would have many names: Bean's Cabin, Bean's Crossroads, and Bean's Station. Bean Station would later grow into a frontier outpost established in the late 1780s by the sons of Bean. This outpost included the cabin that the Bean family resided in, a tavern, and a blacksmith's shop operated by Bean's sons. The settlement was situated at the intersection of the Wilderness Road, a north–south pathway constructed in the 1780s that roughly followed what is present-day U.S. Route 25E, and the Great Indian Warpath, an east–west pathway that roughly followed what is now U.S. Route 11W. This heavily trafficked crossroads location made Bean Station an important stopover for early American travelers, with taverns and inns were operating at the station by the early 1800s.
Bean Station Tavern
Through out the 1800s, Bean Station attracted the attention of numerous merchants and businessmen who appealed to the travelers that used the community's significant crossroads. In 1825, Bean Station Tavern, with a 40-room capacity, wine cellar, and ballroom, was constructed at the crossroads. The tavern, was considered to be one of the largest of its time between New Orleans and Washington, D.C., and housed several famous guests including U.S. Presidents Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, and James K. Polk.
When the Tennessee Valley Authority announced the impounding of the Holston River and the site of Bean Station in the 1940s, efforts began to deconstruct and relocate the tavern to a new relocation site of the community. Due to several components of the structure becoming lost, the effort to reconstruct the structure was cancelled.
In 1961, the TVA had proposed plans to create a 50-acre historical park near the western interchange of US 11W and US 25E for a recreated version of the tavern. However, these plans were later scrapped.
Battle of Bean’s Station and the Civil War
During the Civil War, the Battle of Bean's Station took place in the westernmost area of the community on December 14, 1863. Confederate Army General, James Longstreet, attempted to capture Bean Station en route to Rogersville after failing to drive Union forces out of Knoxville. Bean Station was held by a contingent of Union soldiers under the command of General James M. Shackelford. After two days of gruesome fighting, Union forces were forced to retreat.
Tate Springs Resort
In the post-Civil War era, a businessman named Samuel Tate constructed a hotel just west of Bean Station that became the main focus of a resort known as Tate Springs. Around the late 1870s, the property was purchased by Captain Thomas Tomlinson, who would transform the property into a vast resort, focused on a large Victorian-style luxury hotel, that advertised the supposed healing powers of its mineral spring’s water. During its heyday, the resort complex included over three-dozen buildings, a 100-acre (40 ha) park, and an 18-hole golf course. The resort had attracted some of the wealthiest people in America during this time. The resort declined during the Great Depression. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1963, and the only remnants of the complex are the cabins of the site, the pool bathhouse, and the springhouse, the last of which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
From the late 19th century until the early 20th century, Bean Station was a stop along the Knoxville and Bristol Railroad, commonly known by locals as the Peavine Railroad. The railroad was a branch line of the Southern Railway that ran from Morristown to Corryton, a bedroom community outside of Knoxville. The Peavine Railroad had first operated between Morristown and Bean Station, with plans to connect north to the Cumberland Gap, but instead extended west through Grainger County towards Knoxville. The Tate Springs resort located in west Bean Station, had its peak popularity between the 1890s and 1920s when the Peavine Railroad provided passenger rail connections to the site.
Flooding of old Bean Station and relocation
The construction of Cherokee Dam by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) several miles downstream along the Holston River in 1941 had plans that included impounding the site where the town was originally settled. Of the 195 families who lived at the original site of Bean Station, 140 were mandated to move.
Because of the historical significance, size and potential relocation problems presented with Bean Station, officials from the TVA, historians, and concerned community members gathered to discuss the future of the town and its relocation efforts in 1941. A planning commission from the state government and TVA personnel developed plans for sites for Bean Station to relocate to. After controversy arose from negotiations from unwilling property owners and reluctance from citizens to relocate as a community, the planned community relocation project was abandoned, with the citizens relocating on their own will. Many houses and other structures were demolished or moved, and at least one historical structure had to be relocated.
