Early Settlers on Bays Mountain
Until the 1700s, this region was inhabited by Native Americans, mostly of the Cherokee tribe. They probably didn’t live on Bays Mountain, but instead lived in the surrounding valleys where game and water were plentiful. The mountain may have occasionally been used for hunting or as a regional lookout from “Sentinel Point”, the end of the mountain where the radio towers stand today.
The Watauga Land Purchase of 1775 transferred most of this region to white settlers. And by 1778, some land deeds had begun to reference ‘Bays Mountain’, the first official uses of the name.
Where did the ‘Bays’ name come from? Read here.
It’s believed that the first settlers to establish a community on the mountain were John Goad (or Goode) and his family. One interesting piece of trivia is that John Goad was the uncle of John Sevier, Tennessee’s first governor. The Goad family built homes and a schoolhouse (‘Bays Mountain School’) on the mountain.