The Volunteer State
[two_third]From the Georgia state line to the tip of the state next to Virginia, the Eastern third of Tennessee is full of fun for visitors and locals alike. Plenty to do, plenty of places to eat and excitement await you around every corner. Metropolitan areas like Knoxville and Oak Ridge bring lots of cultural entertainment while more rural places like Dandridge and Townsend have an entirely different feel.
East Tennessee was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before the European settlers began to trickle into the area. As outside influences begin to take over the area that would become Virginia, the Cherokee began to push into East Tennessee and expanded their culture to some of the other tribes that they didn’t displace. Eventually, the European settlers moved into this area and the valleys in the shadows of the Smokies became populated with small farms and homesteads. The first British settlement in the area was at the site of Fort Loudon.
As the area grew and more people moved in Tennessee was finally considered for statehood. On June 1, 1796, Tennessee finally made it into the Union as a state, in fact the 16th state of the United States of America. With statehood, came expansion. Throughout the 1800s, even during times of conflict like the Civil War, Tennessee continued to expand and grow. With the 1900s, Tennessee embraced the industrial revolution. Areas such as Knoxville and Nashville expanded as large companies came to the area to provide work for locals in the area.
Tennessee has always be divided into 3 sections: Western, Middle and Eastern Tennessee. Eastern Tennessee, with its proximity to the mountains and the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has become the tourism center for the state. People from all over the country flocked to the area to be involved in the newest national park. Through time, the GSMNP has become the country’s most visited park and the majority of those people came to the park through the Tennessee side of the Smokies. Now, with the area full of tourist destinations, out of the way attractions and places that people return to year after year, Tennessee is a vacation spot where you and your family can spend weeks and weeks, never doing the same thing twice.
- 6,403,353 population
- Highest Point – Clingman’s Dome 6,643 ft
- Capital City – Nashville
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