Incorporated in 1948, Estill Springs is the second largest town in historic Franklin County. Before 1840, the Estill family had acquired considerable property in and around the area that bears their name today. Frank Estill offered the railroad company a right-of-way for the construction of a railroad track through his land. After the railroad was completed about 1850, there was much attraction to the area.
The mineral springs were probably first discovered by the Cherokee Indians who inhabited the area and hunted along the Elk River. Originally, the springs contained sulfur, chalybeate, limestone, and freestone water. Those remaining springs are still the source of the town’s water supply. Thus the name… Estill Springs.
Spas and summer resorts soon located near the mineral springs and became popular with summer vacationers in pursuit of the reputed curative qualities of the water. Mr. Estill had deeded the springs to the town, therefore making this an ideal location for a summer resort. One of the regular summer visitors was the wife of General Douglas McArthur.
At the beginning of World War II, the construction of Camp Forrest brought about a slight economic growth in the community. In 1940, Highway 41A was completed. With the location of Arnold Engineering Development Complex near Tullahoma on the former Camp Forrest site in 1950, Estill Springs experienced much growth with the influx of new residents. There is lakefront property available, Estill Springs is surrounded by lakes and recreation sites are being developed by TVA.
Estill Springs’ residents take great pride in their churches. Presently there are ten churches within the city limits, and they cover most major denominations. Estill Springs’ first public school was a frame building. When this school burned, a new brick building containing six rooms and an auditorium was created and later expanded to accommodate the growing population. Since 1977 elementary students in grades K-6 attend Rock Creek Elementary School. Only the remodeled gym of the old school building remains as the Young and Moore Community Center. Motlow Community College is 10 miles away and University of TN Space Institute is six miles away and we have a new Franklin County High School.
Civic organizations active in Estill Springs today include the Boy Scouts of America, Lions Club, Masonic Lodge #651, and Homemakers clubs. Other active community groups are the Saddle Club, Little League baseball, girl’s softball, Coon Hunters Club, and the Estill Springer’s Square Dance Club. Recently completed is the Estill Springs Memory Lane, a fully lighted walking trail complete with benches, water fountains, bird houses, and a sign dedicated to former citizens of Estill Springs and Greenway Walking Trail is 1 2/10 miles along shoreline of Tims Ford Lake with historical markers.
Estill Springs takes pride and comfort in its Police and Fire Department. The fire department has all the latest equipment and is striving to certify all volunteer firemen. The police department has a very dedicated group of officers who strive to provide twenty-four hour service to the residents. We also have two excellent hospitals, six miles away and two ambulance stations.
The Mayor and Board of Alderman past and present take great pride in maintaining the lowest tax and water rates in Franklin County. This continues to draw many new residents to the area.
If you are looking for a small town atmosphere with a touch of business district, surrounded by a beautiful lake (Tims Ford Lake), opportunities for great outdoor enjoyment, friendly people, pure clean air and accessibility to industry, let me take this opportunity to invite you to drive through, come by for a visit or, better yet, come make our hometown your hometown!