Bulls Gap was settled in 1794. The town was named for the famous gunsmith, John Bull, who made his home in the gap of the mountains.
During its time, the town has been called Rogersville Junction and Bulls Gap Junction. Eventually, the town — an important railroad junction fought over during the Civil War — was allowed to keep its traditional name, Bulls Gap.
Bulls Gap was the hometown of country star and television personality Archie Campbell, and his homeplace was moved to the downtown to serve as the centerpiece of the Archie Campbell Museum and Tourist Center.