Tennessee is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the United States. The park covers over 500,000 acres and attracts millions of visitors each year.
Perry County, Tennessee, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee and Chickasaw. European settlers began to arrive in the late 1700s, with the establishment of a trading post on the Tennessee River by a French trader named Pierre Drouillard. The county was officially established in 1819 and named after Oliver Hazard Perry, a naval commander in the War of 1812.

In the early 19th century, Perry County was primarily an agricultural community, with farmers cultivating crops such as tobacco and cotton. The construction of the Tennessee River in the 1930s brought about significant economic changes, as the river provided new opportunities for transportation and commerce. This led to the growth of industries such as lumber, sawmills, and boatbuilding.

The Civil War had a major impact on Perry County, as it did in many areas of Tennessee. The county was split in its loyalties, with some residents siding with the Union and others supporting the Confederacy. The Battle of Perryville, which took place in December 1862, was fought in and around the county, resulting in significant destruction and loss of life.

In the 20th century, Perry County experienced a decline in population and economic opportunities. However, in recent decades, efforts have been made to revitalize the area. The county is now known for its natural beauty, with outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, and camping drawing visitors from near and far. Additionally, the Tennessee River continues to play a vital role in the local economy, supporting tourism, recreation, and water-based industries.

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

  • 1819 - Perry County established
  • 1820 - First courthouse built in the county
  • 1845 - Consolidation of the county's two rival towns, Perryville and Lobelville, into one county seat
  • 1857 - Construction of the current courthouse completed
  • 1861-1865 - Perry County residents participate in the Civil War, with many serving in the Confederate Army
  • 1872 - First schools opened in the county
  • 1901 - Tennessee State College established in Lobelville
  • 1965 - Hurricane Carmen causes significant damage to Perry County
  • 1987 - Completion of the Tennessee River Bridge connecting Perry County to Decatur County
  • 2011 - Flooding in Perry County leads to significant property damage and displacement of residents