Extracted from Guide to Genealogical and Historical Research in Jefferson County, Tennessee, copyright ©1995 Billie R. McNamara. All rights reserved. This page will be supplemented periodically as new information is located. Additions and corrections are welcome via the Contact Us link on this Web site.
Jefferson County's first industrial activity has long been thought to have been Haynes Iron Works, established on Mossy Creek before Tennessee statehood. Tradition holds that Christopher Haynes established the business to secure a grant for the adjoining land, but Court records indicate the Iron Works may have been sold to Haynes by Nicholas Perkins. (Perkins Iron Works is noted in the original boundaries of Jefferson County in 1792). Perkins received a grant for land on Mossy Creek in 1792; Christopher Haynes received his grant in 1794, for land on Mossy Creek adjoining Nicholas Perkins. Later known as Mossy Creek Iron Works, it continued operation until after the Civil War. County Court Minutes from 1800 mention "works on Dumplin Creek," but the nature of the activity is not included in the record.
Jefferson County has been an important source for zinc production for decades. At one time, Jefferson County was internationally regarded for its zinc supplies. Especially in the region north of Bay's Mountain, miles of mine shafts and access tunnels criss-cross beneath the county. This has caused significant problems from time-to-time because sinkholes have opened up and caused roadways, buildings, and other features to collapse.