Tharpe is located on Barrett's Creek in the old nineth civil district, ten miles northwest of Dover. The first families were Gatlins and Scarboroughs who settled in 1804 and 1805. These families came soon after; Colemans, Nolens, Sextons, Weeks, Williams, Gardners, Boyds, and Woffords. The settlement became known as Iron Mountain Furnace, built in 1854. The people first farmed and had a few slaves. the largest blast furnace furnished jobs, but this came to an end as the furnace shut down because of no railroad transportation.
The Civil War brought everything to a standstill. The people suffered many hardships. Some of the men and boys joined the 50th Tennessee Regiment and "distinguished themselves in defense of the water batteries of Ft. Donelson."
Hannible Allentharpe (shortened to Ham Tharpe) settled there just after the Civil War. He moved from Henry County, bought over 600 acres of land, and went into the mercantile business. A town grew up around Tharpe's Store ---- mills, cotton gin, a school with what we call secondary subjects, two churches, and Tharpe Post Office, established in 1883, making the name official.
The Cincinnati Corporation Company bought the old furnace lands and employed many people in manufacturing tubs and barrels, also improving steam boat trade.
Later, Ayer and Lord and Bartee Tie Company made railroad ties. Sawmills were set up and many people worked. This business succeeded the manufacturing of tubs and barrels.
Tharpe had a grist mill by 1915, a flour mill, a planing mill, a blacksmith shop, and a tobacco prizing factory. Merchants were W.D. Sykes, G.H. Moery, John Allen, B.F. Dunlap. Mrs. Gertie Whitford was the last post mistress and the only store is the Crutcher Store. The rest was lost to the arrival of the "Land Between the Lakes."
On a hillside on Bear Creek, behind Lester Riggins' house, is a stone with this inscription, ''H. H. Tharpe, December 1, 1835 - May 7, 1915."
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