National Register Listing in
Lake County, Tennessee

The city of Nashville played an important role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The city was the site of the first sit-in protest in the United States, when a group of African American college students staged a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter in downtown Nashville in 1960.
Lake County, located in western Tennessee, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally home to Native American tribes, including the Chickasaw, who utilized the natural resources provided by the land and river. European settlers arrived in the 1800s, establishing small farming communities along the Mississippi River and its surrounding areas.

In the late 19th century, the discovery of high-quality clay deposits led to the establishment of several brick-making factories in Lake County. This industry brought economic growth and allowed the community to prosper. Additionally, the region's fertile soil and access to river transportation facilitated the expansion of agriculture, primarily focused on cotton and soybeans.

During the middle of the 20th century, Lake County experienced significant change with the construction of the Kentucky Dam. Completed in 1944, the dam created Kentucky Lake, one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States. This project transformed the local landscape and provided opportunities for water recreation, fishing, and tourism. It also brought about a shift in the local economy, with increased focus on the establishment of recreational facilities and services for visitors.

Lake County continued to evolve throughout the 20th century, with improvements in transportation infrastructure and the growth of small industries. Today, the area is known for its picturesque natural beauty, thriving agriculture, and a small but close-knit community. Visitors to Lake County can explore its history through various landmarks and museums, including the Obion River Historical Society Museum, which showcases exhibits on the region's Native American heritage, brick-making industry, and the impact of the Kentucky Dam project.

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

  • 1835: Lake County is created by the Tennessee General Assembly
  • 1838: The first settlers arrive in the area
  • 1842: The county is named after Reelfoot Lake, a prominent feature in the area
  • 1862: During the American Civil War, Union troops occupy the county
  • 1877: The town of Tiptonville is officially incorporated
  • 1907: The West Tennessee Detention Facility is established in Tiptonville
  • 1927: The devastating Mississippi River Flood causes extensive damage in the county
  • 1936: The construction of Reelfoot Lake State Park begins
  • 1970: The completion of Kentucky Dam leads to the formation of Kentucky Lake, which borders the county
  • 1995: The discovery of an ancient cypress forest beneath the waters of Reelfoot Lake attracts national attention