Incorporated in 1948, Estill Springs is the second largest town in Franklin County. Before 1840, the Estill family had acquired considerable property in the area that bears their name today. Frank Estill offered the railroad company a right-of-way for the construction of a railroad through his land. After the railroad was completed about 1850, there was much attraction to the area.
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. The remaining springs are still the source of the town’s water supply. Thus the name Estill Springs.
Spas and resorts soon arrived near the 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 some economic growth. In 1940, Highway 41A was completed. With Arnold Engineering Development Complex—built near Tullahoma on the former Camp Forrest site in 1950—Estill Springs experienced much growth with the influx of new residents. Estill Springs is surrounded by lakes and recreation sites are being developed by TVA.
Estill Springs’ residents take great pride in their churches. Ten churches 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.
Active civic organizations include Boy Scouts of America, Lions Club, Masonic Lodge #651, and Homemakers clubs. Other active community groups are the Saddle Club, Little League, girls 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 with benches, water fountains, bird houses, and a sign dedicated to former citizens of Estill Springs. Greenway Walking Trail is 1.2 miles along the shoreline of Tims Ford Lake with historical markers.
Estill Springs Fire department has all the latest equipment and strives to certify all volunteer firemen. The police department has a dedicated group of officers who provide 24-hour service. We also have two ambulance stations and two excellent hospitals six miles away.
The Mayor and Board of Alderman past and present maintain the lowest tax and water rates in Franklin County, also drawing new residents.
If you're looking for 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 with accessibility to industry, let me take this opportunity to invite you to drive through, come for a visit or, better yet, make our hometown yours!
Mayor of Estill Springs
James David Kelley