Why do they call it that? Irish Cut

Mar 18, 2011 Full story: WBIR-TV 10

In a small homage to the St. Patrick's Day holiday, this week we traveled to Cocke County to explore the history of a small community on the eastern edge of Newport known as Irish Cut.

Full Story
Sup Fresh

Morristown, TN

#1 Mar 18, 2011
In a small homage to the St. Patrick's Day holiday, this week we traveled to Cocke County to explore the history of a small community on the eastern edge of Newport known as Irish Cut.

The neighborhood is almost entirely residential with the exception of a small church. In the middle of the 20th century, the community's identity was tied strongly with the local grocery store and school that are no longer in operation.

"I went to Irish Cut School from the first grade through the eighth grade," said Jim Shelton, a lifelong resident of Irish Cut. "This was just a three-room school and it did not have any water when it was originally built by the WPA in the 1940s. We had to carry buckets of water about half a mile from a nearby sawmill to the school. Then we put a well in front of the school to get water."

The Irish Cut School shut down almost 50 years ago when small schools consolidated, but its brightly-colored stone walls still stand strong today.

"This is made of sandstone from a quarry about two miles from here," said Shelton. "There are several quarries around this area."

"The limestone and other rock can still be seen in walls around the county," said Duay O'Neil, a retired teacher and historical collector who writes for The Newport Plain Talk newspaper. "My father had a great uncle who was one of the Irish stonecutters shortly after the Civil War. Many of our early settlers here in Cocke County came from Ireland and Scotland."

O'Neil said the first wave of Irish settlers arrived shortly after the Revolutionary War, lured by land grants offered to military veterans. Another sizeable contingent of Irish came to East Tennessee in the years following the Civil War.

"I think part of the attraction for the early settlers is our land is so much like what they were accustomed to in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Many Irish settled on a place called Irish Bottom where the Pigeon River and the French Broad River meet. We also have Dutch Bottoms along the river, too."

While Irish settlers cut a foundation in Cocke County, those early residents have nothing to do with the name of the community Irish Cut. The community's name is also unrelated to the nearby stonecutting operations, according to Shelton.

"The word 'cut' is a railroad term. When the railroad tracks have to be dug out below the surface, they call that a cut. You would cut a path for the tracks on top of hills so that the grade wouldn't be so steep," said Shelton. "On the edge of our community is s a railroad cut that runs about a mile long. It became known as the Irish Cut because it was Irish laborers who moved the soil and moved the rock. They were brought in here from somewhere else and I don't know of anyone who stayed here who worked on that cut."

There are now around 90 families who live along Irish Cutt Road. Before the road dead ends, you can still see the old Irish Cutt Grocery store building and the Irish Cut School.

"The community is spelled C-U-T. The word 'Cutt' is a misspelling by a guy from California that stuck for the name of the road. The store used the same spelling as the name of the road it was on, but the community itself is spelled Irish Cut," said Shelton. "When I was growing up this was an extremely tight-knit community. There isn't a house on this road that I have not been in as a child. The grocery store was the center of activity around here where everyone met with each other."

"Many of the families in Irish Cut have lived there for several generations," said O'Neil. "There is always that connection for a lot of them that no matter where you go in this world, it's 'Well, I'm from Irish Cut.' It is a unique name."

http://www.wbir.com/news/article/162262/2/Why...

Someone else ask me the same thing yesterday.
Hope that helps
irish cutt resident

United States

#2 Jun 27, 2011
I also grew up in Irish Cutt and I was taught to to spell it with 2 t's by my father. He told me abouut the Irish that help cut the railroad and also told me that 3 of the Irish families had settled there. They had a business called The Hot dog Stand it didn't last long until it was burned to the ground. The area where it sit was a swap just the the playground was until it was built up. As a child I was told that the first family to settle there was Crum's, Campbell's then the Sheltons and from there on people came from everywhere. My family first lived there in the 40"s after my father returned from WWII. They moved after a year or so then came back in 1959 were I born in the house beside the rock store (on the right side which was just torned down a few months ago.) Later in 1964 the bought a house there were my brother still lives today. It will always be home to me I visit the playground often with my grandkids. I have told them how it came to there and the kids that lived there help put there. William and Dean Ellison who owned and ran the store made up money to help build and maintain it. The Church helped some as well as the National Guard. When you research it in The Newport Plain Talk the people giving credit are wrong. R.T. Mason was the mayor of Irish Cutt but him nor his sons lifted one finger to help. As a matter of fact J.C. & Jack Brooks was the biggest help the rest was just polictical. Dennis,& Susan Owens,and Sherry Campbell were there day in and out working doing all the could until it was completed. It makes me sick to read the artical in the paper I was there and I know the truth. Irish Cutt was a great community to raise kids in then but like everything else things change. At one time the community worked together but those days are history.
remember when

