At the Anderson County and Campbell County line along Interstate 75, some folks in the area were born in the town of Coal Creek, died in Lake City and are now buried in Rocky Top. Yet, they never moved.
In the 1930s, Coal Creek changed its name to Lake City to capitalize on the excitement of TVA building Norris Lake a few miles away.
In 2014, the city changed its name to Rocky Top with the promise it would bring a multimillion-dollar theme park and other businesses to an area struggling with unemployment. Developers said they would only come to the city of around 1,800 if it changed its name to Rocky Top.
In reality, the name change delivered a couple of years of litigation and settlement negotiations between the city, the developers, and the owners of the iconic song “Rocky Top.” Today, there are no theme parks in Rocky Top. Nonetheless, city leaders say the new name spurred needed changes that will allow them to seriously compete for business and they are optimistic about the future.