Through the mid-20th century, Bean Station saw positive growth in population and economic progress as the community's two main transportation routes, U.S. Routes 11W and 25E were used prominently for the trucking industry, making the community a site of numerous truck stops. However, after the completion of Interstate 81 south of Bean Station, the community saw a 60% decline in business. As the region's economy began to diversify, manufacturing soon took over agriculture as the area's main source of income.
In the early 1980s, US-25E/SR-32 was widened to a four-lane highway from Lakeshore Drive to a replacement bridge across Cherokee Lake into Morristown.
In 1995, US-11W and US-25E were re-routed and widened into a four-lane divided-highway, bypassing the then unincorporated area's central business district and prompting several businesses to relocate onto the new bypass.
On May 23, 2013, an ex-police officer for the town shot four people in a pharmacy in downtown Bean Station, killing two. The following day, a vigil was held for the two victims with an estimated attendance of 300 individuals.
1972 US-11W bus/semi-truck collision
On May 13, 1972, 14 people were killed and 15 injured in a head-on collision between a double-decker Greyhound bus and a tractor-trailer on U.S. Route 11W in Bean Station during its unincorporated era. The accident is considered one of the deadliest and worst traffic collisions in the history of the state of Tennessee. The accident led to outcry from politicians and citizens calling for traffic safety and infrastructure improvements, such as highway widenings, and the completion of Interstate 81 in Tennessee.
As the population of the Bean Station region grew through-out the later 20th century, and the possibility of the community being annexed into the neighboring Morristown-Hamblen area, residents gathered to incorporate Bean Station into a city. There were several attempts at incorporating the area that were never successful, the closest being in 1964 and 1977. The last attempt would take place in 1994. Bean Station was incorporated into a city of 2,171 residents by referendum election in 1996. Before its incorporation into a city, Bean Station was represented as a census county division.
Bean Station is located in rural easternmost Grainger County, 45 miles northeast of Knoxville, where it borders the unincorporated community of Mooresburg at the line between Grainger and Hawkins counties. The town is situated in the Richland Valley (also known as Mooresburg Valley) with Clinch Mountain to the north and Cherokee Lake to the south. In the western of portion of Bean Station adjacent to Kingswood Home for Children on the Tate Springs resort site, two major highways merge, with U.S. Route 25E entering from the northwest, and U.S. Route 11W entering from the southwest. From this point, US-25E leads over Clinch Mountain 20 miles (32 km) to Tazewell in Claiborne County, while US-11W runs west through the Richland Valley 11 miles (18 km) to Rutledge, the seat of Grainger County. The highways split again just south of Bean Station's central business district, with 11W bypassing the business district and continining northeastward 17 miles (27 km) to Rogersville, and 25E continuing southward across Cherokee Lake into Hamblen County, 10 miles (16 km) to Morristown.
Tennessee State Route 375 (also known as Lakeshore Drive) also intersects US-25E south of the business district, which traverses into several of Bean Station’s affluent outskirt lakefront neighborhoods and subdivisions.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Bean Station has an area of 5.4 square miles (14.0 km2), of which 0.436 acres (1,763 m2), or 0.01%, are water. The town limits include Wyatt Village, located next to an arm of Cherokee Lake along US-25E south of downtown, and portions of Tate Springs located near US-11W and Briar Fork Creek on Cherokee Lake. The town limits stretch 8 miles (13 km) along the heavily trafficked US-25E to the Olen R. Marshall Memorial Bridge across Cherokee Lake, and 4 miles (6.4 km) along US-11W to Bean Station Elementary School.
- Campbell Heights
- Clinchview Landing
- Country Club Hills
- Crosby Park
- Gammon Springs
- Hillview Acres
- Lakeview Estates
- Leon Rock
- Livingston Heights
- Meadow Branch
- Meadow Creek Estates
- Shields Crossing
- Tate Springs
- Wyatt Village
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 2,826 people, 1,149 households, and 827 families residing in the town.
The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.88. 25% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 13.9% were female householders with no husband present. 28% of households were non-families. The median age of residents in the town was 47.8. 21.7% of residents were under the age of 18, and 16.2% were age 65 years or older.
