Sharps Chapel, Tennessee

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Sharps Chapel is an unincorporated community in Union County, Tennessee. It is located on Norris Lake.


American Revolutionary War veteran Henry Sharp settled in the area on a 700-acre (280 ha) land grant.[1] According to another source, the community's namesake may be Peter Sharp, another early settler.[2] Peter Sharp was Henry's son.

A post office was established in the area in 1866 and has operated continuously since that time. Initially the post office was called "Clinch River," but in 1869, the name was changed to Sharps Chapel.[3] Sharps Chapel is assigned zip code 37866.

The Bait Ousley house in Sharps Chapel has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1978. This brick Federal style house was built by Jacob Sharp, a son of Henry Sharp, in 1835. The house was sold to Jacob Ousley in 1874 and remained in his family for 132 years, but it was unoccupied for almost 30 years beginning in the 1970s, and was considered to be a haunted house. In 2006 the house was purchased from one of Ousley's descendants, and the new owners began an extensive restoration.[1]

Chuck Swan area[edit]

Sharps Chapel is the site of the administrative office for Chuck Swan State Forest and Wildlife Management Area, a forested tract of more than 24,000 acres (9,800 ha) located between the Clinch River and Powell River arms of Norris Lake, that is jointly managed by the Tennessee Forestry Division and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for wildlife habitat and forest stand improvement.[4][5]


Sharps Chapel is the site of a Union County public elementary school. In the 2009-2010 school year, Sharps Chapel Elementary School enrolled 141 students in kindergarten through grade 5.[6]

Notable people[edit]

Florence Reece, who wrote the song "Which Side Are You On?", was born in Sharps Chapel in 1900.[7] Jesse Graves,[8] author of "Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine" and professor of English at East Tennessee State University, grew up in Sharp's Chapel and bases many of his poems on the experience of living there.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b Kim Trent, Resurrection in Sharps Chapel, Metro Pulse, March 27, 2009
  2. ^ Miller, Larry L. (2001). Tennessee Place-names. Indiana University Press. p. 187. ISBN 0-253-21478-5.
  3. ^ Union County Post Offices and Postmasters, A-L Archived 2010-06-20 at the Wayback Machine. and M-Z Archived 2002-11-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Chuck Swan State Forest, Tennessee Forestry Division, accessed December 4, 2009
  5. ^ Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area map, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, accessed December 4, 2009
  6. ^ Sharps Chapel Elementary School, Union County Public Schools website, accessed August 1, 2010
  7. ^ Florence Reece, Recovered history, The Progressive Review website, accessed December 4, 2009
  8. ^
  9. ^ Town, Interview with featured poet, "The Town Creek Poetry" website, accessed February 15, 2012
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-02-15. "ETSU Literature and Language Faculty" website, accessed February 15, 2012

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°20′37″N 83°48′15″W / 36.3436912°N 83.8040793°W / 36.3436912; -83.8040793