In 1799, John Gilleland donated land along the French Broad River (the area now referred to as "Old Town") to create the town of Newport. In 1834, Newport had a population of 150, two general stores, two doctors, three blacksmiths, two tailors, two hatters, two churches and two taverns. The town of Newport relocated to nearby railroad tracks when the Cincinnati, Cumberland Gap and Charleston Railroad was constructed between 1866 and 1869. The Newport Milling Company and Stokely Brothers & Company canning factory contributed to the town's growth. Though Stokely Brothers eventually operated 34 factories in 14 states, the headquarters remained in Newport. Today, Newport has a population of 33,000 and four state and national forests. Though much has changed over the years, the centuries-old town has never lost its small town appeal.