The origins of Potneck.
Known as one of the earlier settled communities in Stewart County, there are several stories as to how Potneck received its name. One version states that there was a crook in the river resembling the neck of a tea pot. If you run down the Cumberland River you will note that this is, in fact, true. There is a bend, a couple of miles North of town that would have, in the early 19th century, been a lot smaller and a lot more predominant as a tea pot neck.
A more colorful story, however, tells that early in the 1800′s a south side man and a north side man had an argument following a few hours of drinking during a picnic down across the Cumberland River on the north side of Dover. Remember, to go “down” the river is to go north, towards Kentucky. The southside man walloped the northside one with a skillet. He gave him a mean lick with a skillet! Whereupon, the northside man smacked the southside one with a pot that, then, broke to its neck! He was left holding only the pot’s neck in his hand.
Following this incident, the south side was known as Lick Skillet and later, Lick Creek? The north side became know as Potneck and the name did not change. Some sort of division line had, apparently, been long established. Possibly, that division line is now best defined as Highway 79 running East and West and the Cumberland River flowing South to North.
Early settlers of Potneck included the Cherrys, Lewis’, Williams’, Pages, Jacksons, Wallaces, and the Newberrys. POTNECK is located on the east side of the Cumberland River running about 6 miles north and away from Highway 79. Most people between there and Ft. Campbell declare themselves to be “Potneckers”. However, I have heard that people from as far away as California have also claimed to be “Potneckers!”.
Stewart List subscriber, Chuck Allen, writes, “Pot Neck is the area just across the river from Dover, actually behind the Headquarters [now, Pit Stop] toward Bumpus Mills, but there are people on and around Bagsby Hill that claim that area as Potneck too. I always considered the whole area as Potneck myself.”
Most everyone living there, if asked, would be proud to be called a “Potnecker”.
Please share your stories of Potneck.