Territorial governor William Blount established Jefferson County in June 1792. The original county encompassed 1,200 square miles using natural boundaries of the Clinch Mountains, the Smoky Mountains, and the Holston River. Because of the mountains and near by rivers, this area has the second highest rainfall average in the continental United States.
By 1795, Jefferson county was named after the third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson, and received its first settlers in 1783. The land, which was originally part of North Carolina, became a part of the State of Tennessee.
Jefferson County originally covered most of East Tennessee, but through the creation of new counties has greatly diminished its size. In 1795, Sevier County was formed and it took a portion of Jefferson County. The same happened in 1797 when Cocke County was created. Two thirds of Hamblen County came from Jefferson County in 1870, and the Tennessee Valley Authority also took a portion of Jefferson County when it submerged 40.5 square miles of land for Douglas Lake.
The second oldest town in Tennessee is Jefferson County’s Dandridge, which also features the oldest continuously occupied courthouse in the state. Dandridge was a thriving center for commercial trade until after the Civil War. That diminished when the railroad was relocated to Mossy Creek (Jefferson City).
Dandridge was named for Martha Dandridge Washington, the wife of the first president. It is the only city in the nation to honor her. The city prides itself on its lack of change, compared to the ongoing changes in the region.
Another community in Jefferson County is Baneberry, a recreational community founded in 1987. It features golf, tennis, lake front homes, and swimming areas.
In addition to those ways to relax, Jefferson County is known as a “fisherman’s paradise” with Douglas Lake and Cherokee lakes available for anglers to try their skills.
Jefferson County being located in the valley between the Clinch Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains, The citizens of Jefferson County enjoys the four seasons and the beauty associated with seasonal change.
Jefferson County population experienced a 25.4 percent growth between 1970-1980 and a 5.5 percent growth between 1980-1990, and between 1990-1997 a 27.4% growth.
Jefferson County is situated in the northeastern section of Tennessee. The county lies in what is the commonly referred to as the Great Valley of East Tennessee. Generally, Jefferson County lies between the Holston River to the west and the French Broad River to the east. Douglas Lake and Cherokee Lake are the two prominent bodies of water in the county. The county seat, Dandridge, was founded in 1793 and is the second oldest city in the State of Tennessee. Jefferson County is linked to the region and all parts of the nation via a comprehensive highway network. Jefferson County is located approximately 25 miles from the intersection of Interstates 1-40 and 1-75 at Knoxville, Tennessee.
Transportation is another factor driving our growth. Interstate Route 81, which begins in Jefferson County, makes the Northeast an easy drive. Interstate 40, which bisects the county, is the main central USA-East-West route linking the Atlantic with the Pacific. In Knoxville Interstate 75 links with I-40 and goes north into Michigan and south through Atlanta to Florida. Seventy Percent of the US population is within a day’s drive of Jefferson County
The Jefferson County School System currently serves over 5,000 students. The mission of Jefferson County School District is to develop twenty first century citizens who are well prepared socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, and psychologically to live confidently in a technologically advanced multi-cultural society.
Carson Newman College one of the South’s top ten regional liberal arts schools in a ranking based on academic reputation, student selection, faculty and financial resources, graduation rate, and alumni satisfaction. Carson Newman offers more than 50 professional programs in engineering, law, medical records administration, physical therapy, pharmacy and other health sciences. Carson Newman has one of the highest percentages among Baptist colleges of students going on to seminary, medical school, and graduate schools.
A marvelous surprise is in store for newcomers to the Tennessee Valley in the depth and breath of native artistic talent, and opportunity to enjoy many and varied cultural activities offered in Jefferson County.
Historical Museum at the Jefferson County Courthouse-Display cases house relics and artifacts from Jefferson County including the Civil War and World War pieces. The courthouse is one of the oldest courthouses that are still in use today.
Part of the good life, enjoyed by the people of Jefferson County, the abundant recreational and leisure opportunities afforded by the geographic setting. Surrounded by TVA lakes and the Great Smoky Mountains, one can easily spend the day on the lake or in the mountains and be home by the evening.
Fishing Tournaments regularly occur during season on Cherokee Lake and Douglas Lake