US-27 passing through Sunbright
Location of Sunbright, Tennessee
|• Total||3.8 sq mi (9.8 km2)|
|• Land||3.8 sq mi (9.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||1,312 ft (400 m)|
|• Density||151.8/sq mi (58.6/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1652468|
The Sunbright area was first settled in the early 19th century. It was originally known as "Pine Top", but was renamed "Stapleton" after the Staples family set up the town's first post office in the mid-19th century. When the railroad was constructed through the area in 1879, the Stapleton depot was named "Sunbright," and the name was eventually applied to the entire town.
In 1916, an oil field was discovered in the hills immediately west of Sunbright, and the city thrived for several years as an oil shipping hub. An oil well was in operation within a year, and 15 wells were in operation in the Sunbright area by 1927.
Sunbright is located at  The city is situated atop the Cumberland Plateau approximately 25 miles (40 km) west of the plateau's Walden Ridge escarpment. Sunbright is surrounded by low mountains and hills that comprise the fringe of the Cumberland Mountains.(36.247369, -84.672692).
White Oak Creek, which drains Sunbright, is part of the upper watershed of the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. The Big South Fork's watershed meets the watershed of the Emory River atop Pilot Mountain, immediately south of Sunbright.
Sunbright is centered along U.S. Route 27, which connects the city to Wartburg and Harriman to the south and Huntsville, Tennessee and Lexington, Kentucky to the north. US-27 intersects Interstate 40 approximately 25 miles (40 km) south of Sunbright.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 577 people, 229 households, and 158 families residing in the city. The population density was 151.8 people per square mile (58.6/km²). There were 264 housing units at an average density of 69.4 per square mile (26.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.44% White, 0.17% Native American, 0.87% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.87% of the population.
There were 229 households out of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.7% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,763, and the median income for a family was $31,094. Males had a median income of $28,000 versus $16,944 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,102. About 20.0% of families and 24.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.1% of those under age 18 and 27.0% of those age 65 or over.
- Calvin Dickinson, Morgan County (Memphis State University Press, 1987), pp. 78-84.
- Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006, pp. 618-625.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Ethel Freytag and Glena Kreis Ott, A History of Morgan County, Tennessee (Wartburg, Tenn.: Specialty Print Co., 1971), 84-86.
- The WPA Guide to Tennessee (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1986), 361. Originally compiled by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Project Administration as Tennessee: A Guide to the State, and published in 1939.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013.