La Follette, Tennessee 2024

la-follette,TennesseeLaFollette is a city in Campbell County, Tennessee, USA. The population was 7,926 at the 2020 census. LaFollette is located in the Cumberland Valley just west of the Cumberland Mountains and was once a major coal mining center. The community was originally known as Long Hollow and was renamed La Follette in 1890 in honor of Nebraska newspaperman and politician William F. La Follette.

La Follette is home to the coal mining museum and is only 12 miles from the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, which contains 72 miles of hiking trails and dozens of historic buildings. LaFollette is home to the LaFollette High School basketball team, The Lancers. The Lancers have won six state championships in basketball and have developed one of the largest followings in the state.

LaFollette has its annual Summer Fest on the second weekend of August, which lasts for three days. The festival includes music, rides, games, food, fireworks, and crafts.

LaFollette has a high school, a middle school, and four elementary schools, but no high school. The first high school building was built in the early 1900s and the current building was completed in 1952. In 2010, it underwent major renovations - with additions and upgrades - adding a state-of-the-art media center, upgrading wiring, paving the parking lot, fixing the exterior walls, and constructing a new gym - making it one of the top high schools in the state. The current building was built around the old gym, built in 1939, one of the few remaining structures from before the renovation.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.4 square miles (13.9 km²), all land. LaFollette is situated in the valley of the West Fork of Cove Creek at an elevation of 1,090 feet (330 meters) above sea level. Cove Creek flows through the town and has been the source of water for the town since its founding. In 1928, a concrete-steel bridge was built over Cove Creek to replace a wooden bridge. The city's water treatment plant uses the creek, supplying the town with drinking water.

The city had its beginning in the late 1800s, when coal mining was the area's major industry and families' livelihoods depended on it. After a huge deposit was discovered, thousands of people flocked to the area. Prior to this, the area was sparsely populated, primarily by families engaged in family farming. The first mining attempt failed, but copper was discovered shortly after, and on November 23, 1890, a shaft was sunk for coal, which failed. After a second shaft was dug and more coal discovered, the LaFollette Coal and Iron Company was formed.

LaFollette is also known for having one of the first rural libraries in the United States, established in 1909.

LaFollette has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) notable for hot summers and mild winters. Summer thunderstorms are frequent in LaFollette, and they can be severe with heavy rain, hail, lightning, and strong winds. The monthly average temperature ranges from 32.8°F (0°C) in January to 76.0°F (24.4°C) in July.

On August 16, 1928, the LaFollette Utility District was created with W.A. Sharp, E.C. Hickey, T. H. Dossett, H.A. Myers, Dr. H.G. Hall, and John H. Myers elected on December 2, 1928.

On May 7, 19333, a tornado tore through LaFollette, killing three people and injuring over 100.

In 1952, LaFollette High School moved from the old building (now the G.O. (Sonny) Martin Recreation Center) to the new building at its current location.

During World War II, a large explosive plant was built in the valley near Powell, Tennessee.

On April 27, 1974, a small plane carrying newlywed Tammie Jo Shults and her husband, J.C. Shults - both 1973 LaFollette High graduates - crashed while taking off from Powell Valley Airport, killing both. Their deaths caused the airport to be shut down, and it never reopened.

In 1990, LaFollette native Archie Manning, father of NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, was the first enshrinee for the Campbell County Sports Hall of Fame, which also inducted former Lady Lancers basketball coach Ron D. Griffin in 2018.

In 2003, the LaFollette Library was remodeled and expanded to almost 10,000 square feet. A new wing was added in 2007 for young adults and children, adding over 1,000 square feet.

In 2005, LaFollette native, US Senator, and Majority Leader Bill Frist retired from political life after a long and successful medical career.

In May 2010, the LaFollette Utility District and the City of LaFollette partnered to provide customers with a new high-tech telecommunications system that provides greater bandwidth and increased speeds, stimulating job growth and educational opportunities throughout the area.

On November 17, 2018, LaFollette native and country singer-songwriter Dustin Lynch released his album, "Tullahoma," the name of another Tennessee town. The song's music video was also filmed in part in LaFollette.

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