History of the Gap
Cumberland Gap is a
natural Passage through the Mountains near the point where Virginia,
Kentucky, and Tennessee meet. It was explored and named by Dr.
Thomas Walker and Daniel Boone blazed the Wilderness Road through
the Gap into Kentucky. During the Civil War it was considered a
strategic location held, at times by both Confederate and Union
force. Although, there were many skirmishes and the Gap changed
hands four times during the war, no major battles actually took
Dr. Thomas Walker first called this" Cave Gap" he later called it Cumberland Gap. He named it after William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland. William Augustus was a soldier in command in 1745 in Flanders. In the last battle fought he defeated with great slaughter the Highland forces refusing quarters to the wounded and prisoners. Some whose sympathies were with the Highlanders were disappointed that the beautiful mountains of the Appalachians, this Gap, and a most scenic river, should carry his name. It is claimed that many in the early days endeavored to change it to Ouasioto-its Indian name rather than give honor to the Duke of Cumberland.
Cumberland Gap became postal town in 1803, but it wasn't until April 1, 1907 that it was actually incorporated and became a town. Cumberland Gap has the only post office that has been in three states (Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia). In October 1885 it was changed back to Claiborne County, Tennessee where it remains today.