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Monroe County, located in East Tennessee, has a rich and interesting history. Here are 7 fascinating facts about this county:

1. Native American History: For thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers, indigenous peoples, including the Cherokee and Creek nations, inhabited the land that is now Monroe County.

2. County Formation: Monroe County was created on November 13, 1819, from a portion of Blount County, and was named in honor of President James Monroe.

3. Civil War: During the Civil War, Monroe County was divided in its loyalties. Both Union and Confederate troops vied for control of the county, with significant skirmishes taking place throughout the area.

4. James K. Polk: Former President James K. Polk was born in neighboring Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, but he spent much of his youth and early adulthood in Monroe County. The Polk family home, now known as the James K. Polk Presidential Home, still stands in Columbia, within Monroe County.

5. Moonshine Capital: Like many Appalachian counties, Monroe County has a rich history of moonshining. In fact, the city of Tellico Plains was once known as the "moonshine capital of the world."

6. Nuclear Power Plant: In the 1970s, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) constructed the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, within Monroe County. This plant became the first new nuclear facility to be connected to the power grid in the United States in over twenty years.

7. Cherohala Skyway: One of the most scenic drives in Tennessee, the Cherohala Skyway, passes through Monroe County. This 40-mile-long scenic byway connects Tellico Plains, in Monroe County, to Robbinsville, a town in neighboring North Carolina.

In conclusion, Monroe County has a rich and diverse history, from its Native American roots, to its connections to former Presidents, its contributions to the moonshine industry, and its involvement in the energy industry. Take a trip to Monroe County and explore its fascinating history!

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