The first known protest against British taxation in America occurred in Tennessee in 1768, more than a decade before the famous Boston Tea Party. A group of settlers in the Watauga Association signed a petition protesting the British government's attempt to impose taxes on them without their consent.
DeKalb County, Tennessee has a rich and diverse history that stretches back hundreds of years. The area that is now DeKalb County was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee and Shawnee peoples. The first European settlers began to arrive in the late 18th century, attracted by the fertile land and abundance of natural resources.

In 1837, DeKalb County was officially formed and named after Johan De Kalb, a German-born American Revolutionary War hero. The county quickly became known for its agricultural productivity, with farmers cultivating crops such as corn, tobacco, and cotton. The economy was also bolstered by the establishment of grist mills and sawmills along the county's many rivers.

During the Civil War, DeKalb County played a significant role as a strategic transportation hub. The Union Army occupied the county for much of the war, and the Battle of Liberty took place in 1863, resulting in Confederate forces briefly occupying the area. The war brought significant upheaval and hardship to the county, with many residents enduring economic struggles and the loss of loved ones.

As the 20th century dawned, DeKalb County saw advancements in infrastructure and technology. Roads were improved, schools and churches were constructed, and electricity and telephone services were brought to the area. In recent decades, the county has continued to grow and change, with a focus on tourism, agriculture, and small businesses.

Today, DeKalb County retains its rural charm and natural beauty, while also embracing modern amenities and opportunities. It remains a close-knit community with a strong sense of pride in its history and a dedication to preserving its heritage for future generations.

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

  • 1801 - DeKalb County is established and named after Johann de Kalb, a German military officer who served in the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1838 - The county seat is officially established in the town of Alexandria.
  • 1861 - DeKalb County sends soldiers to fight in the American Civil War as part of the Confederate Army.
  • 1967 - Center Hill Dam is completed, creating Center Hill Lake and providing a boost to tourism in the area.
  • 2018 - The county celebrates its bicentennial anniversary with various events and activities.