|With two large lakes, two beautiful rivers, and thousands of acres of forest, Grainger County is truly a sportsman’s paradise. Hiking, canoeing, fishing, hunting, sailing, water skiing, and hang gliding are just a few of the activities available to outdoor enthusiasts.
Cherokee and Norris Lakes are popular with boaters and anglers, and attract thousands of visitors from around the country each year.
The Holston River and Clinch River offer excellent kayaking and canoeing. Clinch Mountain offers great hiking opportunities.
|Hunting is also popular. White-tail deer and eastern wild turkey are the two most abundant game species. In addition, there are many smaller game species including cottontail rabbit, morning dove, ruffed grouse, and four species of squirrel (gray, fox, southern, and northern flying squirrel).|
|Organized softball and Little League baseball provide entertainment and enjoyment for hundreds during the summer months. Clinchview Golf Club in Bean Station offers golfers a first class 18-hole course and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.|
Arts & Culture
Many fine artists and craftsman live and work in Grainger County. Most work out of their homes, or in private studios.
The Artisans of Rural Tennessee (ART), a loosely organized group of artists meets monthly at the “Old Jail” in Rutledge to discuss their latest projects. All artists are welcome.
The Historic Nance House in Rutledge is being developed into a museum and cultural center.
Grainger County has three campgrounds. Private cabin rentals are also available. For more information:
The Clinch Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Blaine is the fastest growing bluegrass festival in East Tennessee.
Clinch Mountain Summerfest is held in Washburn each June.
|The Grainger County Tomato Festival held the last weekend in July in Rutledge is by far the county’s largest annual festival and the largest free festival in Tennessee. The 2 1/2 day event attracts over 10,000 people. Events include tomato wars, singing, dancing, arts and crafts and quilting.
Each October, the Harvest Pride Days Festival in Bean Station celebrates the fall harvest. Singing, dancing, and numerous arts and crafts highlight the weekend festival.
Anglers come from near and far to fish Cherokee and Norris Lakes.
The lakes are regularly restocked. Species include rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, bluegill, sunfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, stripped bass, crappie, walleye, and sauger.
Clinchview Golf Club in Bean Station - Open year round (except Christmas), 18-hole, 72 par course. Tee times required daily. Groups may book in advance.
|Clinchview Golf Club
970 Highway 11W
Bean Station, TN 37708
Office: (865) 993-2892
Pro Shop: (865) 993-3022
Fax: (865) 993-2830
Grainger County was founded in 1796. It is the only county in Tennessee named in honor of a woman: Mary Grainger, the wife of William Blount, the first territorial governor of Tennessee.
William Bean and Daniel Boone were the first white men known to have viewed the land that is now Grainger County. They camped in the area in 1775, following the Cherokee’s Great War Path on their way to Ken-tuck.
The first permanent settlement is believed to have been established in 1776 by Robert Bean and William Bean II. The Beans were captains in the Revolutionary War, and were granted 3,000 acres of land along German Creek for their services.
Sometime between 1787 and 1789, a fort was constructed at the intersection of the Kentucky Road and the Cherokee’s Great War Path to protect settlers from attacks by Indians, who were trying to push the white men from the territory.
Located on what was then a major road for frontiersmen heading west and travelers heading north or south, Bean’s Station attracted many merchants and businessmen.
Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Henry Clay, Andrew Johnson, Andrew Jackson, and James Polk are just a few of the notable Americans who are part of Grainger County’s long and storied history.
The first paper mill established in the south was built in Grainger County by Dr. Milton Shields.
|President Andrew Johnson, as a young man, operated a small tailor shop in Rutledge. A replica of his shop stands in front of the Grainger County Courthouse. Across the street is the Old Jail, which housed a variety of local criminals, most of whom were more colorful than dangerous.|
|In 1813, Thomas and Jenkins Whiteside built a 52-room inn and tavern at Bean’s Station in the eastern portion of the county. The three story brick hotel was a popular stagecoach stop between Washington and New Orleans. Late in 1863, during the Civil War (War Between the States), Bean’s Station was the scene of a fierce battle between Union and Confederate forces. The inn was later destroyed and, today, the battle field lies buried beneath Cherokee Lake most of the year.|
|In the late 1800s , Captain Thomas Tomlinson built a luxury resort hotel at Tate Springs. The 6,000-acre resort featured a golf course, cottages, stables, and a park. The spring’s mineral-rich waters attracted wealthy dignitaries from all over the world including the Fords, Rockefellers, Firestones, Studebakers and Mellons.|
|The resort prospered until the Great Depression. The original hotel was torn down in 1936 and, five years later, the property was sold to Kingswood School. Today, a gazebo at the spring stands as a monument to what was once the south’s premier luxury resort.|
|The establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1931 brought many changes to the county including the creation of Cherokee of Norris Lakes, but none had a bigger impact on the community than the widespread distribution of affordable electric service.
During much of the 20th century, “moonshining” was an illegal but lucrative industry and the hills and hollows scattered throughout the county produced many colorful characters (not to mention outlaws). Photographs of “revenuers” proudly showing off stills they busted can be found in local newspaper archives.
The Nance House Arts and Heritage Center in Rutledge is being developed to preserve the county’s long and storied history.
A county map is available at several local businesses.
Marinas, docks, and boat ramps are located throughout the county and provide easy lake access. For more information:
German Creek Marina
P.O. Box 101, Rutledge, TN 37861
Grainger County, Tennessee
© 2015 Grainger County Chamber of Commerce