Fannin County, created in 1854 from parts of Gilmer and Union counties, borders Tennessee. Originally part of the vast Cherokee County, it honors Colonel James W. Fannin of Georgia who led about 350 volunteers to the Texas War for Independence. Ultimately, Mexican soldiers, during the 1836 Goliad campaign, captured and executed Fannin and many of his men.
Blue Ridge, Fannin's county seat, bears the name of its surrounding mountains. Those mountains provided shelter for the last remnants of the Cherokee Nation before their forced removal to Oklahoma along the infamous "Trail of Tears." Some Cherokees evaded capture and remained deep in the forested mountains for generations.