Loudon County is one of the youngest and geographically smallest counties in Tennessee.
The history surrounding Loudon County relates to the name and creation of the county. In 1756, the English erected Fort Loudon on the southern bank of Little Tennessee River, near the mouth of the Tellico River. The fort’s primary purpose was to protect settlers from the French and Indian attacks.
On June 2, 1870, the General Assembly created Christiana County from Monroe, Blount, and Roane, but a few weeks later the name was changed in honor of the nearby Fort Loudon.
Fort Loudon was named after John Campbell, the fourth Earl of Loudon, who was commander of the English forces in America at the outbreak of the French and Indian War. While Fort Loudon’s actual site is in Monroe County, Loudon County had its own for near the present Lenoir City. Fort Grainger was built by William Blount, and was named after his wife, Mary Grainger Blount.
The act established the county was the first ever for Governor D.W.C. Senter. In August 1870, the first county officers were chosen. The Baptist Church in Loudon became the temporary building of the county court J.W. Clark & brothers built the new county court building in 1872. The Loudon County Court House is still being used today, and had been placed on the National Register of historic Buildings.
The Overhill Cherokee Indians were the first settlers of the 240 square mile Loudon County. The Cherokees built their villages on the banks of Tennessee and Little Tennessee Rivers. The English soldiers built their camps on the opposite side of the Indian Settlement.
Lenoir City originated from lands owned by General William Lenoir. As a reward for his services during the Revolutionary War, the state of North Carolina awarded Lenoir 5,000 acres located along the northern bank of the Tennessee River. The land remained on the Lenoir family until 1876.
Loudon County offers much in the way of relaxation. Fishing is a key business in the area, as is camping and other outdoor pursuits. The county’s natural resources offer unique business opportunities as well-it’s soil is similar in content to that in California’s Napa Valley, and so the county was home to wineries throughout the 19th century, and that industry recently has taken hold in the county again with the Tennessee Valley Winery, which produces wines made from grapes grown both on its lands and brought in from other regions.
Today Loudon County is an emerging economic force in the East Tennessee Region. Loudon County is predicted to have a 30% increase in population between 2000-2010. Most of this population growth will be centered in the Knoxville-Lenoir City corridor. Each year, Loudon County is also experiencing a significant amount of new commercial and industrial development. Currently over sixty manufacturing plants call Loudon County Home. The key is to the success of its location, favorable business climate, abundance of reasonable electricity, good selection of industrial properties, and especially, its highly productive labor force.