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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. The principal employer for the residents of the County is the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), which was established its Tennessee Operations in 1912, is the County's primary employer with approximately 2,050 persons. Nippondenso and Rubbermaid are two of the areas newest and growing employers.
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: Foothills Christian Academy, New Horizon 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.
The County has an estimated population of 122,784 according to the the latest census information (2009). The County seat of Maryville has a population of 23,120 (2000 census). The City of Alcoa, formerly known as North Maryville and named after one of the County's largest employer, has a population of 7,734 (2000 census).
Blount County is governed by the Blount County Commission and the County Executive. The central department of the government is housed in the Blount County Courthouse which is located in the City of Maryville. The County is divided into 10 Commission districts with a total of 21 commissioners representing those districts. The Commission meets monthly and whenever necessary for called meetings.
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