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Anderson County offers the unique opportunity to travel through 300 years of American History in three days. You can virtually be transported from 18th Century Appalachia to the Atomic Age and into the future while enjoying the natural beauty of Norris Lake, the mountains and valleys of East Tennessee. The attractions in Anderson County range from museums to hiking trails to lakes and rivers.
The construction of Norris Dam, the first dam built by the Tennessee Valley Authority, brought major changes to the county in the 1930s. Approximately 2900 families were relocated from reservoir lands in Anderson and nearby counties during the construction, which began in 1933 and was completed in 1936. The town of Norris was initially built as a planned community to house the workers involved in the construction of this dam. As a result of the dam completion and operation, the temperature of the downstream Clinch River bed changed, so that a former pearl industry which had been successful for many years evaporated as the mussels, once prevalent in the river, were not able to sustain life in the changed climate.
During World War II, the federal government's Manhattan Project brought more change to the county, including the displacement of more families and the founding of Oak Ridge.
The Museum of Appalachia in Norris commemorates pioneer and rural life of past decades in Anderson County and the surrounding region.