Friendsville is a small town with a rich, varied history. It had
its beginnings in the late 1790s, when several related families
with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) moved from North
Carolina into what is now Blount County and established a Friends
meeting about 12 miles from Maryville, the county seat. The
families built a gristmill and a sawmill and later sold town lots.
The Friendsville Post Office was established in 1850, and the town
was incorporated in 1953. Friendsville has played a remarkable role
in the history of the United States. The Friends, who did not
support war or slavery, operated several stops on the Underground
Railroad during the Civil War, helping runaway slaves, freed
African Americans, and southern residents who wanted to fight for
the North or move north to avoid the war. The area is now noted for
its marble production, with Friendsville pink marble gracing such
buildings as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
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