1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830
(865) 483-1321
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History of the Oak Ridge Chamber 

Though the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1949, our roots go back somewhat farther and are deeply intertwined with the history of Oak Ridge itself. In 1942, the U.S. Government purchased 92 square miles of land on which to build the City of Oak Ridge and the three facilities where uranium-235 and plutonium-239 were developed for the weapons used to end World War II. Within three years, Oak Ridge had accomplished its original mission, and a community that until then had been a secret sprang into the world spotlight. By 1947, the Oak Ridge Better Business Association had been established, the precursor to today's chamber. The association was engaged in establishing leasing and concessionaire arrangements with Roane-Anderson Company, which was an agent for the Atomic Energy Commission. In March 1949, the fences which surrounded the Oak Ridge reservation were moved in to enclose only the installation areas. In that same year, the Better Business Association evolved into the Oak Ridge Chamber. At that time, the organization provided internal coordination within the business district of the city. It also served as a vehicle for "forceful expression" of the business community in planning for self-government and self-management of Oak Ridge.