Harriman was born of the dreams of prohibitionists who believed they could found a model city of industry where workers would be free from the corrupting influences of demon rum. In the beginning, Harriman appeared to be on the road to achieving this vision: in its first two years, the population exploded from only two farms in 1890 to a city of almost 4,000 by 1892. Settlers poured in from all over the eastern United States to purchase land and take part in the dream of the temperance city. Like most utopias, however, Harriman fell short of its founders’ dreams. The Panic of 1893 drove many early backers into bankruptcy. Floods along the Emory River, including a particularly devastating one in 1929, damaged the city’s industrial base. Nevertheless, Harriman experienced growth during the 20th century, boasting two major hosiery mills, a bustling downtown, quality schools, and the natural beauty of Appalachia. Today, it remains a unique city of Southern hospitality and Victorian charm.