Bear Meat Cabin
Bear Meat Cabin or Bearmeat Cabin was the name of a trading post in present-day Blount County, on the site of the present city of Blountsville. The settlement, sometimes identified with a Creek site called Wasaasa, was located at the crossing of Huntsville Road and the Black Warrior Road, near the border of what had been, before the Treaty of September 14, 1816, Cherokee territory.
The post took its name from the proprietor, a trader or translator, sometimes described as a "chief", called Bear Meat, or You’choo’how’yuh in Cherokee. By 1816 Caleb Fryley, brother-in-law and companion of John Jones traveled to Bear Meat Cabin from Madison County along the Huntsville Road, which led from Ditto's Landing on the Tennessee River 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 "legitimate" white settlers to make their homes in the vicinity, and many of their Tennessee neighbors soon began moving 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.
Fryley instituted a blacksmith's forge at Bear Meat Cabin. The post also enjoyed the services of 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.