Main Births etc
—  City  —
City of Chattanooga
Chattanooga skyline, October 2012


Nickname(s): Scenic City (official); Chatt, Chattown, Gig City, Nooga, and River City
Location in the US state of Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee is located in the USA
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 35°2′44″N 85°16′2″W / 35.04556, -85.26722Coordinates: 35°2′44″N 85°16′2″W / 35.04556, -85.26722
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Hamilton
Incorporated 1839[1]
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Mayor Andy Berke (D)
 • City 143.2 sq mi (370.8 km2)
 • Land 135.2 sq mi (352.2 km2)
 • Water 8.0 sq mi (20.6 km2)
Elevation 676 ft (206 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 167,674
 • Density 1,222.5/sq mi (471.9/km2)
 • Metro 528,143
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code(s) 37341, 37343, 37350, 37351, 37363, 37377, 37379, 37402, 37403, 37404, 37405, 37406, 37407, 37408, 37409, 37410, 37411, 37412, 37415, 37416, 37419, and 37421[3]
Area code(s) 423
FIPS code 47-14000[4]
GNIS feature ID 1307240[5]
Demonym Chattanoogan

Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with a population of 167,674 as of the 2010 census, and an estimated population of 171,279 in 2012.[6] It is the seat of Hamilton County. Located in southeastern Tennessee in East Tennessee, on Chickamauga Lake and Nickajack Lake, which are both part of the Tennessee River, Chattanooga lies approximately 120 miles (190 km) to the northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, 120 miles (190 km) to the southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, about 135 miles (217 km) to the southeast of Nashville, Tennessee, about 120 miles (190 km) to the northeast of Huntsville, Alabama, and about 148 miles (238 km) to the northeast of Birmingham, Alabama. Chattanooga abuts the Georgia border and is where three major interstate highways meet: I-24, I-75, and I-59.

The city, which has a downtown elevation of approximately 680 feet (210 m), lies at the transition between the ridge-and-valley portion of the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. The city is therefore surrounded by various mountains and ridges. The official nickname for Chattanooga is the Scenic City, being reinforced by the city's growing national reputation as a haven for numerous outdoor activities. Several unofficial nicknames include River City, Chatt, Nooga, Chattown, and Gig City, demonstrating Chattanooga's claims that it has the fastest internet service in the Western Hemisphere.[7][8]

Chattanooga is internationally known for the 1941 gold record song "Chattanooga Choo Choo," by Glenn Miller and his orchestra.

Chattanooga is home to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) and Chattanooga State Community College.

A unique distinction for Chattanooga is the fact that the city has its own typeface, Chatype, which was launched in August 2012. This marks the first time that an American city has its own typeface and also the first time a crowd-funded custom-made typeface has been used for any municipality in the world.[9]

Chattanooga has received numerous awards over the decades, including the prestigious All-America City Award in 1962 and being recognized as a Tree City USA community since 1990.[10][11]


The first inhabitants of the Chattanooga area were American Indians. Sites dating back to the Upper Paleolithic period showed continuous occupation through the Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian/Muskogean (900–1650 AD), and Cherokee (1776–1980).

The first part of "Chattanooga" derives from the Muskogean word cvto /cható/ – 'rock'.[12] The latter may be derived from a regional suffix -nunga meaning dwelling or dwelling place.

A late 19th century history recounted:

With only occasional allusion to the various interpretations of Cherokee names, which have so long been accepted as true, their actual meaning, as derived from John Ross, the celebrated Cherokee chief, and from Lewis Ross, his brother, are here given. Chattanooga, originally was the name of a small Indian hamlet, situated near the base of Lookout Mountain, on the bank of Chattanooga creek. It means, in the Cherokee language, "to draw fish out of water", and hence was applied to the collection of huts, which were occupied by Indian fishermen. The humble hamlet disappeared, and its name, at first suggestive and appropriate, was inherited by the town of the white man, with meaningless application. A somewhat similar name was applied by the Cherokees to the cliffs, rising boldly from the river above the town, which was derived from Clanoowah, the name of a warlike but diminutive hawk, which was supposed to embody the spirit of the tribe. These cliffs were the favorite nesting-place of the bird, and hence a name was given which expressed this fact, and which, perhaps, has suggested the myth, that 'Chattanooga' means 'eagle's nest.' [13]

The earliest Cherokee occupation dates from Dragging Canoe, who in 1776 separated himself and moved downriver from the main tribe to establish American Indian resistance (see Chickamauga Wars) to European settlement in the southeastern United States. In 1816 John Ross, who later became Principal Chief, established Ross's Landing. Located along what is now Broad Street, it became one of the centers of Cherokee Nation settlement, which also extended into Georgia and Alabama.[14]

Union troops swarm Missionary Ridge and defeat Bragg's army during the Battle of Missionary Ridge, 1863

In 1838 the US government forced the Cherokees, along with other American Indians from southeastern U.S. states, to relocate in what is the state of Oklahoma. Their journey west became known as the "Trail of Tears" for their exile and fatalities along the way. The US Army used Ross's Landing as the site of one of three large internment camps, or "emigration depots", where American Indians were held prior to the journey on the Trail of Tears. One of the internment camps was located in Fort Payne, Alabama and the largest was at Fort Cass, Tennessee.[15]

In 1839, the community of Ross's Landing incorporated as the city of Chattanooga. The city grew quickly, initially benefiting from a location well-suited for river commerce. With the arrival of the railroad in 1850, Chattanooga became a boom town. The city was known as the site "where cotton meets corn," referring to its location along the cultural boundary between the mountain communities of Southern Appalachia to the north and the cotton-growing states to the south.[14]

Confederate prisoners of war at a railroad depot in Chattanooga, 1864.

During the American Civil War, Chattanooga was a center of battle. During the Chickamauga Campaign, Union artillery bombarded Chattanooga as a diversion and occupied it on September 9, 1863. Following the Battle of Chickamauga, the defeated Union Army retreated to safety in Chattanooga. On November 23, 1863, the Battles for Chattanooga began when Union forces led by future United States President and Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant reinforced troops at Chattanooga and advanced to Orchard Knob against Confederate troops besieging the city. The next day, the Battle of Lookout Mountain was fought, driving the Confederates off the mountain. On November 25, Grant's army routed the Confederates in the Battle of Missionary Ridge. These battles were followed the next spring by the Atlanta Campaign, beginning just over the nearby state line in Georgia and moving southeastward. After the war ended, the city became a major railroad hub and industrial and manufacturing center.[16]

The largest flood in Chattanooga’s history occurred in 1867, before the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) system was created in 1933 by Congress. The flood crested at 58 feet (18 m) and completely inundated the city. Since the completion of the reservoir system, the highest Chattanooga flood stage has been nearly 37 feet (11 m), which occurred in 1973. Without regulation, the flood would have crested at 52.4 feet (16.0 m).[17] Chattanooga was a major priority in the design of the TVA reservoir system and remains a major operating priority in the 21st century.[17]

Market Street in 1907

In December 1906, Chattanooga was in the national headlines as the United States Supreme Court, in the only criminal case in its history, ruled that Hamilton County Sheriff Joseph H. Shipp had violated Ed Johnson's civil rights when Shipp allowed a mob to enter the Hamilton County Jail and lynch Johnson on the Walnut Street Bridge in United States v. Shipp. Chattanooga grew with the entry of the United States in the First World War in 1917, as the nearest training camp was in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Effects of the Influenza of 1918 on Chattanooga included having movie theaters and pool halls closed.[18] By the 1930s Chattanooga was known as the "Dynamo of Dixie", inspiring the 1941 Glenn Miller big-band swing song "Chattanooga Choo Choo".[19] The late 1950s saw the creation of the Interstate Highway System with President Eisenhower signing legislation into law in June 1956. Due to Mayor P.R. Olgiati's efforts, Chattanooga became the first city in Tennessee to have a completed interstate system.[20]

The same mountains that provided Chattanooga's scenic backdrop also served to trap industrial pollutants which caused them to settle over the community, so much that in 1969, the federal government declared that Chattanooga had the dirtiest air in the nation.[21] But environmental crises were not the only problems plaguing the city. Like other early industrial cities, Chattanooga entered the 1980s with serious socioeconomic challenges, including job layoffs due to de-industrialization, deteriorating city infrastructure, racial tensions, and social division. Chattanooga's population declined by more than 10% in the 1980s. However, Chattanooga was the only major U.S. city to lose this proportion of its population in the 1980s and then regain the same proportion in the next two decades.[22]

In recent years, substantial private and governmental resources have been invested in transforming the city's tarnished image. They have worked to revitalize its downtown and riverfront areas, making use of its natural resources.[23][24] An early cornerstone of this project was a restoration lasting several years, from the mid-to-late 1980s to 1993, of the historic Walnut Street Bridge. An excellent specimen of the Camelback truss bridge, it is the oldest surviving bridge of its kind in the Southeastern United States, having been built in 1891.

