Washington County, Tenn. land record book to return after over a century

Local

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – After 124 years, a copy of Washington County’s earliest land records is coming back to Jonesborough.

The book, also referenced as the Watauga Purchase Book, not only contains the earliest land records of the county, but also the Volunteer State.

“It’s a very exciting day, and not just for me, but for everyone who’s been involved,” Washington County Archivist and Records Manager Ned Irwin said. “People have been trying to get this back for a long time.”

The original book, Deed Book “A,” was lost. Jonesborough’s copy was sent to Nashville in 1897 to display for the Tennessee State Centennial celebrations and never returned.

“From a legal standpoint, if you own property in Washington County and in some of these surrounding areas which were once part of Washington County, the title to your ownership of that piece of property traces back to this book,” Irwin said.

Irwin said local legislators and community members played a huge role in bringing the book back home.

The copy will arrive back in Jonesborough on June 1. A public celebration is planned for the day of its return.

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