Saturday, May 15, 2010

Exploring Kyles Ford Along The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine - Part I

Part I - Kyles Ford, Hancock Co., Tennessee: Home of my Wallen ancestors, photos I love!

Kyles Ford is located at the base of Clinch Mountain along the Upper Clinch River approximately two miles from the Tennessee/Virginia border on Highway 70, which is also known as the "Trail of the Lonesome Pine", an auto trail from Detroit to Florida. The 1908 novel by John Fox, Jr. was named for this Trail and was a romance novel based on the struggles of the Applachian mountain folk.

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine begins at the Tennessee state line in the valley formed by Blackwater Creek. It follows that creek past Blackwater, but soon leaves it to ascend Powell Mountain, which it crosses at Hunter Gap. The Trail then comes down off that mountain and rises once again, crossing Wallen Ridge before descending again and crossing the Powell River on Sewell Bridge. From there it heads north across a relatively flat area, ending at U. S. Route 58 in the eastern part of Jonesville.

In 1998 my husband Mike and daughter Hallie and I took nearly two weeks to explore parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. Kyles Ford was our first main stop and where my Wallen roots run deep. My father's family lived there for several generations. Our Revolutionary War ancestor was born there in 1760 when it was still a part of the state of North Carolina. In 1852 Dad's great, great grandfather finally packed his family up and left for Kentucky and most of the family ended up settling there for a time.

These are just a few photos of why I love Kyles Ford. They were taken in and around the area as we blindly followed every little road back into the hills, much of the time singing the little commercial advertisement "Like a Rock!" referring to our fairly new Chevy Astro Van that got us out of every sticky situation and took us over rocky paths and steep inclines.

 I love these old buildings. I hope some still remain. It's been a dozen years and I'm afraid a few may be gone now.  Do click on the pictures to enlarge them!

To be continued.....



  1. Per your May 15th post, I love the photos of the old barns. In going over your blog, we both had a line from the Raritan River, Middlesex Co., NJ area, and you have Concord, MA, as I do. I esp. loved the blog about your mother and your husb. being related through their ancestors(I think that is correct).

  2. Actually it was my mother and my FATHER who were related to each other, both descending from Vincent Rongnion (Runyan/Runyon)of France. My mother's was the paternal line straight down to her and my father's lineage had several maternal links down the line.