Downtown Chattanooga, viewed from Lookout Mountain

Efforts to improve the city include the "21st Century Waterfront Plan" – a $120 million redevelopment of the Chattanooga waterfront and downtown area, which was completed in 2005. The Tennessee Aquarium, which opened in 1992, has become a major waterfront attraction that has helped to spur neighborhood development.[25] Chattanooga has garnered numerous accolades for its transformation of its image. The city has won three national awards for outstanding "livability", and nine Gunther Blue Ribbon Awards for excellence in housing and consolidated planning.[26] In addition to winning various national and regional awards, Chattanooga has been in the national limelight numerous times. Chattanooga was the profile city of the August 2007 edition of US Airways Magazine.[27] In a seminal event for Chattanooga, Volkswagen announced in July 2008 the construction of its first U.S. auto plant in over three decades, the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant.[28] In December 2009, Chattanooga was ranked 8th out of America's 100 largest metro areas for the best "Bang For Your Buck" city, according to Forbes magazine, which measured overall affordability, housing rates, and more.[29] Chattanooga launched the first one gigabit a second Internet service in the United States in September 2010, provided through the city-owned utility of EPB.[30] In August 2012, Chattanooga got its own typeface, called Chatype, which marks the first time a municipality has its own typeface in the United States and the first crowd-funded, custom-made typeface in the world.[9][31][32]


Child labor at Richmond Spinning Mill in Chattanooga, 1910. Photo by Lewis Hine.

Chattanooga's economy includes a diversified and growing mix of manufacturing and service industries.

Notable Chattanooga businesses include Access America Transport, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, CBL & Associates, The Chattanooga Bakery, Chattem, the world's first Coca-Cola bottling plant, Coker Tire, Covenant Transport, Double Cola, CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Krystal, Litespeed, Luken Communications, Miller & Martin, the National Model Railroad Association, Olan Mills, Inc., Republic Parking System, Rock/Creek, Tricycle Inc., and Unum. The city also hosts large branch offices of Cigna, AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and UBS. McKee Foods Corporation, the maker of nationally known Little Debbie brand snack cakes, is a privately held, family-run company headquartered in nearby Collegedale, Tennessee.

Notable companies that have manufacturing or distribution facilities in the city include Alstom,, BASF, DuPont, Invista, Komatsu, Rock-Tenn, Plantronics, Domtar, Norfolk Southern, Ferrara Candy Company (manufacturer of Brach's candies), Alco Chemical, Colonial Pipeline, and Buzzi Unicem.[33] The William Wrigley Jr. Company has a prominent presence in Chattanooga, the sole site of production of Altoids breath mint products since 2005.[34][35] There is also a Vulcan Materials quarry in the vicinity of the city.

In May 2011, Volkswagen Group of America inaugurated its Chattanooga Assembly Plant.[36] The $1 billion plant, opened in May 2011, serves as the group's North American manufacturing headquarters. The plant, which currently employs some 2,700 people and will increase by another 2,000 people within the next few years and manufactures the Passat (since April 2011) and the CrossBlue (from late 2016), will have a first-in-the-South full research and development center in downtown Chattanooga, employing some 200 engineers.[37][38][39] The plant is the first one in the United States for Volkswagen since the 1988 closure of the Volkswagen Westmoreland Assembly Plant near New Stanton, Pennsylvania.[40]

In addition to corporate business interests, there are many retail shops in Chattanooga, including two shopping malls: Hamilton Place Mall in East Brainerd and Northgate Mall in Hixson. Eastgate Mall in Brainerd used to be a shopping mall, but has changed into a multi-use office building. The P.F. Chang's restaurant at Hamilton Place Mall has had a unique theme since the restaurant opened in November 2006: water, based on the fundamental role the Tennessee River plays in Chattanooga and the fact that the CEO of P.F. Chang's since 2000, Richard Federico, is a 1976 alumnus of the University of Tennessee and has family in Chattanooga.[41] In December 2001, Chattanooga was the site of the first two Dairy Queen Grill and Chill restaurants in the United States.[42][43][44]


Chickamauga Lock and Dam on the Tennessee River at Chattanooga

Electric power for most of the city and surrounding area is provided by the city-run Electric Power Board (EPB). EPB also provides high-speed Internet service, TV, and telephone service to business and residential customers throughout Hamilton County, as well as parts of Bledsoe County, Bradley County, Catoosa County, Dade County, Marion County, Rhea County, Sequatchie County, and Walker County, via the nation's largest municipally owned fiber optic system.[45][46][47] TVA operates the nearby Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant, Chickamauga Dam, and the Raccoon Mountain Pumped-Storage Plant, all of which provide electricity to the greater Chattanooga area. TVA's corporate power generation and distribution organization is headquartered in downtown Chattanooga.

Natural gas and water are provided by the privately run Chattanooga Gas Company and Tennessee-American Water Company, respectively. In 2005, then-Mayor Ron Littlefield stated his desire for the city to purchase the Tennessee-American Water Company, which was sold in a public offering in 2007.[48][49] Former Mayor Jon Kinsey's attempts to have the city buy control of Tennessee-American Water were defeated in court.

Comcast remains the dominant cable provider for most areas of the city. The incumbent telephone company is AT&T Inc. However, competing phone companies, such as EPB, cellular phones, and VoIP are making inroads. A major interstate fiber optics line operated by AT&T traverses the city, making its way from Atlanta to Cincinnati. There are more choices among TV, Internet, and phone service providers for Chattanooga residents than in most other cities its size because of the intense competition between AT&T, Comcast, and EPB.[50]

EPB's gigabit public fiber optic network[]

Beginning in 2009 and continuing through March 2011, when Haletown, Tennessee received service from EPB's fiber optic network, EPB began to establish its exclusive fiber optic network to its 600 sq mi (1,600 km2) service area, which covers the greater Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area.[51] In September 2010, EPB became the first municipally owned utilities company in the United States to offer internet access directly to the public at speeds up to one gigabit per second by utilizing its fiber optic network.[52][53] The network has been emulated by at least six other cities in Tennessee and studied by other cities in the US and even internationally.[54][55] Jay Weatherill, South Australia's Premier, visited Chattanooga in January 2012 and "looked at the current gigabit network that was supporting critical city safety functions such as police and fire communications infrastructure, equipment and applications. He also inspected wastewater management, storm water management, traffic control and medical diagnostics applications [and] first-hand operations of a smart lighting and camera system that allows the police to control public lighting and see what is happening in heavy crime areas. [The article says the] use of broadband to carry the video and control signaling has contributed to making Chattanooga’s Coolidge Park a safer place to visit."[56]

