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City of Norris

Town or Rural Area
City of Norris being sold at auction.

The City of Norris is a historic, picturesque community with a population of just over 1600 people. Norris is surrounded by nature, having Norris Lake, The Clinch River and Norris Dam State Park as neighbors. The Tennessee Valley Authority gave a great description of Norris, "Drive into Norris on a spring afternoon. There’s not much traffic to obey the 20-mile-an-hour speed limit. Most of the houses, with their natural chimneys and cedar shingles, blend into the forest. Many don’t face the street directly, but turn toward one another, as if in conversation. Between them, paths take off through the woods in different directions. It seems almost like summer camp."


During the 1930s and 1940s the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) built and owned the community of Norris for fifteen years. After World War II, the government decided to sell the town at auction. On June 15, 1948, real estate broker Henry David Epstein, acting as head of a Philadelphia-based syndicate bought the town for $2,107,500. The Norris Citizens Development Corporation, which had been organized by local residents, raised $1,900,000 but it was unable to meet the top bid. In the ensuing years Epstein’s group eventually sold all 341 homes to the citizens. In 1949, the Tennessee General Assembly granted the town a charter of incorporation, and Norris became an independent self-governing community.

How to Get There

Norris is located just off Interstate 75 at exit 122 (Norris/Clinton).