Pickett County

Secretary of State Cordell Hull, left, with undersecretary Sumner Welles
PHOTO: Franklin D. Roosevelt Library


Pickett County was the birthplace of Cordell Hull, one of the most important statesmen in American history.

A congressman and senator for nearly three decades, Hull was the U.S. Secretary of State during World War II. He later received the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in founding the United Nations.

Pickett County may also have the most beautiful state park in the state.

Natural Bridge at Pickett State Park.

Pickett State Park has some of the most amazing cliffs, bluffs and natural bridges anywhere in Tennessee.

Pickett is one of many state parks where the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built roads, cabins and other things during the Great Depression.

The CCC Museum at Pickett State Park

Since Pickett was the first state park at which the CCC worked, there is even a small CCC museum there.

With 4,945 residents, Pickett has the smallest population of any Tennessee county. It also has a rather unusual shape, as you can see on this map.

In fact, it is impossible to drive a car straight from the western part of Pickett County to the eastern part of Pickett County; you have to leave Pickett County and go through Fentress County (or Kentucky) to do so.

This unusual situation has resulted in an agreement between Pickett and Overton counties. When it snows, for example, Overton County vehicles spread salt on the Highway 154 in east Pickett County in exchange for Pickett County spreading salt on parts of Highway 52 in west Overton County.

Here’s the Pickett County Courthouse in Byrdstown.