In 2011 the expansion of EPB's network became a subject of major controversy in Tennessee.[57] The success of its network, credited with the expansion of Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant and the establishment of facilities in Chattanooga and Cleveland, led to a number of legal challenges by AT&T and Comcast insisting that public funds not be used to fund expansion of public networks in competition with private ones.[58][59] However, according to EPB itself, federal agencies, electricity industry trade sources, and other press sources, the investment in the fully fiber optic network is justified by electrical system benefits alone, including early fault detection and decreases in standby power.[60][61][62][63][64][65]

Politics, government, and law[]

The current mayor is Andy Berke, a former state senator, who won the March 2013 election.[66]

The city operates under a charter granted by the state legislature in 1852; the charter has been subsequently amended. The city operates under a strong mayor system, which changed from a white-dominated commission form of government when U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar ruled in 1989 that the commission-style government violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by diluting the black vote.[67] As a result of Brown v. Board of Commissioners, Chattanooga abandoned the at-large voting system that it had used for the commission form of government, established districts that represented minorities, eliminated voting privileges for non-resident property owners, and created the city's current mayor-council form of government. The current strong mayor system started in 1991 after a 1990 city-wide election that used the district system.[67]

The city's legislative branch is split up into nine districts, with a council member for each district selected in partisan elections. The current council members are Chip Henderson (District 1), Jerry Mitchell (District 2), Ken Smith (District 3), Larry Grohn (District 4), Russell Gilbert (District 5), Carol Berz (District 6), Chris Anderson (District 7), Moses Freeman (District 8), and Yusuf Hakeem (District 9).[68]

Chattanooga's delegation to the Tennessee House of Representatives includes Gerald McCormick (R), who represents District 26, Richard Floyd (R), who represents District 27, Tommie Brown (D), who represents District 28, Mike Carter (R), who represents District 29, Vince Dean (R), who represents District 30, and Jim Cobb (R), who represents District 31.[69][70][71][72][73][74] In the Tennessee Senate, Chattanooga is divided between Districts 10 and 11 with Todd Gardenhire (R) and Bo Watson (R) representing each district respectively.[75][76]

Chattanooga is represented in the United States House of Representatives by Chuck Fleischmann (R), who represents the 3rd District.[77] In the United States Senate, both Bob Corker (R) and Lamar Alexander (R) have district offices in Chattanooga.[78][79]

Chattanooga, as the county seat of Hamilton County, is home to Chattanooga's City Courts and Hamilton County's Courts.

Chattanooga is the location of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee's Southern Division, which sits in the Joel W. Solomon Federal Courthouse. The Southern Division has jurisdiction over Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties.

The Chattanooga Police Department dates from 1852 and made Chattanooga one of the first major Southern cities to have black police officers, starting in 1883. However, the police officers were subsequently removed from the force and were reintroduced on a permanent basis on August 11, 1948, still years before other major cities in the Southeast, such as Birmingham, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi, integrated their police departments. The first seven black officers in 1948, Thaddeus Arnold, Singer Askins, W.B. Baulridge, C.E. Black, Morris Glenn, Arthur Heard, and Thomas Patterson, were initially restricted to walking beats in black neighborhoods. In 1960, black police officers were authorized to patrol all neighborhoods and arrest white citizens.[80][81][82]


Primary and secondary education[]

Most of Chattanooga's primary and secondary education is funded by the government. The public schools in Chattanooga, as well as Hamilton County, have fallen under the purview of the Hamilton County School System since the 1997 merger of the urban Chattanooga City Schools system and the rural Hamilton County Schools system.[83][84] The Howard School, now a magnet school, was the first public school in the area, established in 1865 after the Civil War.[85] The Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences and the Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts are additional public magnet schools.

The city is home to several well-known private and parochial secondary schools, including Baylor School, Boyd-Buchanan School, Chattanooga Christian School, Girls Preparatory School, McCallie School, and Notre Dame High School. The Siskin Children's Institute in Chattanooga is a specialized institution in the field of early childhood special education.[86]

Higher education[]

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Founders Hall, June 2007

A wide variety of higher education institutions can be found in Chattanooga and nearby. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is the second largest campus of the University of Tennessee System, with a student population of over 10,000.[87] Chattanooga State Community College is a two-year community college with a total undergraduate enrollment of roughly 11,000 students. Tennessee Temple University is a Baptist college located in the Highland Park neighborhood. Chattanooga is also home to a branch of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, which provides medical education to third and fourth year medical students, residents, and other medical professionals in southeast Tennessee through an affiliation with Erlanger Health System. Covenant College, a private liberal arts college operated by the Presbyterian Church in America, is located in the nearby suburb of Lookout Mountain, Georgia and has a student population of about 1,000. Southern Adventist University is located in the suburb of Collegedale, Tennessee and enrolls roughly 3,000 students. Virginia College School of Business and Health offers a variety of programs leading to diplomas, associate degrees, and bachelor degrees.

Public library[]

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library system had been jointly operated by the city and county governments since 1976; due to Chattanooga terminating a 1966 agreement with Hamilton County to distribute sales tax revenue equally, the city has taken over full funding responsibilities as of 2011.[88][89] The city was given a Carnegie library in 1904, and the two-story purpose-built marble structure survives to this day at Eighth Street and Georgia Avenue as commercial office space. In 1939, the library moved to Douglas Street and McCallie Avenue and shared the new building with the John Storrs Fletcher Library of the University of Chattanooga. This building is now called Fletcher Hall and houses classrooms and offices for the University. In 1976, the city library moved to its third and current location at the corner of Tenth and Broad streets.

Health care[]

Chattanooga has three hospital systems: Erlanger Health System, Parkridge Hospital System, and Memorial Hospital System.

Erlanger Hospital is a non-profit academic teaching center affiliated with the University of Tennessee's College of Medicine.[90] Erlanger is also the area's primary trauma center, a Level-One Trauma Center for adults, and the only provider of tertiary care for the residents of southeastern Tennessee, north Georgia, northeastern Alabama, and western North Carolina.[90] Erlanger treats approximately 250,000 people every year.[90] In 2008, Erlanger was named one of the nation's "100 Top teaching hospitals for cardiovascular care" by Thomson Reuters.[91] Erlanger has been operated by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority since 1976.[92]

Parkridge Hospital is located east of downtown in the Glenwood district and is run by Tri-Star Healthcare. Tri-Star also operates Parkridge East Medical Center in nearby East Ridge.

Memorial Hospital, which is operated by Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives, is located downtown. In 2004, Memorial was named one of the "100 Top Teaching Hospitals" by Thomson Reuters.[93]

Culture and tourism[]


Contemporary extension of the Hunter Museum of American Art

As the birthplace of the tow truck, Chattanooga is the home of the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum.[94] Another transportation icon, the passenger train, can be found at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, called TVRM by locals, which is the largest operating historic railroad in the South. Chattanooga is home to the Hunter Museum of American Art. Other notable museums include the Chattanooga History Center, the National Medal of Honor Museum, the Houston Museum, the Chattanooga African American Museum, and the Creative Discovery Museum.[95][96][97][98][99]

Arts and literature[]

Chattanooga has a wide range of performing arts in different venues. Chattanooga's historic Tivoli Theatre, dating from 1921 and one of the first public air-conditioned buildings in the United States, is home to the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera (CSO), which became the first merged symphony and opera company in the United States in 1985. The CSO performs under the baton of Kayoko Dan.[100] The Chattanooga Theatre Centre offers 15 productions each year in three separate theater programs: the Mainstage, the Circle Theater, and the Youth Theater.[101][102] Another popular performance venue is Memorial Auditorium.

