Bear Meat Cabin

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Photograph of Bear Meat Cabin

Bear Meat Cabin or Bearmeat Cabin (founded 1816) was the name of the first settlement in present-day Blount County, on the site of the present city of Blountsville. The settlement was pioneered at a junction of trails near the cabin of a Creek Indian translator called Bear Meat or "Wassausey".

By 1816 Caleb Fryley, brother-in-law and companion of John Jones travelled to Bear Meat Cabin from Madison County along the Huntsville Road, still mainly an Indian trace which led from Ditto's Landing to Mud Town on the Cahaba River. Jones continued on and settled at Jonesboro in the valley that also bears his name. Jones and Fryley were the first white settlers to make their homes in the area, and their Tennessee neighbors soon began swarming into the region. Bear Meat Cabin became a thriving trading post as crossing roads were blazed to other settlements.

After 1817 a safe road from South Carolina was also established, and by 1818 the area became populous enough for the Territorial Legislature to create a county. John Gilbraith, William Reno, Stephen Box, Moses Burleson and Henry McPherson were appointed commissioners and charged with selecting a county seat. They chose Bear Meat Cabin, which was renamed Blountsville.

In pioneer days, Bear Meat Cabin had a blacksmith forge and a Methodist missionary, Ebenezer Hearn.


  • Powell, George (1855) "A Description and History of Blount County." Rpt. in Blount County: Glimpses from the Past. (1965/1981) Junior Blount County Historical Society
  • Sivley, Estelle (1936) unknown title. Southern Democrat.