In the late 1880’s the railroad company was building a line from Knoxville, Tennessee into Kentucky through the “Cumberland Gap.” Stories say that right of way could not be obtained through the Town of Tazewell and a sweeping “S” curve was made bypassing Tazewell by about two miles to the west. This right of way change could have been because of topography of the land. Never the less a depot was constructed in this general vicinity. The Town of New Tazewell is a direct result of the railroad. Businesses and houses were constructed near the railroad as lots of goods were shipped by rail at that time. A survey map was recorded showing the downtown area lots and was called “Cowan City”. This name did not survive. Years ago it was not uncommon for natives to refer to Tazewell as “old town” and New Tazewell as “new town”. This could be the reason New Tazewell was selected as the town name.
The Town was incorporated in the 1920’s but the corporate charter was voted out about fifteen years later. It was incorporated for the second time in 1954 with a population of about 350. Today the Town has a population of 2875 and a strong manufacturing base that includes England’s, a division of Lazy-Boy Furniture, DeRoyal Industries, King Business Forms, Bushline Furniture, Giles Industries mobile home manufacturer, Homesteader Cargo Trailers, and others.
New Tazewell is governed by a Mayor and six Aldermen. The Town has an 11 man police department and a joint fire department with the Town of Tazewell. There is a 12 acre park that included a swimming pool and bath house with concession stand. Tennis court, basketball court, two baseball fields and a T-Ball field, picnic shelters, a walking track and lots of play equipment and benches. New Tazewell also owns the Airport. The New Tazewell Municipal airport Runway extension project has been completed with the 5,200 ft runway.
The 16 new hangars are complete and housing planes. Plans are being made to develop additional hangars.
The main source of revenue is local sales tax and state shared tax. New Tazewell does not have a local property tax making this a very attractive place to live and work.