Chattanooga hosts several writing conferences, including the Conference on Southern Literature and the Festival of Writers, both sponsored by the Arts & Education Council of Chattanooga.[103][104][105]


Chattanooga touts many attractions, including the Tennessee Aquarium, caverns, and new waterfront attractions along and across the Tennessee River. In the downtown area is the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, housed in the renovated Terminal Station and exhibiting the largest HO model train layout in the United States. Also downtown are the Creative Discovery Museum, a hands-on children's museum dedicated to science, art, and music; an IMAX 3D Theatre, and the newly expanded Hunter Museum of American Art. The Tennessee Riverwalk, an approximately 13-mile (21 km) long trail running alongside the river, is another attraction for both tourists and residents alike.

Across the river from downtown is the North Shore district, roughly bounded by the Olgiati Bridge to the west and Veterans Bridge to the east. The newly renovated area draws locals and tourists to locally owned independent boutique stores and restaurants, plus attractions along the Chattanooga Riverpark system, including Coolidge Park and Renaissance Park.[106][107] Chattanooga's only floating hotel, the Delta Queen, is a unique attraction alongside the North Shore and is permanently docked at Coolidge Park.[108]

The Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park is located a short distance from the downtown area.

Parks and natural scenic areas provide other attractions. The red-and-black painted "See Rock City" barns along highways in the Southeast are remnants of a now-classic Americana tourism campaign to attract visitors to the Rock City tourist attraction in nearby Lookout Mountain, Georgia. The mountain is also the site of Ruby Falls and Craven's House.[109] The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is a steep funicular railway that rises from the St. Elmo Historic District to the top of the mountain, where passengers can visit the National Park Service's Point Park and the Battles for Chattanooga Museum.[110] Formerly known as Confederama, the museum includes a diorama that details the Battle of Chattanooga. From the military park, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Moccasin Bend and the Chattanooga skyline from the mountain's famous "point" or from vantage points along the well-marked trail system.[111]

Near Chattanooga, the Raccoon Mountain Reservoir, Raccoon Mountain Caverns, and Reflection Riding Arboretum and Botanical Garden boast a number of outdoor and family fun opportunities. Other arboretums include Bonny Oaks Arboretum, Cherokee Arboretum at Audubon Acres, and Cherokee Trail Arboretum. The Ocoee River, host to a number of events at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, features rafting, kayaking, camping, and hiking. Just outside Chattanooga is the Lake Winnepesaukah amusement park. The Cumberland Trail begins in Signal Mountain, just outside of Chattanooga.

Festivals and events[]

Chattanooga hosts the well-known Riverbend Festival, an annual nine-day music festival held in June in the downtown area. One of the most popular events is the "Bessie Smith Strut", a one-night showcase of blues and jazz music named for the city's most noted blues singer. The annual "Southern Brewer's Festival" and the "River Roast" festival celebrate such traditional Southern staples as beer and barbecue.

New events, such as GoFest!, the "Between the Bridges" wakeboard competition, Heritage Festival, and Talespin, complement well-established events, such as Riverbend and the Southern Brewer's Festival, and attract their own audiences.[112][113] Back Row Films is a city-wide celebration of film co-sponsored by the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Arts & Education Council, and UTC.[114]

"Nightfall" is a free weekly concert series in Miller Plaza on Friday nights that features an eclectic mix of rock, blues, jazz, reggae, zydeco, funk, bluegrass, and folk music from Memorial Day until the end of September.[115] The Chattanooga Market features events all year round as part of the "Sunday at the Southside", including an Oktoberfest in mid-October.

The Chattanooga Dulcimer Festival, held each June, features workshops for mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, and auto harp, among others, along with performances by champion performers from across the nation.[116] Chattanooga is also the center of much bluegrass music. In 1935, as well as from 1993 to 1995, the city hosted the National Folk Festival.

Each January, Chattanooga plays host to Chattacon, a science fiction and fantasy literary convention.[117] The convention is organized by the nonprofit Chattanooga Speculative Fiction Fans, Inc. First held in 1976, the convention drew an estimated 1,000 attendees to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel in 2012, as well as an estimated 1,300 attendees in 2013.[118][119]


Chattanooga has a large, growing, and diversified sports scene for a city of its size, including college sports, minor league baseball, semi-professional teams, professional cycling exemplified by the Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships, the Ironman Triathlon, and a large nationally renowned regatta the first weekend of November.

Organized sports[]

Chattanooga was the home of the NCAA Division I Football Championship game, which was held at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, from 1997 to 2009. From 2010 to 2016, the Dallas, Texas suburb of Frisco hosts the NCAA Division I Football Championship game.[120]

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) Mocs compete in NCAA Division I and the Southern Conference. UTC's athletic programs include football at the FCS level, women's soccer, volleyball, and cross country in the fall; men's and women's basketball, Wrestling, and indoor track & field in the winter; and softball and outdoor track & field in the spring. Men's and women's golf and men's and women's tennis play in the fall and spring.

The Chattanooga Lookouts, a Class AA Southern League baseball team affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers, boast a loyal following and respectable participation in season-end playoffs.[121] Games take center stage at the downtown riverfront AT&T Field with tickets starting at $5.

Chattanooga is also home to several rugby teams: the Chattanooga Rugby Football Club, Nooga Red, Nooga Black, men's Old Boys, a women's rugby team, men's and women's teams at UTC, and an all-city high school team.[122] The Chattanooga Rugby Football Club, which was established in 1978 and the 2011 and 2013 DII Mid South champions, is affiliated with USA Rugby and USA Rugby South. The club fields two teams, Nooga Red, which competes in Division II, and Nooga Black, which competes in Division III.[123] There is also a men's Old Boys team, a Chattanooga women's rugby team, as well as collegiate men's and women's teams representing the Mocs at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. A city-wide high school rugby team, the Wolfpack, was established in 2012 and is open to any high school player living in the Chattanooga area.[122] All seven teams play their home matches at Montague Park.

Chattanooga is home to several semi-professional football teams, including the Tennessee Crush and the Chattanooga Steam. The Tennessee Crush plays its games at Finley Stadium in downtown Chattanooga. The Chattanooga Steam plays at Lookout Valley High School near Lookout Mountain.

The city's semi-professional soccer team, Chattanooga FC, plays in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and has led the league in attendance three of the four years of its existence. Chattanooga FC, founded in 2009, has been to the national finals game two of the last three years, although unable to bring home the trophy at the present time. Chattanooga FC has a large supporters group, the Chattahooligans, who are well known across the country for their loud and raucous, yet family friendly, atmosphere. Chattanooga FC will host the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League in the 3rd round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 28, 2014.

File:Head of the Hooch 2008 Stands and Finish.jpg

Overlooking the grandstand and finish area at the 2008 Head of the Hooch

The Tennessee River, which flows through the middle of Chattanooga, is an excellent place to row. The well-known Head of the Hooch rowing regatta takes place in downtown Chattanooga during the first weekend of November. The head race originally took place on the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta before moving to Chattanooga in 2005, hence the name Head of the Hooch. With 1,965 boats in 2011 and nearly 2,000 boats in 2012, this competition ranks as the 2nd largest regatta in the United States, with numerous college and youth teams, such as UNC Men's Crew, Vanderbilt Rowing Club, James Madison University Crew, University of Tennessee Women's Rowing, Orlando Rowing Club, Nashville Rowing Club, Newport Rowing Club, and Chattanooga Rowing, competing.[124][125][126] There are also multiple local rowing clubs, such as the Lookout Rowing Club for adults and the Chattanooga Junior Rowing Club for high school students. The weekend of the Head of the Hooch also sees hot-air balloon rides and other activities.

