Blount County is one of the oldest counties in Tennessee. The County was the tenth created in Tennessee when a part of Knox County was separated by the Territorial Legislature in 1795. It was named after William Blount, Governor of the Territory of the United States “South of the River Ohio.” The County seat was authorized to be laid out in 1795 and was named Maryville in honor of Mary Blount, the wife of Governor William Blount. Settlement of the area began in 1785 mainly with Scotch-Irish Presbyterians.
The early settlers were thrifty and energetic people who moved westward from Virginia and North Carolina. These settlers, for the most part, were not wealthy landowners, but instead were looking for fertile land to farm, ample water supply, and abundant resources of lumber. Lumbering was the first primary industrial trade in Blount County. Today, lumbering has been replaced with many varied occupational opportunities. Over 100 manufacturing plants can be found in Blount County.
There are over 200 churches in the County, representing faiths of all denominations. Blount Memorial Hospital, equipped with the most modern equipment, and staffed by a competent medical staff, serves the need of this and adjoining counties. There are three main public school systems in Blount County: Alcoa City Schools, Maryville City Schools, and Blount County Schools. These three systems jointly received the State Department of Education’s Governor’s A+ Award for community commitment to excellence in education. Also, there are three private schools that serve the area: Clayton-Bradley Academy, Little River Montessori School, and Maryville Christian School. There are a number of colleges and universities that serve the Blount County area, a few of which are: the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Maryville College, and Pellissippi State Technological Community College.
The County contains 584 square miles and is bordered on the east by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and on the west by the great chain of lakes created by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Little River, flowing out of the Great Smokies, winds it way across the County and pours into the Tennessee Valley lakes. The Little Tennessee River parallels the southern border. The County is served by several major highways: U.S. Highway 129, 411 and 321, as well as State Route 33 and 95, and State Highway 73 leading directly into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. McGhee Tyson Airport is located within the city limits of Alcoa. The facility is the principal commercial airport for East Tennessee.