Norris Dam was the pilot project of the Tennessee Valley Authority, a Great Depression-era entity created by the United States government in 1933 to control flooding and bring electricity and economic development to the Tennessee Valley. The Lenoir Museum Cultural Complex includes the Lenoir Museum and two historical structures— the Rice Gristmill and the Crosby Threshing Barn.
The Rice Gristmill was built in 1798. The Crosby Threshing Barn was built in the 1830s by Caleb Crosby. It was originally situated along the Holston River near Morristown on a farm now submerged under Cherokee Lake.