In 2013, the Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships were held in Chattanooga. The schedule for the 3-day event on May 25–27 featured a handcycling time trail and various other cycling time trials and road races, including a men's road race that took the cyclists through the heart of downtown Chattanooga and up Lookout Mountain for a total race distance of 102.5 miles (165.0 km).[127] American professional cyclist Freddie Rodriguez won the national road race championship title for the fourth time in his career.[128] The Championships' debut in Chattanooga marked the first time in the event's 29-year history that women were allowed to compete for professional national titles.[129] Chattanooga will also host the Championships in 2014 and 2015.[130]

In August 2013, further cementing Chattanooga's growing status as a nationally recognized outdoor haven, the Chattanooga Sports Committee, an organization established in 1992 to help the city host major sporting events, announced that the legendary Ironman Triathlon would be coming to the city in a 5-year deal. The city will become one of only 11 cities in the United States to host the prestigious and grueling competition showcasing Chattanooga's natural beauty, which consists of a 2.4-mile (3.9 km) swim, a 112-mile (180 km) bike race (which will be broken down into two 56-mile (90 km) loops), and a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run (which will be broken down into two 13.1-mile (21.1 km) loops). The competition begins its first year in Chattanooga on September 26, 2014, continuing every September thereafter through 2018. The winner of the competition will get a $25,000 prize and a spot in the Ironman World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii.[131][132]

Outdoor sports[]

Due to its location at the junction of the Cumberland Plateau and the southern Appalachians, Chattanooga has become a haven for outdoor sports such as hunting, fishing, trail running, road running, adventure racing, rock climbing, mountain biking, and road biking. Chattanooga has been a member of the League of American Bicyclists' Bronze level since October 2003, the only city in Tennessee to be a member of the organization before Knoxville and Nashville joined in 2010 and 2012, respectively.[133] The city boasts a number of outdoor clubs: Scenic City Velo, SORBA-Chattanooga, the Wilderness Trail Running Association, and the Chattanooga Track Club. The city also funds Outdoor Chattanooga, an organization focused on promoting outdoor recreation. In September 2004, the city appointed its first-ever executive director of Outdoor Chattanooga to implement the organization's mission, which includes promoting bicycling for transportation, recreation, and active living.[134] For paddlers, Chattanooga offers the Tennessee River Blueway, a 50-mile (80 km) recreational section of the Tennessee River that flows through Chattanooga and the Tennessee River Gorge. The Tennessee Aquarium has a high speed catamaran, the River Gorge Explorer, to allow up to 70 people to explore the Tennessee River Gorge.[135] The Explorer departs from the Chattanooga Pier.[136] Since 2008, Chattanooga has hosted the Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship, the crowning event of the largest disc dog competition series in the world.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 6,093
1880 12,892 111.6%
1890 29,100 125.7%
1900 30,154 3.6%
1910 44,604 47.9%
1920 57,895 29.8%
1930 119,798 106.9%
1940 128,163 7.0%
1950 131,041 2.2%
1960 130,009 −0.8%
1970 119,923 −7.8%
1980 169,514 41.4%
1990 152,466 −10.1%
2000 155,554 2.0%
2010 167,674 7.8%
Est. 2012 171,279 10.1%

As of the census[4] of 2010, there were 167,674 people, 70,749 households, and 40,384 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,222.5 people per square mile (472.5/km²). There were 79,607 housing units at an average density of 588.8 per square mile (226.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58% White, 34.9% Black, 0.4% American Indian, 2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.9% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. 5.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Non-Hispanic Whites were 55.9% of the population in 2010, down from 67.3% in 1980.[139][140] There were 70,749 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36% were married couples living together, 17.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 26% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 27% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.1 years. 46.1% of the population was male and 53.9% of the population was female.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,817, and the median income for a family was $43,314. Males had a median income of $36,109 versus $31,077 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,756. About 14% of families and 16.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.

Chattanooga's Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in Georgia, grew from 476,531 people, as of the 2000 census, to 529,222 people, as of the 2010 census, a 9% increase during the 2000s.[141]


Location of Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga from Lookout Mountain

The city is located at latitude 35°4' North, longitude 85°15' West.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 143.2 square miles (371 km2), of which 135.2 square miles (350 km2) is land and 8.0 square miles (21 km2) (5.56%) is water. In terms of land area, Chattanooga ranks 68th, which is between Las Vegas, Nevada and Philadelphia. The total area of Chattanooga makes the city larger than that of many cities larger in population, such as Baltimore, Maryland, Atlanta, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Salt Lake City.

The most prominent natural features in and around Chattanooga are the Tennessee River and the surrounding mountains. The city is nestled between the southwestern Ridge-and-valley Appalachians and the foot of Walden's Ridge; the river separates the ridge from the western side of downtown. Several miles east, the city is bisected by Missionary Ridge, site of an important battle in the Civil War.

The Tennessee River is impounded by the TVA's Chickamauga Dam north of the downtown area. Five automobile bridges, one railroad trestle, and one pedestrian bridge, all described below, cross the river.

Road transport is facilitated by Interstate 75 to Atlanta and Knoxville, Interstate 24 to Nashville, and Interstate 59 to Birmingham. Chattanooga and portions of Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia is served by the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport. CSX transports rail freight to Atlanta and Nashville, and Norfolk Southern conveys rail cargo to Atlanta, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Knoxville, and Memphis.


In addition to the restoration of downtown, many of Chattanooga's neighborhoods have experienced a rebirth of their own. Chattanooga has many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and three neighborhoods: Ferger Place, Fort Wood, and St. Elmo. Additionally, Chattanooga has ten local historic districts: Fort Wood, Ferger Place, Glenwood, Missionary Ridge, Market and Main Streets, Market Street Warehouse, M.L. King Boulevard, St. Elmo, Stone Fort Land Company, and Stringer Ridge. The neighborhood of Highland Park is being considered for designation.[142]

  • Alton Park
  • Avondale
  • Brainerd
  • Bonny Oaks
  • Bushtown
  • Clifton Hills
  • East Brainerd
  • East Chattanooga
  • East Lake
  • Eastdale
  • Ferger Place
  • Fort Wood
  • Foxwood Heights
  • Glenwood
  • Highland Park
  • Hill City
  • Hixson
  • Highway 58 (Lake Hills, Murray Hills)
  • Jefferson Heights
  • Lookout Valley (also known as Tiftonia and Wauhatchie)
  • Lupton City
  • Missionary Ridge
  • North Chattanooga
  • Orchard Knob
  • Pineville
  • Ridgedale
  • Riverview
  • Rossville (distinct from the nearby city of Rossville, Georgia)
  • Southside
  • Stuart Heights
  • Tyner
  • St. Elmo
  • Woodmore

Important suburbs[]

  • Apison, Tennessee
  • Chickamauga, Georgia
  • Collegedale, Tennessee
  • East Brainerd, Tennessee
  • East Ridge, Tennessee
  • Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
  • Harrison, Tennessee
  • Hixson, Tennessee
  • Lookout Mountain, Georgia
  • Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
  • Ooltewah, Tennessee
  • Red Bank, Tennessee
  • Ridgeside, Tennessee
  • Ringgold, Georgia
  • Rossville, Georgia
  • Sale Creek, Tennessee
  • Signal Mountain, Tennessee
  • Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee
  • Walden, Tennessee


Chattanooga, as with much of Tennessee, has a four-season humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa). Winter days are usually mild but most years have at least one day (average 3.2) where the high remains at or below freezing. Snow is not common, and many years may receive none; the 1971–2000 snowfall seasonal median was 0.6 inches (1.5 cm).[143] However, 11 inches (28 cm) was recorded between January 9–10, 2011.[143] Summers are hot and humid, with a July daily mean of 80.0 °F (26.7 °C) and 52 days annually with 90 °F (32 °C) or greater temperatures.[144]

Despite the mountains that surround the city, Chattanooga can and has been threatened by tornadoes.[145] These tornadoes include the April 2011 tornado outbreak, which impacted the city and nearby locations, including Apison and Cherokee Valley just over the nearby state line in Catoosa County, Georgia, where fifteen people died, eight in Apison and seven in Cherokee Valley.[146][147][148]

Template:Chattanooga, Tennessee weatherbox


Considered to be the gateway to the Deep South, along with the Midwest and the Northeast for motorists from states such as Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, Chattanooga's extensive transportation infrastructure has evolved into an intricate system of interstates, streets, tunnels, railroad lines, bridges, and a commercial airport.

