In 1788, Adam and Elizabeth Peck followed the Holston River from Virginia into east Tennessee and settled in what would become Mossy Creek. Utilizing the waterway, the Pecks' gristmill thrived within a growing community. The outbreak of the Civil War brought the Battle of Mossy Creek on December 29, 1863. During the next century, zinc mining, the establishment of Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary (now Carson-Newman University), and the town's inclusion as a stop on the new railroad ushered a steady flow of people to this picturesque region of promise. In 1901, Mossy Creek joined the Carsonville and Frame Addition communities to be incorporated as Jefferson City. The Tennessee Valley Authority began work in 1940 on nearby Cherokee Dam, generating both jobs and tourism.