I consider it a blessing to have been born and raised in Johnson County, Tennessee. Im not suggesting that there are no other great places to live. It is just that the more I learn about Johnson County, the more I feel it is the right place for me to be. Except for my military experience, Ive lived in Johnson County since my birth. The friendly people and scenic beauty is enough for me to stay here. The history is very interesting and it has been recorded many times by many folks.
Ive traveled little, but the sites Ive been blessed to see have had no strong draws for me to stay at them. I wrote recently about my trip to New York City. It was a fascinating trip but I wouldnt want to live there. That city, while exciting for the short time I was there, held no long-term attraction for me.
In Johnson County there are interesting places to see. We could start with the natural beauty of the county. The mountains that surround Johnson County are great for hiking and the mountain streams are an anglers paradise. A great place for a cookout or picnic can be found at Backbone Rock. Two interesting and informative museums are also inside Johnson County: the Johnson County Museum in the Mountain City Welcome Center and the Butler Museum near Watauga Lake. Part of Watauga Lake lies within Johnson County
The Johnson County Historical Society established the Museum in Mountain City. It includes a host of artifacts of interest. The Butler Museum was established as a tribute to The Town that Wouldnt Drown, which refers to Old Butler being flooded by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for flood control, hydroelectric power and recreation. A number of antique and collectible businesses can be found in Johnson County.
Johnson Countys history is also interesting. A number of Native American tribes once roamed on and hunted on the land that became Johnson County. Eventually, the Cherokee became the dominant tribe in the area. Pioneers came to the area and many settled. Settlers in what would become Tennessee tried to form a state called The State of Franklin, but that effort failed after four years. During the time of The State of Franklin, what is now Johnson County was called Wayne County, in honor of General Mad Anthony Wayne of Revolutionary War fame according to some sources.
Johnson County was carved from Carter County in 1836. Citizens in the Northeastern part of Carter County were dissatisfied due to the long distance they had to travel and the difficulty in traversing the rugged terrain in order to get to Elizabethton, the county seat. Efforts were made to move the county seat but ultimately a new county was formed. It was called Johnson County in honor of Thomas Johnson, a fine citizen of the area.
The county seat was laid out and called Taylorsville in honor of James P. Taylor. The towns name was changed to Mountain City in 1885. Johnson County and several East Tennessee counties were in large part sympathetic to the Union during the America Civil War.