Yokum's Station

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Southwest Virginia Project
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This article is one of a series on the forts of southwest Virginia during the period of Indian Hostilities, (1774-1794). The accompanying map shows the location of the forts in the Powell, Clinch, and Lower Holston watersheds. An index to these forts is found at List of Forts of Southwest Virginia. The location of many of these forts is known only approximately, and different sources sometimes suggest different locations. Much of the information in these articles is based on Emory Hamilton's article "Frontier Forts".




Located in Powell Valley on the banks of Powell River, between Dryden and Woodway, near where the highway crosses the bridge at the Wygal place. Yokum’s Station seems to have been a neighborhood fort for the scattered settlers of Turkey Cove.


Some time after 1780, supposedly at the home of George Yokum.


The station was perhaps the home of one George Yokum and anything of his personal life is unknown to this writer. It appears that the station was built some time after 1780, since this is about the time that Turkey Cove began to be settled, with Vincent Hobbs and some others settling there in this year. No description has been found for this fort and none of the military correspondence or pension claims make mention of it. This leads to the assumption that it may have been only a neighborhood fort manned by the settlers. The only intimation that militia troops might have been stationed there comes from the assignment order for militia troops in 1792, which shows a Captain, Sergeant, Corporal and 24 Privates stationed in the Turkey Cove, but does not show at what particular places, if any, they were stationed.

In a letter written from Morristown, TN, September 9, 1925, by Mr. William A. Orr, who grew up in the neighborhood of the fort, to Dr. David F. Orr, he says:

"When the fort was built there was only a trail from it up and down the river, up Turkey Cove and on over Lovelady Gap and across Natural Tunnel in Scott County. It was then part of Washington County. Do you remember a large pile of rocks at the Comfrey Patch? That is where the fort stood. It was from there that Captain Hobbs went when he shot Benge."

It is true that it was from this fort that Captain Vincent Hobbs led his small band of settlers that killed the half-breed Indian Chief Benge in present Wise Co., VA, forever freeing the frontier from the Indian scourge. All of Hobb’s men lived in and around Turkey Cove and most of them were members of the militia in Capt. Andrew Lewis' (Jr.) Command, which again might suggest that some militia was stationed at this fort.


Hamilton, 1968
Source:Redd, 1899-1900. Reminiscences of Western Virginia, 1770-1790. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol 6:338-340, vol 7:248. See Google Snippets. Need to see original. This work seems to have been published over at least two years, and appears in both volume 6 and 7. Portions may also have been published prior to 1899.