Principal highways[]

  • I-24
  • I-59
  • I-75
  • US-27 North (formerly I-124)
  • State Route 58
  • State Route 153

See also List of Tennessee state highways

Major surface routes[]

  • Brainerd Road/Lee Highway (US 11)/(US 64)
  • Broad Street
  • Cummings Highway (US 41)/(US 72)
  • Dayton Blvd (US 27)
  • East Brainerd Road
  • Georgia Avenue
  • Hixson Pike
  • Main Street (US 76)
  • McCallie Avenue
  • Ringgold Road
  • Rossville Boulevard (US 27)
  • Shallowford Road
  • Signal Mountain Boulevard (US 127)


  • Bachman Tubes, (also unofficially known as The East Ridge Tunnels), which carry Ringgold Road into the neighboring city of East Ridge.
  • Missionary Ridge Tunnels (also unofficially known as McCallie or Brainerd Tunnels), which carry McCallie and Bailey Avenues through Missionary Ridge where the route continues as Brainerd Road.
  • Stringer's Ridge Tunnel, which carries Cherokee Boulevard through Stringer's Ridge where the route continues as Dayton Boulevard.
  • Wilcox Tunnel, which carries Wilcox Boulevard through Missionary Ridge and connects to Shallowford Road.

Public transit[]

The city is served by a publicly run bus company, the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA). CARTA operates 17 routes, including a free electric shuttle service in the downtown area, and free wireless Internet on certain "smartbuses".[149]

Railroad lines[]

Chattanooga Choo Choo

Chattanooga Choo Choo

Though Chattanooga's most famous connection to the railroad industry is Chattanooga Choo Choo, a song made famous by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra, the city serves as a major freight hub with Norfolk Southern (NS) and CSX running trains on their own (and each other's) lines. The Norfolk Southern Railway's main classification yard, DeButts Yard, is just east of downtown; Norfolk Southern's Shipp's Yard and CSX's Wauhatchie Yard are southwest of the city. Norfolk Southern maintains a large railroad repair shop in Chattanooga.[150] The two railroad companies are among the largest individual landowners in the city (the Federal Government is another).

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM), the largest historic operating railroad in the South, and the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway also provides railroad service in Chattanooga. The headquarters of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) has been in Chattanooga next to the TVRM since 1982, when the NMRA moved from Indianapolis, Indiana.[151]

Using the AAR reporting marks (NS for Norfolk Southern, CSXT for CSX Transportation, TVRM for the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, TNT for subsidiary Tyner Terminal Railroad, and CCKY for Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway), the rail lines passing through Chattanooga are as follows:

  • CSXT – Western & Atlantic Subdivision (Chattanooga to Atlanta, Georgia)
  • NS – Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific, aka the Queen and Crescent Route, (Chattanooga to Cincinnati, Ohio via Lexington, Kentucky)
    • Alabama Division (Chattanooga to Memphis via Huntsville, Alabama)
    • Alabama Great Southern (Chattanooga to New Orleans, Louisiana via Birmingham, Alabama)
    • Georgia Division (Chattanooga to Atlanta)
    • Central Division (Chattanooga to Knoxville, Tennessee)
    • Chattanooga Traction Company
      • North Chattanooga to Signal Mountain
      • Dry Valley Line (Red Bank to Lupton City)
  • TVRM – East Chattanooga to Grand Junction (3 miles (4.8 km))
    • East Chattanooga Belt Line Railroad (from near 23rd Street, across to Holtzclaw Avenue and East Chattanooga around North Chamberlain Ave., used by TVRM)
    • TNT - Tyner Terminal Railroad (Enterprise South Industrial Park railroad operations)
  • CCKY – formerly the Tennessee Alabama & Georgia line (Chattanooga to Hedges, Georgia, abandoned since 2009)
    • formerly the Central of Georgia line (Chattanooga to Lyerly, Georgia)

The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, often referred to as the Incline Railway by locals, serves as a tourist attraction. It is also occasionally used for commuting by Lookout Mountain residents, particularly during wintry weather when traveling up and down the mountain could be very dangerous.

Despite the high level of freight rail activity, there is no passenger rail service in the city for either commuters or long-distance travelers.


Bridges in Chattanooga (In the foreground is the Walnut Street Bridge, immediately behind is the Market Street Bridge, and then in the background is the P.R. Olgiati Bridge.)

Being bisected by the Tennessee River, Chattanooga has seven bridges that allow people to traverse the river; five of the bridges being automobile bridges, one a rail bridge, and one a pedestrian bridge. These are the following, from west to east:

Market Street Bridge facing the North Shore

  • P.R. Olgiati Bridge – Named for a former mayor, P.R. Olgiati, this bridge, which was dedicated in 1959, carries U.S. Highway 27 from downtown towards Dayton, Tennessee and points northward.[16]
  • Market Street Bridge – Officially called the John Ross Bridge, this bridge is a bascule bridge, which is a type of draw bridge. The bridge was completed in 1917 for the large sum of $1,000,000 for the time. Having stood for decades since its last major overhaul, the Tennessee Department of Transportation declared it unsafe in late 2004. The bridge was closed in 2005 for a long-overdue renovation and was reopened on August 4, 2007.[152]
  • Walnut Street Bridge – Also known as "The Walking Bridge", it is one of the centerpieces of Chattanooga's urban renewal and is the second longest pedestrian bridge in the nation. Constructed in 1891, the bridge was declared unsafe and closed to traffic in 1978. It was on the verge of being demolished in the late 1980s when public outcry led to it being restored as a pedestrian-only span that opened in 1993.[16][153]
  • Veterans Memorial Bridge – Completed in 1984, this bridge has helped commuters from Hixson, Lupton City, and other northern areas reach downtown quickly.[16]
  • C.B. Robinson Bridge – Opened in 1981, this bridge carries Dupont Parkway from Amnicola Highway to Hixson Pike and Route 153.[16]
  • Tenbridge – This truss bridge with a vertical lift carries the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway over the river and is a popular railfan area. It was constructed in 1920.[154]
  • Wilkes T. Thrasher Bridge – Completed in 1955, this route carries Highway 153 over the Chickamauga Dam.[16]

Air travel[]

The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) offers non-stop service to various domestic destinations via regional and national airlines, including Allegiant Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Connection, and US Airways Express.[155]

Media and communications[]

The city of Chattanooga is served by numerous local, regional, and national media outlets which reach approximately one million people in four states: Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina.


The Chattanooga Times Free Press headquarters

The Chattanooga Times Free Press, the area's only daily newspaper, is published every morning. It was formed in 1999 from the merger of two papers that had been bitter rivals for half a century, the Times and the News-Free Press. The Times was owned and published by Adolph Ochs, who later bought the New York Times. The Times was the morning paper and had a generally more liberal editorial page. The News-Free Press, whose name was the result of an earlier merger, was an afternoon daily and its editorials were more conservative than those in the Times. On August 27, 1966, the News-Free Press became the first newspaper in the nation to dissolve a joint operating agreement.[156][157] In 1999, the Free Press, which had changed its name from News-Free Press in 1993, was bought by an Arkansas company, WEHCO Media, publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which then bought The Times from the Ochs heirs.[158] The Times Free Press is the only newspaper in the United States to have 2 editorial pages, each reflecting opposite ends of the political spectrum. The Times' editorial page, which is liberal, is on the left page and the Free Press' editorial page, which is conservative, is on the right page.[159]

Enigma is a free weekly pop culture and entertainment newspaper published every Wednesday. Founded in 1995 by David Weinthal, Enigma is Chattanooga's oldest and longest running alternative newspaper. The newspaper covers the greater Chattanooga area as well as different events across the Southeast, including everything from major concerts and festivals to college and professional sports.

