Just about 130 miles to the south of Knoxville, nestled in the foothills of the Georgian Smoky Mountains, sits a quiet county named Dade. The county is home to nearly 17,000 residents.
The area is rich with history.
"Lookout Mountain, as you look, comes right down and divides us from the state of Georgia," says long-time resident Ellen Marie-Moore. "And, until 1939, there was not a road you could come into Dade County unless you went into Alabama or you went into Tennessee. So, you can see, we were isolated, and thus the name, the State of Dade."
Another explanation of how the area got the nickname goes back a little further.
In May of 1860, the Georgia General Assembly was locked in a debate about Georgia's decision on seceding from the Union. From the the back of the Senate rose a Dade County representative named Robert H. Tatum.
"By the gods, gentlemen," said Tatum, "If Georgia doesn't vote to immediately secede from the Union, Dade County will secede from Georgia and become The Independent State of Dade."
A few days later, a vote was taken on the steps of the Trenton Courthouse, and Dade County seceded from the state of Georgia.
After the Civil War, no written document was ever found stating the return of Dade County to the Union. Eighty-five years later, a group directed by Judge J. Townsend decided to stage a celebration acknowledging the return of the Dade to the Union.
And so, on July 4, 1945, the American Flag officially flew over "The State of Dade" for the first time since the beginning of the Civil War.
Today, Dade County offers a more straight-forward approach to entertainment. Cloudland Canyon State Park, Covenant College, Lookout Mountain Flight Park, and the Wilderness Outdoor Theater are just some of the local attractions.
It is an area based on outdoor attractions. And, for many, the slower pace of life is appreciated as much as the beauty that surrounds this area.
"I'm kinda glad we don't have the four-lane highway bringing all the Atlanta people up here," said Marie-Moore. " Not that I have anything against Atlanta people. But I kinda like our nice, quiet community here."