The First Residents of Historic Travellers Rest
From approximately 1400-1475 A.D., the land that would later be known as Travellers Rest was a Native American village during the pre-historic Mississippian period, the last of the four major cultural periods before first contact with white settlers. In 1796, the remains of a palisade wall, home sites and burials from that settlement were present when Judge John Overton acquired the property.
Just nine years later, in 1805, the first of many archaeological investigations began on the site, and the story of the earliest residents of Travellers Rest first began to be documented. Investigations continued at Travellers Rest throughout the 19th century as the emerging profession of archaeology and its first practitioners visited the site. The exact boundaries of this Mississippian village are yet to be determined, but it is speculated to have been between 10-12 acres and was clearly home to a people with advanced social, agricultural and artistic skills.
In 1920 William Myer, while exploring the Middle Tennessee area for the Bureau of American Ethnology, contracted to have this map made of the Travellers Rest site. It supports the description recorded by Dr. Rush Nutt in 1805 upon visiting Travellers Rest.