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Elizabethton, founded in 1799 and incorporated in 1905, is the county seat of Carter County, Tennessee. It is also the site of the first independent American settlement west of both the Eastern Continental Divide and the original thirteen British colonies in America. The Doe River flows underneath the historic Elizabethton Covered Bridge, built in 1882. The Elizabethton Historic District contains a variety of properties ranging in age from the late 1700's
through the 1930's including most of Elizabethton’s downtown. A Tennessee Historical Marker located on West Elk Avenue in front of the S.P. Carter Mansion in downtown Elizabethton, commemorates the life and naval career of Samuel Powhattan (S.P.) Carter. The Veterans' Monument obelisk guarded by two short field cannons downtown was originally dedicated in 1904 to both Union and Confederate veterans from Carter County.
Elizabethton was first serviced by relatively inexpensive hydroelectric power during the early 1910's, leading to the popular "The City of Power" moniker. The Horseshoe section of the Watauga River is the site of the first hydroelectric dam constructed in Tennessee. In 1922 the City Manager form of government was adopted to replace the Board of Aldermen. Another charter change was made in 1965 to the Modified City Manager-Council form of government.Today, Elizabethton has a population of 14,200 people and occupies approximately nine square miles in Carter County. Elizabethton is a full service city and contains one High School, one Junior High School, and three Elementary Schools. The Elizabethton Municipal Airport is a city owned airport within the city limits and is located only eight minutes from downtown Elizabethton. Elizabethton is also home to a branch of Northeast State Community College located adjacent to the Elizabethton Municipal Airport. Sharing a border with Elizabethton is Johnson City, Tennessee. Elizabethton's central location allows it to be just minutes away from many of East Tennessee's infrastructures including Interstate 26, Interstate 81, Tri-Cities Regional Airport, U.S. Highway 19E, U.S. Highway 321, and U.S. Highway 11E.