In 1806 the area was known as Wheeler’s Gap and was named so in honor of the Wheeler family who once owned over three thousand (3,000) acres in the area. With the construction of a railroad through the area about 1867, the area was called Wheeler’s Station.A prominent Wheeler daughter married William Carey. As time passed the Carey family grew in both numbers and influence. Eventually a vote was held to choose a new name for the growing town. Caryville beat out Wheelerville by two votes. Since about 1880, the town has been known as Caryville.
Modern Caryville is dominated by two features, I-75 and Cove Lake State Park. I-75 was completed through Caryville in the late 1960’s. This additional traffic created many new business opportunities. From the original small town nestled next to the mountain, Caryville today spans two interstate exits. New homes are being built almost daily as new business opportunities abound.
Cove Lake State Park is manmade lake that was constructed in the mid-1930’s as part of the Norris Basin Project. Although Cove Lake is located next to I-75, it is still one of the area’s best kept secrets. Cove Lake State Park is rarely overcrowded and has a charm reminiscent of a quieter, less hurried time. The crown jewel of the park is the Cove Lake Restaurant which is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Nestled among the mountains and along a pristine lake, Caryville is quickly becoming a major tourist destination.