The largest underground lake in the United States is located in Tennessee. The Lost Sea, located in Sweetwater, Tennessee, covers over four acres and is home to a variety of unusual creatures, including blind fish and crayfish.
Roane County, TN, located in the eastern part of the state, has a rich and varied history that dates back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, who held extensive lands in the region. The first European settlers arrived in the late 18th century, establishing small communities along the Clinch and Tennessee Rivers.

In the early 19th century, Roane County saw significant growth and development with the construction of the Roane Iron Works in 1807. This ironworks, one of the first in Tennessee, contributed to the county's economic prosperity and attracted additional settlers. The establishment of new towns, such as Kingston, Oak Ridge, and Harriman, further fueled growth, and the county became an important hub for transportation and commerce.

During the Civil War, Roane County witnessed intense and conflicting loyalties. While some residents supported the Confederacy, others remained loyal to the Union. The county experienced several military engagements as both sides vied for control over strategic locations, including the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad. The war left a lasting impact on the county, with many buildings and properties destroyed or damaged.

In the 20th century, Roane County continued to evolve and adapt to changing times. The establishment of the Oak Ridge Reservation during World War II brought significant economic growth and played a crucial role in the development of the atomic bomb. Today, Roane County is known for its natural beauty, thriving industries, and historical landmarks that showcase its intriguing past.

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

  • 1801: Roane County is established as a county in the state of Tennessee.
  • 1809: Kingston becomes the county seat of Roane County.
  • 1838: The Trail of Tears passes through Roane County as Native American tribes are forcibly relocated.
  • 1850: The population of Roane County reaches over 7,000 residents.
  • 1861-1865: Roane County experiences the Civil War, with battles and skirmishes taking place throughout the area.
  • 1890s: The railroad arrives in Roane County, boosting economic development.
  • 1930s: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) constructs dams in the area, including the creation of Watts Bar Dam on the Tennessee River.
  • 1966: Construction begins on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a major research facility in Roane County.
  • 1985: The Kingston Fossil Plant suffers a major coal ash spill, causing significant environmental damage.
  • Present: Roane County continues to grow and thrive, with a diverse economy and a population of over 50,000 residents.