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Erwin

Trip Planner USA  /  Tennessee  /  Erwin
(4.4/5 based on 1,200+ reviews for 6 attractions)
Things to do: adventure, nature, parks
Erwin is a town in and the county seat of Unicoi County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 6,097 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Johnson City Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.HistoryThe town of Erwin received its name by a mail mishap. On December 5, 1879, the name of the town was Ervin, in honor of D.J.N. Ervin, who had donated 15acre of land for the county seat. A typo made by post office officials caused the name to be recorded as Erwin. The mistake was never corrected.Erwin earned some notoriety in 1916 when the only known public execution of an elephant in Tennessee occurred in the community. Mary, the elephant, had killed her handler, Wallter Eldridge, in nearby Kingsport. As home to the region's largest railway yard, Erwin was the only community with the means to carry out the death sentence. An estimated 2,500 people turned out at the local railway yard to see Mary hoisted by a crane and hanged by a chain around her neck. The first chain snapped, but a larger one was found and the peculiar task completed - she was hanged for half an hour before being declared dead.
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