How Did Tennessee Become “Tennessee”?

Bob Mayer
3 min readAug 24, 2021

I’ve been in Tennessee a while now and never really thought about the state’s name. I assumed it was Native American, but figured it might mean “Lots of Rocks” or “Hilly on one end, flat on the other”.

I was on a All Who Wander wander the other day in the Jeep. I have two Gaia maps open, one via Apple Car Play and the other on my iPad. Saw an unimproved road (my favorite kind) in Cherokee National Forest next to the Little Tennessee River. I could tell it was a dead end on a peninsula into the river, so, of course, I took it. Just to see. Whatever. (Honestly, Scout…

Bob Mayer

West Point grad; Special Ops Vet; NY Times bestseller of over 80 books; for free books and over 200 free downloadable slideshows go to