Created in the mid-1930s as a demonstration recreational project of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the National Park Service, and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the 4,000-acre Norris Dam State Park contains two distinct areas. The east side has rustic accommodations and hiking trails constructed by the CCC in the 1930s, while the west side offers modern chalets and a swimming pool developed by the state in 1976.
CCC Company 4493 first established camp at the park site in 1934. Thirty-six families lived on the land prior to park development. The CCC recruits built cabins, a lodge, trails, playgrounds, a boat harbor, and an amphitheater, along with other structures. Together with the National Park Service, the CCC also moved and restored a ca. 1798 gristmill as a historic site within the park.
In November 1952 the State of Tennessee leased the park from TVA, which then formally sold the park to the state for $28,969 in 1953. Norris was one of the first five state parks. The last major TVA land transfer came in 1986 when the agency gave the state an additional 95 acres and harbor limits for the marina at no cost.
Carroll Van West, The New Deal Landscape of Tennessee (2001)