In 1775, Daniel Boone and 35 axmen began clearing the forests of eastern Tennessee, in what would later become the town of Kingsport, to create the Wilderness Road, one of two major routes used by western settlers at the time. Since then, portions of the trail have been preserved in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and Wilderness Road State Park in Virginia, and in the early 1900s, a segment of that road would become one of the first paved roads in the United States.
Today, the erstwhile Kingsport Mets, a rookie-level affiliate of the New York Mets, paid homage to their hometown’s place in history by rebranding as the Kingsport Axmen, one of ten teams in the new-look collegiate summer level Appalachian League.
“Kingsport’s new name is absolutely fitting considering Daniel Boone and his ‘Axmen’ began The Wilderness Trail in Kingsport, Tennessee,” said Boyd Sports President Chris Allen, quoted on the team’s website. “The Axmen is a name that will resonate with all.”
The Axmen will take the field June 3, when the Appalachian League debuts.