Union County

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The History

Union County is located north of Knox County. In January of 1850 the first act of providing the erection of the county was passed, but not meeting the requirements of the constitution it became necessary to amend it. It provided the formation of the county.

The first settlers in the area were hunters from North Carolina and Virginia. The hunters came to East Tennessee and stayed for months hunting before returning to their homes. Upon their returning home stories were told of the abundance of game and resources across the mountain, which brought settlers west to what is known as Union County. By the 1800’s any Indian hostilities were quite diminished and the settlers came into the area.


Union County offers residents abundance of recreation, with Big Ridge State Park located in Maynardville, TN. The Tennessee Valley Authority created this 3,687-acre park in 1930.

The park surrounds 49 acre Big Ridge Lake and adjoins Poor Land Valley Creek, both of which flow from Norris Lake. The park rents out canoes, paddleboats, and punts.

Big Ridge State Park offers upscale cabin rentals, available through April through October, and campsites.

The Sunset Bay community has over 7 miles of shoreline and offers a clubhouse with fitness center, pool, tennis courts, marina, underground utilities, and is lightly restricted for your protection. Across from the development is Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area, a 25,000 acre peninsula wildlife preserve, know for its natural beauty. Most of the lakefront properties in Sunset Bay are dockable and boat slips are available for the interior sites. The development is located in Union county which boarders Kentucky and Virginia and it’s approximately 45 minutes to Knoxville, the 3rd largest city in Tennessee and two hours from The Great Smoky Mountains. Come visit the pristine waters of Sunset Bay on the banks of Norris Lake today.

Norris Shores is a Norris Lake waterfront community nestled in a serene natural setting and offers public water, picnic pavilion, boat launch, and private community marina with covered boat slips. The homes are typically secluded along the lakeside or sitting high above on ridge tops and most offer outstanding long range views. Established in 1991, the neighborhood meanders for seven miles along the shore of Norris Lake, on a ridge in the south-west corner of the Sharps Chapel peninsula in Union County Tennessee.