Campbell County is a small and bustling community situated in the middle of the Cumberland Mountains in Tennessee. This county has a rich history that dates back to the 18th century, and it is home to many interesting facts that make it unique. Here are 7 interesting facts about Campbell County in Tennessee history.
1. Early Settlement
Campbell County was named after one of its most prominent settlers, Arthur Campbell, who migrated to the area in the late 1700s. The county was formally established in 1806, and it was named after Campbell due to his contributions in developing the region.
2. Civil War History
During the Civil War, Campbell County was a battleground between Union and Confederate forces. In June 1862, Union forces led by General George W. Morgan invaded the county, and some of the battles that ensued included the Battle of Jacksboro and the Battle of Campbell’s Station.
3. Coal Mining
In the early 1900s, Campbell County became known for its coal mining industry. The area had vast coal reserves, which provided employment for many of the area’s residents. Coal mining was the primary industry in Campbell County until the late 20th century.
4. The Rise of Moonshine
The prohibition era saw Campbell County grow as a hub for moonshining. The hilly terrain and isolation of the area made it the perfect spot for creating and distributing illegal alcohol. The trade grew so much that Campbell County was dubbed the “Moonshine Capital of the World.”
5. Creation of Norris Lake
Campbell County is home to Norris Dam, which was constructed in the late 1930s as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s mission to provide electricity and irrigation to the region. When the dam was built, it created Norris Lake, which is now a popular boating and fishing destination.
6. The Cove Lake Highway Murders
In 1985, Campbell County made national headlines due to the vicious murder of a young couple on the Cove Lake Highway. The murders were committed by a group of individuals who became known as the “Death Squad.” The case has remained unsolved, and the tragedy still haunts the area to this day.
7. Jacksboro Prison Riot
One of the deadliest prison riots in American history occurred in Campbell County. In 1983, 15 inmates lost their lives, and more than a hundred were injured when a riot broke out at a prison in Jacksboro. The incident was a wakeup call for the state to improve its prison system.
Campbell County has a storied history that has seen it endure hardship, turmoil, and triumph. From coal mining to moonshining, from Civil War battles to unsolved murders, the county’s past is both fascinating and intriguing. These are just some of the many interesting facts that make the history of Campbell County, Tennessee, so unique.
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