The Establishment of the Railroad and Marble Industry
The need for improved methods of importing supplies and exporting local products had for some time been recognized by farmers and merchants of East Tennessee who, of necessity, relied on horse drawn freight wagons or rafts and barges. In 1852, the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, later to become the Southern Railway, purchased right-of-way in the Big Sinking Creek area. In 1853, construction along the north bank of the Tennessee River caused a population and development shift to the area that later became Concord.
Concord was founded and platted in 1854 on land owned by James M. Rodgers. Before that time, the area was sparsely settled. Mr. Rodgers laid out 55 lots and gave the new town the name Concord. He began to sell lots in 1855 but later moved to California. Shortly before he moved, he sold several large tracts of land, some of which are still intact in sections of the village. Large farms were centered around the Tennessee River and relied on a nearby settlement, Campbell's Station (modern Farragut), for trade and other urban needs.
The first dwelling in Concord, a boarding house, was built by Shadrack Callaway. Combining the existing river transportation with the railroad made Concord the nucleus of several communities in Blount COunty including Friendsville and Louisville, which were connected to Concord by ferry
but were not to have rail transportation until the 1890s.
In the 1880s, Concord became the center of a large Tennessee marble production industry. Several quarries were located near the Holston (now Tennessee) River in Callaway's Ridge. The town also became the center of marble shipping as quarries in the Louisville and Friendsville area, on the south side of the river, shipped Tennessee marble to Concord to take advantage of the town's rail connections. In 1883, four marble companies were operating: the Lima and East Tennessee Company, Stamps Wood 7 Company, the Stewart Company and the Republic Company. Another, the Juanita Company, built a mill for sawing and polishing marble. The facility became the property of Enterprise Marble Company in 1886, the last company to quarry marble extensively.
None of the buildings associated with the marble industry in Concord remain today as many were flooded when Fort Loudoun Lake was impounded. The only remnant are a foundation which held a crusher. This foundation is located in the Rocky Point area of Concord Park and is visible from the Concord Road railroad bridge looking east.
"The special event of the week was meeting the 5 o'clock train on Saturday afternoon. Concord people always went to Knoxville on Saturday to do their shopping, go to the dentist, and so on. There would be two, three or more get off each time.
We would visit and have a good time until the train pulled out, then we would gradually drift off home - sometimes with or without our current 'date'"
- Hazel Deane Koon, born 1898, recalls happy memories of Concord between 1908 and 1918.