Speedwell was settled by pioneers who purchased land from the Richard Henderson Company in 1783. Speedwell is a rural community spreading from Cumberland Mountain to Norris Lake and from Wells Spring to Cumberland Gap (434 sq. miles). Don’t expect to find a proper town; the heart of Speedwell is a small post office and bank (in the same building). The community lies in Claiborne, Campbell, and Union Counties. It is primarily a farming community with many decedents of the first early settlers. Carr Gap and Wilson Gap were used by miners to travel to the mines in the Tackett Creek area and also for farmers and peddlers to sell their wares to the mining families. Speedwell boasts the oldest school building in Tennessee, Historic Speedwell Academy 1827. Davis Creek Church was the first church established in 1797. Civil War soldiers, Union and Confederate, used these passes as the area changed hands four times. Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer secured the Speedwell Academy as his headquarters. –SP/RP

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