Hamilton County and Soddy-Daisy dignitaries gathered Tuesday to mark the site where Hamilton County’s first laws were upheld. According to Hamilton County records, the first courthouse was located in a tavern.
In the 1820s, Hasten Poe operated a popular tavern located near a local crossroad. The tavern was selected to be the first courthouse by three commissioners - Hamilton County’s first Sheriff Charles Gamble, Hamilton County’s first permanent white settler Robert Patterson and William Lauderdale.
The tavern was selected because of its crossroads location and it was a popular meeting place.
Rohn Poe is a descendant of Hasten Poe and led the effort to have a permanent marker displayed noting the site of the original Hamilton County Courthouse. Mr. Poe said he wanted his ancestor’s landmark remembered because “my dad, Roland Poe, long tried to have a marker placed on the site to note the historical significance of the tavern remembered, since it is the original county seat.”
County Mayor Claude Ramsey and Commissioner Fred Skillern used county funds to pay for a marker identifying the local landmark.
County Mayor Ramsey said he is pleased to have a role in helping folks remember Hamilton County’s legal legacy. He said, “Less than 900 people lived here in 1820 when a federal census was taken. But even in our county’s infancy, people understood government is necessary to allow people to go about their every day lives. So they looked for a popular place where people gathered and selected Hasten Poe’s establishment and law was clearly established in Hamilton County.”
Commissioner Skillern, who has an avid interest in local history, said he was happy to pledge his financial support to the marker. “I believe it is important to remember our history. I don’t think many people know Daisy was the original county seat. I think it is a good lesson to have this maker here so people will remember our past.”
While Poe’s Tavern was eventually torn down, another house was built on the tavern’s original foundation. That home still stands along Dayton Pike at the site that in Hamilton County’s early years was known as Poe’s Crossroads.