Union County, Tennessee

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Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. Its population was 17,808 as of the United States Census, 2000. Its county seat is Maynardville.[1] It is included in the Knoxville, Tennessee, Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Union County was formed in 1850 from portions of Grainger, Claiborne, Campbell, Anderson and Knox counties. There are at least two theories on the source of its name. The name may commemorate the "union" of sections of five counties, or it may reflect East Tennessee's support for the preservation of the Union in the years before the Civil War.[2]

In the 1930s, the damming of the Clinch River by Norris Dam to form Norris Lake inundated a large part of the county,[3] including the community of Loyston, and displaced many residents. With assistance from the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) developed Big Ridge State Park as a demonstration park on the shore of the lake in Union County. The park's recreational facilities opened in May 1934.[4]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 247 square miles (640 km²), of which 224 square miles (579 km²) is land and 24 square miles (61 km²) (9.54%) is water.

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