Monroe County lies partly in the Tennessee Valley and partly in the Unaka Mountains. Like other counties of this region, it is rich in minerals, especially iron and marble, neither of which have yet been extensively developed. The western portion of the county is traversed by four parallel valleys, through which run Sweetwater, Pond, Fork and Bat Creeks. The largest stream within the county is Tellico Run, which rises, in the mountains, and flowing north unites with the Little Tennessee, which forms the dividing line between Monroe and Blount Counties. Both of these streams are navigable a portion of the year. The greater part of the county was originally included in the Hiwassee District, and at one time contained several Indian towns, among which were Tellico, Chota, Citico, Toqua and Tennessee. It also contains the ruins of the first structure erected in Tennessee by Anglo-Americans. It is known as old Fort Loudon, and was built in 1756 by order of the Earl of Loudon, then governor of Virginia. It was garrisoned by a force of 200 men under Capts. Demere and Stuart. Its armament consisted of twelve cannon brought across the mountains on pack horses. In 1760 the Cherokee Indians, instigated by the French, captured the fort, and afterward killed the greater part of the garrison. It was never reoccupied. After the purchase of the Hiwassee District the county was rapidly settled.