Crouse, NC

#3 Jun 27, 2011
irish cutt resident wrote:
I also grew up in Irish Cutt and I was taught to to spell it with 2 t's by my father. He told me abouut the Irish that help cut the railroad and also told me that 3 of the Irish families had settled there. They had a business called The Hot dog Stand it didn't last long until it was burned to the ground. The area where it sit was a swap just the the playground was until it was built up. As a child I was told that the first family to settle there was Crum's, Campbell's then the Sheltons and from there on people came from everywhere. My family first lived there in the 40"s after my father returned from WWII. They moved after a year or so then came back in 1959 were I born in the house beside the rock store (on the right side which was just torned down a few months ago.) Later in 1964 the bought a house there were my brother still lives today. It will always be home to me I visit the playground often with my grandkids. I have told them how it came to there and the kids that lived there help put there. William and Dean Ellison who owned and ran the store made up money to help build and maintain it. The Church helped some as well as the National Guard. When you research it in The Newport Plain Talk the people giving credit are wrong. R.T. Mason was the mayor of Irish Cutt but him nor his sons lifted one finger to help. As a matter of fact J.C. & Jack Brooks was the biggest help the rest was just polictical. Dennis,& Susan Owens,and Sherry Campbell were there day in and out working doing all the could until it was completed. It makes me sick to read the artical in the paper I was there and I know the truth. Irish Cutt was a great community to raise kids in then but like everything else things change. At one time the community worked together but those days are history.
The Owens, The McGahas, Griffins, Lovedays, Smiths,Crums, and Gorrells. They were all big names in the cutt. Yes alot of the families still live there. Does anybody remember the fire in the afternoon the 2 little girls set with pile of leaves.
irish cut resident

Walland, TN

#4 Jun 27, 2011
Don't remeber the fire but canremeber the day Gomer Gray got hit up side the head with a horseshoe.
What UP

Knoxville, TN

#5 Jun 27, 2011
hot
Marty

Panama City, FL

#6 Jun 28, 2011
People have let it go downhill really bad in the past 10 years or so, most of the places really need to be condemned! People drive so fast up that road knowing that people just let their kids run in the road of course with no supervision at all. They let their small children walk to the park by themselves, and people could grab them and be gone and nobody would ever know where they went. Back 10 years ago it was a nice community, but now it's pretty much a dump.
Marty

Panama City, FL

#7 Jun 28, 2011
Well I will rephrase this back 5 years ago it was ran down bad, but it could have cleaned up since then.
irish cutt resident

Knoxville, TN

#8 Jun 28, 2011
I wish that people who have no ideal what they are talking about would just not post. Irish Cutt is still a nice community it just that some of the people who moved in aren't. When I was a kid we would have ran them off. But those days are gone. Most of the older residents are still there and the community is still quiter and kinder than most. But like everywhere skum is moved in. Irish Cutt take back your commuity. I for one will help tell R.T. Mason to tear down his trash houses or fix them up so good people will want them. Great start there.
my family

United States

#9 Aug 17, 2011
My dads family lives at the end of the road everyone bck here is family..the hurst family has been here since the begining my dad was raised bck here an so hav I an I wuldnt change it. Its so peaceful I love it but its not as peaceful down the road jus quiet around the dead end but things hav changed alot many hav passed including my dad..i jus loved growing up here..
Abracadabra

United States

#10 Sep 4, 2011
I also went to the Irish Cut school for eight year.
My father & mother owned the Irish Cutt Grocery and I worked in it until I entered the US Army in 1960.

Tis a shame it is on the decline!

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