Rossville remembers Cherokee Indian Chief John Ross, who resided in the area until the U.S. government forced his people to relocate to Oklahoma. Chief John Ross' log cabin is still located in the city, and visitors can occasionally tour the home.
Arguably the most significant event in the city’s history is the massive fire that destroyed a third of the 1.5-million-square-foot Rossville Development Corporation complex. In June 1967, a late-night blaze at the mill grew to become one of the largest industrial fires in U.S. history. A shorted-out electrical transformer caused the huge fire, leaving 1,400 workers at least temporarily jobless and resulting in nearly $20 million in total damage.