In its retail and commercial markets, Bean Station has a small selection of restaurants and stores. A large cluster of run-down firework stores are located through out the town due to Grainger County being among the few counties in Tennessee allowing the sale of fireworks. A family-operated IGA Market is the only grocery store in Bean Station area.
In 2010, 72% of the town’s population was reported to commute outside of Grainger County for work, with most finding employment in Morristown. The average commute time for Bean Station residents is 24 minutes.
Arts and culture
Since 1996, the town hosts an annual harvest festival in its downtown district celebrating the area's agricultural and craftsmanship scenes. The festival attracts thousands of festival-goers and tourists alike every third weekend in October. In 2007, the town made national headlines after breaking a Guinness World Record for the world's largest pot of beans at the 11th annual Harvest Pride festival, with the pot holding 600 gallons of baked beans.
- Battle of Bean's Station site
- Original Bean Station settlement site, Bean cabin site, and historical marker
- Tate Springs resort site and Tate Springs Springhouse
Parks and recreation
The town is considered popular with boaters and anglers alike due to its access to Cherokee Lake. Clinch Mountain, located north of the town, provides the opportunity for hiking. A public golf course is also located within the town limits.
Parks and public recreation areas include:
- Bean Station Town Park, Harris Court Park, and public access to Cherokee Lake via a fishing pier and boat launches.
- Lakeside Marina.
Bean Station uses the mayor-aldermen system, which was established in 1996 when the town was incorporated. It is governed locally by a five-member Board of Mayor and Aldermen. The citizens elect the mayor and four aldermen to four-year terms. The board elects a vice mayor from among the four aldermen.
Bean Station Elementary School, located at the westernmost part of the town, is operated by the Grainger County Department of Education. Elementary students attend Bean Station Elementary, middle school students attend Rutledge Middle, and high school students attend Grainger High School in Rutledge, along with other students in the Grainger County Schools District, excluding the Washburn area.
- Grainger Today
Appalachian Electric Cooperative (AEC), a utilities company based out of New Market in neighboring Jefferson County, provides electricity and the option for fiber broadband internet for all of Bean Station, portions of Hamblen County (including portions of Morristown), Jefferson County (including New Market, Baneberry, Jefferson City, Dandridge, and White Pine), and eastern Grainger County (including Rutledge). AEC, as of June 2018, provides services to 46,000 customers.
Bean Station, as of 2019, does not have access to public sewer. Since the town's incorporation, officials have expressed interest and have proposed several unsuccessful attempts towards constructing a sewage treatment system. In 2019, a master plan conducted by a Knoxville based engineering firm found that there was a definite need for public sewer service in Bean Station, as many existing septic tank and drain field systems in the town have reported failures posing health hazards to residents, and development opportunities providing job and economic growth are limited with the lack of access to public sewer.
All U.S. routes and state routes in Bean Station are maintained by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) in TDOT Region 1, which consists of 24 counties in the East Tennessee region. Streets in the town are maintained by the Bean Station Street Department.
- US 11W (Lee Highway)
- US 25E (East Tennessee Crossing Byway, Appalachian Development Corridor S)
- SR 1 (Concurrent to US 11W)
- SR 32 (Concurrent to US 25E)
- SR 375 (Lakeshore Drive)
Major surface routes
- Broadway Drive (old US 25E)
- County Line Road
- Crosby Drive
- Huntsman Lane
- Main Street (old US 11W)
- Meadow Branch Road
- Miller Road
- Moore's Chapel Road
- Phyllis Drive
- Rocky Springs Road
- Rocky Summit Road
- Shady Lane
- Peter Ellis Bean - filibuster
- William Bean - longhunter, namesake, and town founder
- Jimmy Duncan - U.S. House Representative
- Robert E. Preston - Director of United States Mint
- William Tandy Senter - U.S. House Representative
- Jerry Sexton - politician
- John K. Shields - United States Senator
In popular culture
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bean Station, Tennessee.|
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