ALCOA, Tenn. — It's the East Tennessee city founded on industry and dedicated to "advancing each generation."
Before 1910, Alcoa was a tiny Blount County town known as North Maryville. Then the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) came to the area and gave it a new name and purpose.
History wrapped in aluminum
From cars and cans to food and foil, aluminum is a daily part of our lives, especially in the Tennessee Valley. It's all thanks to Charles Martin Hall. At just 18 years old, he invented a revolutionary process to create aluminum.
In 1910, the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) purchased 3,000 acres in what was then called North Maryville and began incorporating it in 1919.
The company recruited both white and Black employees with housing and neighborhoods complete with churches, water and sewage facilities, parks and equal education. By 1920, 1,700 white people and nearly 1,500 Black people called the town home.
ALCOA opened its third plant in 1942, which rolled sheet aluminum, a hot commodity during World War II. The aluminum can debuted in 1959.
In 2013, demand increased for light and durable aluminum sheets in automotive production. Arconic took over ALCOA and renamed the local plant Arconic. In 2019, Arconic split into an aerospace and automotive company with aluminum manufacturing operations expanding in Alcoa.
Built in the 1930s, Springbrook Pool has been a favorite for people to enjoy during the hot summer months for decades.
For the last few years, we have taken you around East Tennessee to explore the past and future of buildings in our series Abandoned Places. Two of those places, Millennium Manor and Vose School, are located in Alcoa.
City officials and developers are hoping to get those renovations started up this year on Vose School. As for Millennium Manor, the owners are willing to give tours if you contact them.
High school football is a mainstay in Alcoa. In fact, the Tornadoes are the reigning 3A champs and have won 10 3A titles and five 2A titles. Their biggest rivalry is with Maryville High School, and the schools will face off on Sept. 9.
One of Alcoa's favorite sons, Randall Cobb, is starting his 12th season in the NFL as a wide receiver with the Green Bay Packers, and his young family is planting roots in Nashville, a little closer to home.
Alcoa Air Show
The Smoky Mountain Air Show is returning to town on Sept. 10-11.
Alcoa is growing, and new businesses are bringing luxury experiences to the community.
Harper Auto Wash on Alcoa Highway is changing the game.
An Amazon distribution facility is set to open in Alcoa. The company pushed back the original opening day of June 2023 but has not released its new date yet.
Alcoa is hosting a free concert series in August and September called "Songs by the Brook."
Duck Pond history
The Duck Pond was initially known as Mirror Lake and later named the Lily Pond.
Its clearing began in July 1952. A small dam was built in 1953 and the pond was stocked with fish although fishing wasn't allowed until June 1955.
The children's hospital is celebrating its 85th anniversary.
Alcoa street names
The original streets are named for scientists, engineers and aluminum company officials from the early days of Alcoa.
Artist Bessie Harvey worked and raised her large family here. While she is no longer living, her work can be viewed all over the country.
Mama Linda Goss
Storyteller Mama Linda Goss grew up in the area and took inspiration from the music and games she played as a child.
Company Distilling is the first legal distillery in Blount County, and it recently opened its doors.
There are restaurants in Alcoa you can't find anywhere else like the Soup Kitchen.