Situated at the junction of Tennessee, Clinch, and Emory rivers, a location vital to both white settlers and Native Americans in the early years of Tennessee State history. Settlers gained control of the area through three treaties with the Cherokee Indians, and later Hiwassee purchase. Harriman was founded as a Temperance Town in 1889 by temperance movement activists led by New York-born minister and plant manager Frederick Gates. Seeking a land venture that could attract industrial and economic development while avoiding the vice-driven pitfalls of late 19th century company towns, Gates and fellow prohibitionists chartered the East Tennessee Land Company in May 1889. The property the hospital is situated on once was home to Cumberland Hotel, which burned having casualties, First National Bank, Pitton Hotel, Tennessee Land and Trust (bankrupt), a General Store and Attorney Office, roller rink which was later torn down for the hospital expansion. Harriman has had its share of tragedies with mass building fires, floods and tornados, and even at one point went completely bankrupt.