The Highland Rim Chapter of the TOS was organized on January 29, 1974 in Manchester. Sanford McGee, then a biology teacher at Central High School, had called the meeting. At the meeting he; Ken Dubke, Tennessee Ornithological Society Treasurer; and Tony Koella, Assistant State Commissioner of Conservation, encouraged local residents and residents of nearby counties to organize a club.
Mr. McGee pointed out that the area was a good area for bird watching and nature study, and that the nearest groups with these interests were in Murfreesboro and Chattanooga. The club began with fifteen members representing three counties.
Over the years membership has grown and remains between 25 and 30 members. At present Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Lincoln, Moore, and Warren Counties are represented.