The Chattanooga Pulse is a weekly alternative newspaper, published every Wednesday. It was formed in 2003 by Zachary Cooper and Michael Kull, running independently until 2008, when the paper was purchased by local broadcast radio and website development firm Brewer Media Group. The newspaper shared news gathering resources with Brewer Media Group's News Talk 95.3 WPLZ radio station until January 2012 when the news talk radio format was changed to country.[160]

The Chattanooga News Chronicle is an African-American weekly newspaper.[161]

Online media[]

The Chattanoogan and its website "", established in 1999, is an online media outlet that concentrates on news from Chattanooga, North Georgia, and Southeast Tennessee. The publisher is John Wilson, previously a staff writer for the Chattanooga Free Press. The Chattanoogan is the oldest online newspaper in Chattanooga.[162][163], purchased in November 2010 by local entrepreneur Barry Large, relaunched in 2011 as a local news website offering “quality daily content focusing on local business, politics, and entertainment in the Chattanooga area.”[164]


Chattanooga is served by the following AM and FM radio stations:


  • WDYN 980 AM – Southern Gospel / WDYN Radio [8] Operated By Tennessee Temple University. (Licensed to Rossville, GA)
  • WFLI 1070 AM – Southern gospel (Licensed to Lookout Mountain, TN)
  • WGOW 1150 AM – News/talk / NewsRadio 1150 [9] (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • WNOO 1260 AM – Urban gospel and Motown (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • WDEF-AM 1370 AM – Sports/1370 Fox Sports Radio (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • WLMR 1450 AM – Christian Talk (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • WJOC 1490 AM – Southern gospel (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)


  • WUTC 88.1 FM – NPR [10]/Mixed music / Music 88. Operated by UTC. First and only station in Chattanooga to be broadcasting in HD Radio. (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • W203AZ 88.5 FM – Religious/CSN International [11] (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • WMBW 88.9 FM – Christian / Moody Radio For The Heart of the Southeast. Owned and operated by Moody Bible Institute. (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • WYBK 89.7 FM – Christian. Operated By Bible Broadcasting Network. (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • W211BG 90.1 FM – Religious [12] (Licensed to Walden, TN)
  • WSMC 90.5 FM – Classical/NPR/PRI [13] Operated by Southern Adventist University. (Licensed to Collegedale, TN)
  • WJBP-FM 91.5 FM – Christian / Family Life Radio [14] (Licensed to Red Bank, TN)
  • WAWL – College Alternative / The Wawl (Web only / Formerly broadcasting on 91.5) Chattanooga State Community College (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • WDEF-FM 92.3 FM – Adult contemporary / Sunny 92.3 [15] (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • WSAA 93.1 FM – Christian Rock / Air 1 [16] (Licensed to Benton, TN)
  • WMPZ 93.5 FM – Urban Adult contemporary / Groove 93 [17] (Licensed to Harrison, TN)
  • WQMT 93.9 FM – Variety Rock / Jack FM [18] (Licensed to Decatur, TN)
  • WJTT 94.3 FM – Urban contemporary / Power 94 [19] (Licensed to Red Bank, TN)
  • WAAK-LP 94.7 FM – Variety [20] (Low power station licensed to Boynton/Ringgold, GA)
  • WPLZ 95.3 FM – Country [21] (Licensed to Ooltewah, TN)
  • WDOD 96.5 FM – Hits 96.5—Chattanooga's No. 1 Hit Music Station [22] (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • WUUQ 97.3 and 99.3 FM – Classic Country / Q Country 97.3/99.3 (Licensed to South Pittsburg, TN)
  • WLND 98.1 FM – Hot AC / 98.1 The Lake [23] (Licensed to Signal Mountain, TN)
  • WOOP-LP 99.9 FM – Classic country, old-time gospel, bluegrass, and mountain music. [24] Operated by the Traditional Music Resource Center (Licensed to Cleveland, TN)
  • WUSY 100.7 FM – Contemporary country / US101 [25] (Licensed to Cleveland, TN)
  • WJSQ 101.7 FM – Contemporary and Classic country / 101.7 WLAR [26] (Licensed to Athens, TN)
  • WOCE 101.9 FM – Spanish (Licensed to Ringgold, GA)
  • WGOW 102.3 FM – Talk Radio [27] (Licensed to Soddy-Daisy, TN)
  • WBDX 102.7 FM – Contemporary Christian [28] (Licensed to Trenton, GA)
  • WLLJ 103.1 FM – Contemporary Christian [29] (Simulcast with WBDX 102.7) (Licensed to Etowah, TN)
  • WKXJ 103.7 FM – Top 40 / 103.7 Kiss FM [30] (Licensed to Walden, TN)
  • WALV 105.1 FM – ESPN Sports Talk [31] (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • WRXR 105.5 FM – Active Rock [32] (Licensed to Rossville, GA)
  • WSKZ 106.5 FM – Classic Rock [33] (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
  • W295BI (WPLZ HD-2) 106.9 FM – Oldies / Hippie Radio 106.9 [34] (Licensed to Ooltewah, TN)
  • WOGT 107.9 FM – Oldies / 107.9 Big FM [35] (Licensed to East Ridge, TN)


Chattanooga's television stations include:

  • WRCB channel 3, NBC affiliate – [36] (DT 13 / cable 4)
  • WOOT-LP channel 6, independent (formerly UPN) (silent)
  • WTVC channel 9, ABC affiliate – [37] (DT35 / cable 10)
  • WDEF channel 12, CBS affiliate – [38] (DT47 / cable 13)
  • WNGH channel 18, GPB affiliate – [39] (DT 33 / cable 12)
  • WELF channel 23, TBN affiliate – [40] (DT 16 / cable 9)
  • W26BE channel 26, 3ABN affiliate – [41] (Not on cable in Chattanooga)
  • WYHB-LP channel 39, America One affiliate – [42] (DT 44 / Not on Cable in Chattanooga)
  • WTCI channel 45, PBS member station [43] (DT29 / cable 5)
  • WFLI-TV channel 53, The CW Television Network affiliate [44] (Formerly UPN and The WB) (DT 42 / cable 6)
  • WDSI channel 61, Fox affiliate – [45] (DT 40 / cable 11)

See also List of television stations in Tennessee, List of television stations in Georgia.

Pop culture[]

Chattanooga has been referenced in pop culture numerous times over the decades, including in books, documentaries, films, TV shows, and more. In recent years, Chattanooga has appeared in more productions of blockbuster movies and TV shows, as well as independent films and documentaries, therefore bringing Chattanooga on the national stage.[165][166]


Some books that have Chattanooga as either a major or minor plot setting are Don't Cry by Beverly Barton, Full Moon by Mick Winters, and The Wagonmaster by Nita Wick.[167]


Some documentaries have been filmed in Chattanooga over the decades, mostly related to the railroad industry or the Civil War battles that were fought in Chattanooga. These include the following:[168]

  • Up Lookout Mountain on the Electric Incline (1913)[169]
  • Battle Fields Around Chattanooga (1913)[170]
  • The Blue and the Gray (1935)[171]
  • Our Country (2003)[172]
  • John Henry: Inside the Sculptors Studio (2008)[173]
  • Let There Be Light: The Odyssey of Dark Star (2010)[174]
  • Memphis & Charleston Railroad: Marriage of the Waters (2010)[175]
  • Born and Bred (2011)[176]
  • When Mourning Breaks (2013)[177]


Chattanooga and its environs have been featured in numerous films since the early 1970s, principally due to Chattanooga being the home of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM), which has allowed its equipment to be filmed in various films.

