A MOUNTAIN GEM
Mountain City is the highest incorporated town in Tennessee at an elevation of 2418 feet. The town has a total area of 3.3 square miles and serves as the county seat of Johnson County. The town is situated in one of the highest valleys in the state. Iron Mountain rises to the north, Forge Mountain rises to the east and Doe Mountain rises to the southwest. Mountain City is just a few miles from both the Virginia and North Carolina borders. Us Hwy 421 connects the town with Bristol, Tennessee, to the northwest and Boone, North Carolina, to the southeast. TN Hwy 67 winds along side Watauga Lake and connects the town to Elizabethton, Tennessee.
Mountain City has a Post Office with an assigned zip code of 37683. It is the largest town in Johnson County with many businesses, county offices, city offices, schools and fire departments. It is also home to the county Welcome Center which houses our Chamber of Commerce offices and a History Museum.
In the late 17th century, the first Euro-American explorers arrived in the area which is now Mountain City using existing Native American trails. The town was founded in 1836 and was originally called Taylorsville, in honor of Colonel James Taylor. In 1885, the name was changed to Mountain City, to reflect it being situated in one of the highest valleys in the state.
Mountain City and Johnson County have a long and enduring musical heritage with the first Mountain City Fiddlers Convention being held in 1925. This is considered a landmark event in the modern history of Appalachian traditional music with the musical gathering greatly contributing to the development of the genre of country music. The anniversary of this event is celebrated every year in August at the Old Time Fiddlers Convention held at the Old Mill Music Park in nearby Laurel Bloomery.