During the monthly dragging of Fort Loudon lake for bodies, the Knox County Rescue Squad has found the treasure of one of East Tennessee’s few pirates.
The main tributaries of Fort Loudon lake are the Holston River, French Broad River, and Little Tennessee River. Until July 8, 1940 when construction began on the Fort Loudon dam, a small number of pirates frequented the Holston and French Broad rivers.
Although detailed information is sketchy, it is believed that Captain Blue Ridge (so named due to a lack of blood-flow in his brow) lived in a lean-to near the location of the dam. When the dam officially became operational he simply drowned in his sleep. The assumption is that the Captain didn’t move during construction of the facility because he simply didn’t believe it could really hold back all that water.
Captain Blue Ridge was the most feared of the East Tennessee pirates for shamelessly attacking canoes and stealing boxed lunches during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The items recovered from the bottom of the lake were bound together in a flour sack.
Captain Blue Ridge’s treasure included spare change totaling $4.29, some old sausages, and a collection of pewter spoons.