The NORRIS story begins in the 1950’s in Eastern Tennessee, where the entire operation still remains today under Clayton Homes Inc. NORRIS was founded by the Gose family, whose members fished and trapped along the shores of Norris Lake, from which NORRIS was named. The Gose brothers both had successful businesses in woodworking. with one brother worked in cabinets and the other in furniture. One of them would later venture into the travel trailer industry in TN. Many travel trailer retail dealers began selling mobile homes. This sparked an idea for Mr. Gose to start a manufacturing facility.
In 1965 the brother’s formed NORRIS Industries, Inc., secured property in New Tazewell, TN, and built a 56,000 square foot manufacturing facility. In the spring of 1965, production began with 500 RV’s. In the fall of 1966 “superbly built” homes started rolling out the door. In 1973, NORRIS Industries expanded with the addition of what today is the primary facility used for production of the Norris line of Mobile Homes under Clayton. The new plant and a brand new cabinet shop grew the size of the operation to 250,000 square feet under roof.
Norris Industries built three travel trailer brands under the parent company. The Namesake of Norris which was their luxury line of travel trailers from 10′-35′ in length including truck campers and motorhomes, Volunteer which was they mid line brand of similar sizes and floor plans, and then their smaller and lower coast economy line called Smokey (Nearly Identical to the styles built by Serro Scotty at the same time, but no relation between the two) The travel trailer lines of Volunteer and Smokey were both bought out by Midas Intenational which eventually stopped building those brands around the 1980’s.
In 1984, Clayton Homes, INC. purchased NORRIS Industries. Today, NORRIS stands as the pinnacle of home building in the mobile home industy and is recognized as one of the standards for luxury and quality.
Norris grew from an initial $5,000 investment to eventually being a name in Luxury Mobile Homes under Clayton Homes Inc to this day and a travel trailer brand(s) under Midas-International Corporation until the 1980’s.
Founded and Manufactured in New Tazewell, TN
Bean Station TN under Clayton Homes, Inc.
1965-Today (Now under Clayton Homes, INC -only Mobile Homes)
Norris Homes Postcard
I found the postcard on eBay and only bought it because it was of significance to me in that I know the people who are pictured on it. Seated are Lee Dan and Sadie Stone. Standing with bathing suit is Ritzi Gose, daughter of owner/founder of Norris Homes, Inc. Kelly Gose. During my senior year at L.M.U. 1977, I was in several stage plays and chosen after auditions with the movie producer to be in a made for television commercial for Norris Homes. In the commercial were Lee Dan, Sadie and daughter Sylvia Stone Duncan.I worked at the Norris Homes Recreational plants during my high school and college days. The bottom card is Kelly Anders driving the Impala Chevy and unknown Claiborne County girl as his passenger.