Harriman, Tennessee is a small city located in Roane County, in the eastern part of the state. The town of Harriman was founded by Frederick Gates in 1889 along the Emory River and the Cincinnati-Southern Railroad line. Harriman was planned as an alcohol-free utopian experiment, a model industrial city where no intoxicating beverages would be manufactured, stored, or sold. It was funded by the New York City–based East Tennessee Land Company, which was composed of northern investors and leading Prohibitionists. Methodist minister Frederick Gates was the manager of the the ETLC. In 1890, the ETLC held a nationally advertised land sale that resulted in the purchase of 10,000 acres and the construction of several factories, commercial enterprises, churches, schools, and a hilltop residential neighborhood overlooking the town—a capital investment of about $3 million. The town itself was laid out on a rectilinear grid with specific areas reserved for residential, commercial, and industrial uses, excluding saloons and breweries, which were prohibited.
During the early 20th century, Harriman became a center for industry, with many factories and mills located in the area. The city also had a thriving downtown district, with many shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Harriman was also home to several schools, churches, and community organizations.
In the mid-20th century, Harriman faced significant challenges as the industrial sector declined and the population began to decline. The closure of several factories and mills led to job losses and economic decline, and many residents left the city in search of employment elsewhere.
However, in recent years, Harriman has experienced a resurgence, with the city working to revitalize its economy and community. The city has invested in infrastructure improvements, including new roads and bridges, as well as parks and recreational areas. The downtown area has also undergone a revitalization, with new businesses and restaurants opening up in the area.
Today, Harriman is a growing city with a population of over 6,000 residents. The city is home to several schools, including a high school, middle school, and elementary schools. There are also several churches and community organizations in the area. Harriman is also home to several parks and recreational areas, including a popular lake for boating and fishing.
In conclusion, Harriman, Tennessee, was founded as a railroad hub and quickly grew into an industrial center. While the city faced significant challenges in the mid-20th century, it has recently experienced a resurgence, with a focus on community and economic revitalization. Today, Harriman is a growing city with a strong sense of community and a bright future ahead.