Model, Tennessee was a small unincorporated town located in present day Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. Although very little evidence of the town exists today, the Great Western Iron Furnace still stands as a monument of the area’s important iron ore industry in the mid-nineteenth century.
History of Model
The area was first known as Pryor’s Creek, named for the first settler who came in the area sometime around 1800. A post office was established in the area called Bass. The location was named after Jethro Bass, who was the first postmaster. The post office opened in July 1846 but closed in August 1850. Postmaster John Gardner reestablished the post office in 1857.
In 1854, the short-lived Great Western Iron Furnace was established and the community surrounding the company was known as Great Western. Slaves and white men were used for labor. The furnace only lasted until late 1856 when a panic caused by slave insurrection ensued throughout Stewart County.
In addition to the panic, a lack of reliable transportation, fuel, and available raw materials cause the demise of the furnace.
After the Civil War, the Cincinnati Cooperage Company decided to develop the area as a “model town” and that’s how the community got its name. William M. Boyd became the postmaster of the new town on July 12, 1887 and served until February 25, 1921. Lytton G. Acree became the postmaster at that point.
Several people who came to work for the area furnaces decided to set roots around northern Stewart County. The area was attractive with its abundant timber and rich soil in the bottom lands. Many became farmers, timber men, or blacksmiths.
Over the years, the town and surrounding area began to lose population due to the depletion of timber. The land also became less productive for farming so people began to relocate.
The demise of the town was the creation of Land Between The Lakes in the 1960s.
Location of Model
The town was located on the Trace in LBL about three miles south of the Kentucky/Tennessee state line.
The GPS Coordinates of the former site are 36.641754, -87.976829.
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