Cocke County is filled with historic sites to see such as the Swaggerty Fort in Parrottsville.
Tucked in the northeast corner of Cocke County, the average traveler would not necessarily find Parrottsville, unless they were driving from Newport to Greensville. Along the way, a traveler would discover that Parrottsville is one of the oldest towns in Tennessee dating back to 1780, a decade before Tennessee became a state and just a few years post American Revolution.
The original settlers of Parrottsville came from Germany. Two properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Yett Ellison House (1857) on Main St and the Swaggerty Block House just north of the downtown on 321 along Clear Creek.
A controversy regarding the date of the structure and purpose was debated until 2009. Blockhouses were fortifications built on edges of the western frontier to protect settlers and to protect Indian lands. The name Swaggerty dates back to an early settler- James Swaggerty, around the time of 1787. Conflict between the settlers and Native Americans were heightened due the Indigenous People’s alliance with the British during the Revolutionary War, and with the repeated breaking of land treaties by settler expansion onto tribal lands.
While the Swaggerty blockhouse has features of a frontier blockhouse, research conducted by graduate student, D Mann, University of TN in 2009* proved that the building was likely built in 1860 by land owner and farmer, Jacob Stephens.