About Us


Unicoi County is a unique place set aside in the arms of the Appalachian Mountains.  Here, you’ll find valleys and mountains, rivers and streams, but most importantly, you’ll find kind words and warm smiles.  Unicoi County was founded in 1875 and has a rich heritage of hard-working families, delicious foods, and beautiful arts.  When you come to visit, you’ll enjoy the leisurely lifestyle offered by our community.  You can also bask in the beauty of nature when you see natural wonders like the Nolichucky Gorge – the deepest east of the Mississippi – or the White House Rocks.

Erwin Yard CSX CRR ADJ_8970.jpg

There are many ways to spend your time when you visit us.


Maybe you’ll take an easy drive to one of the several overlooks which offer sweeping panoramas of the Valley Beautiful.  Maybe you'll hike to the Pinnacle Fire Tower.  Maybe you’ll enjoy one of our many parks.  Maybe you’ll walk around historic downtown Erwin.  Maybe you’ll just stay indoors, enjoying the view.


Whatever you choose, there’s plenty to see.  In the spring months, watch the magic of a changing landscape as flowering plants bloom and unfurl.  In the summer, take an icy plunge in the historic spring-fed pool at Rock Creek Park.  In the fall, just look around and take in the majesty of the changing leaves and the dazzling array of beautiful colors which decorate the hills and dales.  In the winter, play in snow which covers the mountains like a white fleece blanket.


Whether you enjoy fabulous festivities in any season or quiet evenings at home, there’s something for everyone here.  Unicoi County is home to a thriving cultural and civic community with a rich history.  You’ll enjoy meeting our neighbors, learning more about the art which we've created for centuries, and exploring the places which make Unicoi County truly great.

Erwin Library and RR building ADJ_5695.jpg


The City of Erwin’s population is 5,979 (2015) and the population of Unicoi County is 18,285 (2015).  Unicoi County is part of the Tri-City metropolitan area, with a population of 507,837 (2015) and total personal income of nearly $19 billion.  The median age in the city is 43.9 (2015).  The average commute is 20 minutes, one-way.  The median home price in the city is $85,400 (Sperling’s), less than 50% of the national average.  A person who lives in Erwin can expect his or her salary to go 24% further than the national average, with lower-than-average costs for groceries, healthcare, housing, utilities, and transportation.  Per capita income in Unicoi County is $34,826 (2015) with unemployment of 7.2% (July, 2017).  The Tri-City area has a labor pool of nearly 225,000 and an unemployment rate of 4.7% (July, 2017).


There is no state property tax in Tennessee.  County property tax is assessed at $2.6838 for every $100 in value on the assessment ratio.  The commercial and industrial assessment ratio is 30%.  Municipal tax is assessed at $1.447 on every $100 on the assessment ratio.  There is no state income tax on wages.  The largest employers in Unicoi County are Nuclear Fuel Services, Tsubaki-Nakashima, Specialty Tires of America, Regal-Beloit, and the Unicoi County School Department.


Through a partnership with the Ayers Foundation, every child in Unicoi County has the opportunity to attend college, vocational school, or technical school after high school.  The Joint Economic Development Board has partnered with the School Department and the First Tennessee Development District to help Unicoi County gain the Work Ready Community distinction.  Schools presently offer a Work Ethic diploma to better prepare schoolchildren for the workforce, ensuring they have the skills needed by employers to be successful.