A partial list of movies shot with TVRM equipment follows:[178]

  • Fool's Parade (1971) (Southern 4501 as B&O 4501)[179]
  • Eleanor & Franklin (1976), starring Jane Alexander and Edward Herrmann[180]
  • The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James (1986)[181]
  • Fled (1996) (shot on the TVRM mainline)[182]
  • Mama Flora's Family (1998)[183]
  • October Sky (1999) (Southern 4501 appearing as N&W 4501 with O. Winston Link being the engineer)[184]
  • The Adventures of Ociee Nash (2003)[185]
  • Warm Springs (2005) (shot in Summerville, Georgia, using TVRM equipment)[186]
  • Heaven's Fall (2007)[187]
  • Leatherheads (2008), starring George Clooney and Renée Zellweger[188]
  • Water for Elephants (2011), starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson[189]
  • The music video for Josh Turner's 2003 country music hit single Long Black Train was shot on TVRM property as well.[178]

In addition to the above TVRM films, the following films were filmed either in Chattanooga itself or in nearby locales:[168]

  • The Man Trail (1915)[190]
  • The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1981)[191]
  • The Big Blue (1988)[192]
  • Dutch (1991)[193]
  • Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)[194]
  • All Over Again (2001)[195]
  • Straight into Darkness (2004)[196]
  • 42 (2013) (filmed at Engel Stadium)[197][198]
  • Identity Thief (2013) (scene set in St. Louis was filmed on the Market Street Bridge)[199]

The 1941 song that catapulted Chattanooga to international fame, Chattanooga Choo Choo, has been performed in numerous movies, including the 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade and the 1984 eponymous film Chattanooga Choo Choo.[200]

Sporting and entertainment events[]

A number of pro wrestling events, as well as other events, such as circuses, concerts, ice shows, monster truck rallies, and rodeos, have been held in Chattanooga since the late 1980s, all at UTC's McKenzie Arena, also known as The Roundhouse because of its round shape and the impact of the railroad industry on Chattanooga.[201] The events include the following:[168]

  • Clash of the Champions IV: Season's Beatings (1988)[202]
  • Saturday's Night Main Event (January 27, 1990 episode)[203]
  • Halloween Havoc (1991)[204]
  • WWF in Your House: Final Four (February 16, 1997)[205][206]
  • 2005 and 2011 Men's Southern Conference basketball tournaments
  • 2005 Women's Southern Conference basketball championship game
  • Kenny Rogers concert (October 8, 1982; first-ever event held in McKenzie Arena)[207]
  • Toby Keith concert (February 8, 2007)[208]
  • Elton John concert (2011, 2013)[209]

TV shows[]

Police POV, COPS, and the MTV show Cuff'd have shown members of the Chattanooga Police Department apprehending suspects.[210] In addition to police reality shows, Chattanooga and nearby areas have been either been featured or mentioned in several TV shows, including the following:[168]

  • America's Walking (This Woman's Not Stopping episode, originally broadcast May 20, 2002)[211]
  • R&B Divas: Atlanta (Til Divas Do Us Part episode, originally broadcast June 19, 2013)[212]
  • American Idol (Top 3 Results Show episode, originally broadcast May 19, 2011)[213]
  • Antiques Roadshow (Chattanooga episodes (Hours 1-3), originally broadcast March 30 and April 6 and 13, 2009)[214]
  • Bridezillas (Shederyl & Poni episode)[215]
  • Fitness Truth (CF Open Chattanooga episode, originally broadcast August 14, 2011)[216]
  • $40 a Day (Chattanooga episode, originally broadcast October 29, 2004)[217]
  • Evening Magazine[218]
  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sharrock Family episode, originally broadcast May 15, 2011)[219]
  • Good Eats (Hook, Line, and Dinner episode, originally broadcast September 8, 1999)[220]
  • Mystery Manhunt (2012-)[221][222]
  • Off Limits (Tennessee episode, originally broadcast June 20, 2011)[223]
  • Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy (Larry Gets the Horns episode, originally broadcast February 22, 2011)[224]
  • 16 and Pregnant (Maci episode, originally broadcast June 11, 2009)[225]
  • Teen Mom (Maci Bookout character)[226]
  • Tennessee Crossroads (Show 752 episode, originally broadcast June 23, 1994)[227]
  • The Andy Griffith Show (Andy the Matchmaker and The Shoplifters episodes, originally broadcast on November 14, 1960 and March 2, 1964, respectively.)[228]
  • The Steps (a locally produced web series)[229][230]
  • Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy (Hammond/Howard episode, originally broadcast January 17 and 24, 2005)[231][232]
  • Who Do You Think You Are? (Lionel Richie episode, originally broadcast March 4, 2011)[233]

Miscellaneous film and TV productions[]

Numerous independent short films have been produced in Chattanooga over the last several years, including the following:[168]

  • Outcasts (2003)[234]
  • Assurances (2004)[235]
  • A Bright Past (2008)[236]
  • Last Breath (2009)[237]
  • The Campaign for Chattanooga: Death Knell of the Confederacy (2012)[238]
  • Ella (2012)[239][240]

Some TV movies have been filmed in Chattanooga or nearby areas, as well, including the 1986 TV movie A Winner Never Quits.[241] In addition, the 1999 music video Usher Live, starring Chattanooga native Usher, was filmed in Chattanooga.[242]

Sister/Twinning cities[]

Chattanooga has seven sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International: [243]

  • Germany Hamm, Germany (since 1975) [244]
  • People's Republic of China Wuxi, Jiangsu, China (since 1982) [245]
  • Israel Giv'atayim, Israel (since 1988) [246]
  • Russia Nizhny Tagil, Russia (since 1996) [247]
  • South Korea Gangneung, South Korea (since 2003) [248]
  • Germany Wolfsburg, Germany (since 2011) [249]
  • Italy Manfredonia, Italy (since 2014) [250]

Chattanooga also has two twinning cities:

In January 2007, all of the cities above, with the exception of Wolfsburg, had a tree native to each locale planted at Coolidge Park's Peace Grove, which was established to replace a 100 year-old Slippery Elm tree which was damaged in a lightning storm in August 2006.[253][254] Wolfsburg was added in September 2011.[255] The Peace Grove has eight trees: a Linden Tree, which represents Hamm, a Chinese Elm, which represents Wuxi, a Mediterranean Cedar, which represents Giv'atayim, a White Birch, which represents Nizhny Tagil, a Ginkgo Tree, which represents Gangneung, an English Elm, which represents Swindon, a European Hornbeam, which represents Ascoli Piceno, and an Oak Tree, which represents Wolfsburg.

See also[]

  • Benwood Foundation
  • Chattanooga, Rome and Columbus Railroad
  • List of people from Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Lyndhurst Foundation



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Further reading[]

  • Armstrong, Zella. The History of Hamilton County and Chattanooga, Tennessee. (2 vol 1931; reprint The Overmountain Press, 1992)
  • Crutchfield, Jennifer. Chattanooga Landmarks: Exploring the History of the Scenic City (The History Press, 2010)
  • Desmond, Jerry R. Chattanooga (Arcadia Publishing, 1996)
  • Downey, Fairfax. Storming of the Gateway: Chattanooga, 1863 (D. McKay Company, 1960)
  • Ezzell, Tim. Chattanooga, 1865-1900: A City Set Down in Dixie (University of Tennessee Press; 2014) 212 pages;folcus on economic and political development
  • Govan, Gilbert E., and James W. Livingood. "Chattanooga Under Military Occupation, 1863-1865." Journal of Southern History (1951) 17#1 pp: 23-47. in JSTOR
  • Hubbard, Rita L. African Americans of Chattanooga: A History of Unsung Heroes (The History Press, 2007)
  • Livingood, James Weston. Chattanooga: An Illustrated History (Windsor Publications, 1981)
  • Scott, Michelle R. Blues Empress in Black Chattanooga: Bessie Smith and the Emerging Urban South (University of Illinois Press, 2008)

External links[]

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