The Swaggerty Blockhouse has historical and cultural significance for Tennessee because it is believed to be the only remaining 18th Century blockhouse in the state. We incorporated analyses of artifacts obtained from archaeological excavations coupled with tree-ring dating techniques to determine the possible year of construction of the structure. A nearby reference tree-ring chronology from Norris Dam anchored the Swaggerty Blockhouse tree-ring chronology from 1674 to 1859. The assemblages of artifacts (nails, ceramics, and window glass) recovered from the site corroborated the construction date and provided a clear understanding of the structure's use as a barn for storage and hog processing. Based on our analyses, the historic Swaggerty “Blockhouse,” originally believed to have been built by James Swaggerty in 1787, is instead a small cantilever barn built by Jacob Stephens in 1860 and used for hog farming.
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