Visiting Trade, Tennessee – a historic community in Northeast, Tennessee

Trade, Tennessee is the oldest town in the state of Tennessee, An expedition team came through Trade to explore the area. A trading post was established in the 18th century on an old buffalo trail in what is now Northeast Tennessee. Originally known as “The Trade Gap,”, it served Native Americans, pioneers, and fur traders. They came here to buy and sell their wares and catch up on the latest news from the East. Today, Trade, Tennessee is adjacent to North Carolina on US 421.

You are in a good spot for grabbing a bite to eat as you enter Tennessee from North Carolina. Sharpie’s Restaurant is on the left about 100 yards into the state. Stateline Fireworks is across the street. We visited Sharpie’s in Trade for both breakfast and lunch.

The area was explored by the Needham – Arthur expedition in 1673-1674. It consisted of James Needham, Gabriel Arthur and eight Native Americans. Although we don’t learn much about the expedition at school, they were formative in paving this route for westward expansion. Notably, they were the first English speakers to come to the area. Traveling from Fort Henry, Virginia to Northeast Tennessee, they explored portions of Georgia, North Carolina and the area of Southwest Virginia – in addition to Trade, Tennessee where we now stand.


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