The Atlanta, Knoxville, and Northern Railroad was built through the area in 1890 and the town that sprung up was called Upton Station.  In 1893, Doctor Walter Brownlow Kennedy, the area's first doctor, ask the U.S. Government to put a Post Office in Upton Station so he could receive his drugs by mail (train).  Up to this time, he had to ride horseback to Madisonville or Knoxville.  When the Post Office replied that the name Upton Station was already taken, he renamed the town Vonore.

Vonore is a combination of the German word for "of" or "von" and the word "ore" as it was thought mining would become a major industry in the area...von-ore!