Ebbing Spring

The Ebbing Spring and the Sinking Spring Presbyterian congregations called Charles Cummings to be the pastor of their two congregations in 1773. The Anglicans had the exclusive franchise for churches in the Old Dominion, so the Presbyterians had meeting places. Sinking Spring was between the Andrew Colville and Joseph Black farms, now Abingdon. The “Fighting Parson” Cummings’ farm was upstream from Colville on Wolf Creek.

The Ebbing Spring meeting place was on the Old Watauga Road at a ford of Holston River Middle Fork. With the coming of the railroad, this center of frontier activity diminished until it moved. The surviving congregation become Glade Spring Presbyterian Church. Some of Major Edmondson’s troops who mustered at Ebbing Spring are shown in Captain David Beattie’s supplemental ration list. Captains John Dysart, William Edmondson, and David Beattie companies are comingled. Rees Bowen’s troops mustered at Maiden Fort. Captains Andrew Colville, William Neal, and Robert Craig mustered at Newell’s Improvement on Wolf Creek. The ration lists indicate that they are supplemental for those who brought rations with the full payroll list being a different matter.

  • David Beattie ration list.
  • Rees Bowen ration list.
  • Ebbing Spring map.
  • The Ebbing Spring lays dormant, then flows, then goes dormant again in cycles of as little as five minutes to as much as a few hours. The brook running from the spring down to Middle Fork Holston River about 25 yards goes from almost still to babbling and back to silent. On 23Sep2013, the time between ebbing cycles was about five minutes. The tuft of grass on the rock would cycle from damp and totally exposed to totally submerged and back, about a one foot change of depth. Max Johnson said it might get as much as knee deep depending on weather, season, the moon, and whatever else might cause the ebbing. The monument for the church site is about 100 yards NE of the spring.

    Holston River Middle Fork

    Mouth of Ebbing Spring

    Ebbing Spring silent

    The same rock and tuft of grass a minute later-Ebbing Spring flowing

    Washington County Surveyor Book 1, Page 382 – William Edmondson, Samuel Edmondson & James Dysart, acting trustees for Ebbing Spring Congregation – 122 ac – treasury warrant #1984 – corner to James Thompson’s patent tract – to the mouth of the Ebbing Spring on the north side of the middle fork – corner to Col. William Edmondson’s land – corner to Philip Greevers land – May 6, 1788

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