Tennessee was the last state to secede from the Union during the Civil War. It joined the Confederacy in June 1861, but a significant portion of its population remained loyal to the Union, leading to a bitter and divided conflict within the state.
Campbell County, Tennessee has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee people, who lived off the land and established a thriving culture. However, the arrival of European settlers in the late 1700s brought significant changes to the region.

The county was officially established in 1806 and named after Arthur Campbell, a Revolutionary War veteran. During this time, the economy thrived on agriculture, with tobacco and corn being the main crops. The construction of the Cumberland Gap Turnpike in the early 19th century further boosted the county's development, as it became a vital trade route linking East Tennessee to Kentucky.

The Civil War had a profound impact on Campbell County, as it witnessed several skirmishes and battles. Unlike many other counties in the state, Campbell County was evenly divided in its support for the Union and the Confederacy, which led to tensions and conflicts among its residents. After the war, the region faced economic challenges, as the previously prosperous tobacco industry declined.

In the 20th century, Campbell County experienced both progress and setbacks. The completion of Norris Dam in 1936 brought much-needed employment opportunities to the area during the Great Depression. However, the construction of the dam also resulted in the displacement of many residents and the loss of farmland. Throughout the latter half of the century, the county worked to diversify its economy, with industries such as coal mining and manufacturing becoming more prominent.

Today, Campbell County is known for its natural beauty, including the Norris Lake and the Cumberland Mountains, which attract tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. It remains a predominantly rural county, with a mix of traditional industries and a growing service sector. The county continues to honor its history through museums, historical markers, and events that celebrate its diverse heritage.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Campbell County, Tennessee.

  • 1806 - Campbell County is established by the Tennessee General Assembly
  • 1836 - The county's first courthouse is completed in Jacksboro
  • 1861-1865 - Campbell County residents participate in the American Civil War
  • 1892 - The LaFollette Coal, Iron, and Railway Company starts mining operations in the area
  • 1904 - The town of LaFollette is officially incorporated
  • 1933 - Norris Dam is completed, creating Norris Lake and providing hydroelectric power to the area
  • 1942-1945 - During World War II, the Tennessee Valley Authority builds the Oak Ridge reservation nearby to support the Manhattan Project
  • 1950s-1970s - The construction of Interstate 75 brings increased accessibility to Campbell County
  • 1984 - The Campbell County Historical Society is founded
  • 2007 - Campbell County celebrates its bicentennial anniversary