Lenoir City is a suburban city in Loudon County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 8,642 at the 2010 Census, up from 6,418 in 2000. It is included in the Knoxville metropolitan area in the state's eastern region, along the Tennessee River southwest of Knoxville.
Native Americans were living in the Lenoir City area for thousands of years before the arrival of the first European settlers. On Bussell Island, which lies across the Tennessee River to the south, archaeologists have discovered evidence of habitation dating to as early as the Archaic Period (8000–1000 B.C.). The island is also believed to have been the location of "Coste," a village visited by Hernando de Soto in 1540. The Cherokee called the Lenoir City area Wa'ginsi, and believed it to be the home of a large serpent that brought bad luck to anyone who saw it. By the early 19th century, an early East Tennessee pioneer, Judge David Campbell, had laid claim to part of what is now Lenoir City, where he had built a log cabin and a gristmill.
In the early 19th century, a 5,000-acre (2,000 ha) tract of land— which included what is now Lenoir City— was deeded to General William Lenoir as payment for his services in the American Revolutionary War. David Campbell and another early settler, Alexander Outlaw, filed a case against Lenoir in court, arguing they had already laid claim to parts of the Lenoir tract. After the case was settled in favor of Lenoir in 1809, Lenoir deeded the tract to his son, William Ballard Lenoir (1775–1852), who in 1810 moved to the tract and established a large plantation.