Tennessee was the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, a notorious white supremacist organization that terrorized African Americans and other minority groups throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The group was founded in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1865.
Hawkins County, located in northeastern Tennessee, has a rich and diverse history that stretches back to the earliest settlements in the region. The area was first inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, who had established a presence in the area long before European settlers arrived.

The first European settlers arrived in Hawkins County in the mid-18th century, primarily of German, Scottish, and Irish descent. The county itself was established in 1786 and was named after Benjamin Hawkins, a United States Senator from North Carolina who was a key negotiator with Native American tribes in the area.

During the American Revolutionary War, Hawkins County played a significant role as many of its residents fought for independence. The county served as a base for the Overmountain Men, a group of frontiersmen who gathered in nearby Sycamore Shoals to march against British forces.

In the years following the war, Hawkins County saw the growth of its agricultural economy, with tobacco and corn becoming major cash crops. The county also became an important transportation hub with the completion of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad in the mid-19th century, connecting the region to larger markets.

Today, Hawkins County retains much of its rural character, with agriculture and manufacturing serving as key industries. The county is also known for its natural beauty, with the Cherokee National Forest providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. With its rich history and natural resources, Hawkins County continues to be a cherished part of Tennessee's heritage.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Hawkins County, Tennessee.

  • 1761 - Hawkins County established as a county in the state of Tennessee
  • 1775 - First permanent settlement, known as the "Pleasant Hill Community"
  • 1780 - Battle of Island Flats fought during the American Revolutionary War
  • 1787 - State legislature designates Rogersville as the county seat
  • 1812 - Formation of McPheeter's Bend community, known for salt production
  • 1831 - Construction of the Hawkins County Courthouse
  • 1861 - Civil War begins, Hawkins County supports the Confederacy
  • 1887 - Virginia Iron Coal and Coke Company establishes the town of Surgoinsville
  • 1927 - Railroad service expands to Hawkins County, boosting economic growth
  • 1953 - Tennessee Eastman Company opens a chemical plant in Kingsport
  • 1971 - Hawkins County Heritage Association formed to preserve local history
  • 1996 - Cherokee Lake officially opened to the public for recreational activities
  • 2011 - 9th largest wildfire in Tennessee history occurs in Hawkins County