Mostly mountainous Grainger County is located in the northeastern part of the state. Established in 1796, the county is named to honor Mary Grainger. The county seat is at Rutledge; Blame is another important community in the county.
Mary Grainger later married William Blount and became the official first lady of the Southwest Territory from 1791 until 1796.Much of Cherokee Lake is in Grainger County. In fact the lake forms almost the entire eastern boundary of the county. Grainger County was formed from lands that previously had been part of Hawkins and Knox Counties.
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