Abrams Falls

This is a fantastic if not well-known waterfall near Bristol, TN/Va. It's a short hike from the end of Abrams Falls Rd to the main waterfall, but very narrow and dangerous at times. More info and a map can be found here.
I believe the stream must be Abrams Creek, but I can't find a name. While looking for more info, I came across this poster of "Chief Benje Abrams Falls" at allposters.com, but can find nothing on the web about a "Chief Benje Abrams".

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Anonymous said...

My father bought several tracts of land bordering Abrams Falls in the early 1960's. The creek is Abrams creek. I had never heard of Chief Benge Abrams until I heard about the poster on allposters.com. I have a theory. Back in the late 1700's when the white folk were first pouring into this area there was a Cherrokee son of a chief named Dragging Canoe, brother of Nancy Ward and son of "The Little Carpenter". Canoe did not like the idea of his father appeasing the white folk and declared war at Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton Tn.
He alligned himself with several others who like himself were against the selling of thier lands. One of the most prominant warriors of the group was a half black/half Shawnee man named "Bob Benge" mostly known as "Benge" He is one of my heros though I admit I don't know all that much about him. You can read about him by researching Nancy Ward, there is a book. I know he had a camp in Mendota on the N Fork of the Holston River which is very close to where the Abrams creek merges. He was murdered near the John Douglas Wayside on what is now Hwy 19 north of Abingdon Va. My theory at this point is that until a certain time the falls had been known as Benge Falls, then later Benge/Abrams falls and now only Abrams falls.

Loki said...

Thanks for the information. At least I know the name of the creek. It's an incredible waterfall. I'll have to look for some books on Benge and Nancy Ward.

Laura said...

Loki - Could you give some directions on how to get to Abrams Falls? I grew up in Kingsport and went once several years ago and would very much like to see it again when I return home later this year.

svs said...


Anonymous said...

There is an episode on Finding Bigfoot where they mention the Falls and someone saw one there. I spent many days at the falls when I was a kid. Many get it confused with the Little Falls. It can be very dangerous, especially if you are coming in from the Gum Hill side.

sheri said...

re: The private property/patrol. I was there in 2011 and there were no postings/keep outs etc. SEveral other people were there playing with children in the creek and we met other cars coming in as we left (none were patrol/guards. This post seems like a scare tactic for unknown reasons?

Anonymous said...

I can help with how Abrams Falls got its name. It was named for Abraham (Abram) Bledsoe (1737-1801). He was a brother of Anthony and Isaac who were killed by Indians at Bledsoe's Fort north of Nashville. Abraham was with them for a while, but got homesick for Southwest Virginia and moved back to the area and settled on the land where the falls are. He later sold it to the Spahr family. I'm a direct descendant of Abram Bledsoe. He later owned land on Reedy Creek in today's Kingsport.

Chandra said...

That information 'anonymous' wrote about Chief Benge is completely wrong. I am a descendent of Benge, he was half white, half Cherokee. He was known for his red hair and European looks.

Laki Lucid said...

No its the truth. I and my husband and friend were just there two months ago. Its blocked off and posted. You have to get permission to go there from the website http://abramsfalls.info/Abrams_Falls/page_1.html they will email you and then if approved you will get a postcard in the mail to show the landowners and the sheriff. You will be given a set of rules you must follow or be arrested for defacing private property. They are as follows : "On Jun 18, 2013 6:18 PM, "Susan Fiene" wrote: Hello Lakin,

Thank you for asking permission to hike to Abrams Falls. There have been some problems with the new neighbor at the end of Abrams Falls Road, so it would be best if you could allow me to send you a post card saying you have my permission to hike. I have notified the Sheriff that people who have permission to hike will have a card. Could you send me your snail mail address?

We also ask that you not publish images of the falls on the internet. We are trying to focus public attention to our web site, not multiple sites. At some point we hope the area will become a park and our database will be used to demonstrate public interest.

I assume you are an experienced hiker with high-top boots, etc.? We don't represent the trail as being "safe"; it is little better than a deer trail at this point, but we have cleared some of the blow-down and have marked a route that avoids the property oft the new neighbor. Do not use the trail that you used years ago. It is now very unsafe and crosses the property of the new neighbor. Print out the map on our web site and follow the flagged trail for an easier walk and to protect the fragile environment. There will be a steep scramble down the final descent to the main viewing area, and I ask that you try not to dislodge the plants clinging to the cliffs—some of them are quite rare! Climbing on the spillway ledge is not allowed for your safety as well as the rare plants along the trail. Also, we ask that you help maintain the site by collecting any trash you see and report any misbehavior to the sheriff and to me. I know this is a lot to ask, but it will be well worth the trip to such a beautiful pristine site.


So as you see it is not a scare tactic. It is the truth. They blocked it off due to new land owners and deaths at the falls. No one likes it but we have to deal with it. Maybe do your research before saying someone is lying? Like going there yourself to see its barracaded then going to the site? Anyway, hope this helps everyone.

Anonymous said...

My mother's first cousin Oakie Virginia Williams 16 and a friend who tried to save her fell from the top of these falls to their deaths in 1942 ..I have always wanted to visit the falls but guess I wont be able to now..

Anonymous said...

To the gentleman asserting that Chief Benge is one of his heroes. I would pick another hero. The historical record and from information contained in the "Early settlers of Virginia". Chief Benge was a murdering thug. His raids killed innocent settlers along Yokum station, and towns up and down the area. The early settlers never romanticized or dignified his pursuits as though they were fueled by land disputes. He was a murderer, and apparently enjoyed killing, life and innocence he held in low regard. The "band of twelve" that took off from Yokum. Family tradition says that that Vincent Hobbs was one of the volunteers who set out after Chief Benge lacked a rifle and shot, and was loaned one by David Cocke. The very rifle that killed the renegade half-breed. He wasn't hero material....pick one of the settlers, not him.

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This blog is a work in progress. An ardent perambulator and nature enthusiast; I take pictures of what I see and post them here occasionally.