Early Settlers in Powell's Valley

     In the year 1769 Joseph Martin of Henry County, Virginia, led a group of explorers into Powell's Valley in search of land. After much difficulty in finding the valley they staked out land claims of thousands of acres and then returned to Henry County. In October of 1775, Martin again returned with would-be settlers to the valley and built Martin's Station on Martin's Creek. Some of his men proceeded to seek out and establish land sites for future homes, as no women came in this group. In June of 1776 most of Powell's Valley was evacuated for fear of war with the Cherokee Indians. Martin had returned to Henry County at this particular time, but sent a messenger to his men at Martin's Station advising them to evacuate because of the Indian scare. They all left the Station and went to Blackmore's Station on Clinch River. Martin returned and led his men against the Cherokee in Col. William Christian's campaign in October 1776 and after that returned with them to Powell's Valley, where they remained until 1777 when Captain Joseph Martin was appointed Indian agent to the Cherokee nation. Martin's Station on Martin's Creek was deserted until after the Revolutionary War - in fact, it never was reoccupied, but Martin did return to the Valley after peace was made and built a new station further down the valley and 18 miles from Cumberland Gap, near the present Rose Hill. The original site on Martin's Creek was referred to after the Revolution as "Martin's Old Station" and it was near this place that Brice Martin, brother of Joseph Martin, and Mordecai Hoard laid out their land grants in Powell Valley. Brice Martin laid his land grant at the Beaver Dam Springs on Indian Creek, six miles below Martin's Old Station.
     There is an interesting family tradition attached to the name of Brice Martin, whose father emigrated from England to America on a ship called the "Brice". The family afterward adopted the name of the ship for Christian names for sons.
     Brice Martin didn't really ever make his home in Powell Valley, only staying on the frontier a short time, returning to his home on Smith's River in Henry County, where he died about 1817 or 1818.

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