Blount County, Tennessee

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Blount County, Tennessee
Blount County Courthouse in Maryville
Map of Tennessee highlighting Blount County
Location in the state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
Founded 1795
Named for William Blount[1]
Seat Maryville
Largest city Maryville
 • Total 567 sq mi (1,469 km2)
 • Land 559 sq mi (1,448 km2)
 • Water 7.8 sq mi (20 km2), 1.4%
 • (2010) 123,010
 • Density 220/sq mi (85/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Blount County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 123,010.[2] The county seat is Maryville,[3] which is also the county's largest city.

Blount County is included in the Knoxville, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area.


What is today Blount County was for many thousands of years Indian territory, passed down to the Cherokee tribe that claimed the land upon the arrival of white settlers in the late 18th century. Shortly thereafter, on July 11, 1795, Blount County became the tenth county established in Tennessee, when the Territorial Legislature voted to split adjacent Knox and Jefferson counties. The new county was named for the governor of the Southwest Territory, William Blount, and its county seat, Maryville, was named for his wife Mary Grainger Blount. This establishment, however, did little to settle the differences between white immigrants and Cherokee natives, which was, for the most part, not accomplished until an 1819 treaty.[4]

Like many East Tennessee counties, Blount County was opposed to secession on the eve of the Civil War. In Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession referendum on June 8, 1861, Blount Countians voted against secession by a margin of 1,766 to 414.[5] Residents of pro-Union Cades Cove and pro-Confederate Hazel Creek (on the other side of the mountains in North Carolina) regularly launched raids against one another during the war.[6]

Throughout its history the boundaries of Blount County have been altered numerous times, most notably in 1870 when a large swath of western Blount was split into Loudon and portions of other counties. Also, the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1936, while not affecting the legal boundaries of Blount County, has significantly impacted the use of southeastern Blount County.[7]

On July 2, 2015,[8] a freight train carrying hazardous materials[9] went off of its tracks[10] [11] Over 5000 citizens[12] were displaced from their homes[13] within a two mile (three kilometer) radius.[14][15]


Chilhowee Mountain in winter

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 567 square miles (1,470 km2), of which 559 square miles (1,450 km2) is land and 7.8 square miles (20 km2) (1.4%) is water.[16]

The southern part of Blount County is part of the Great Smoky Mountains, and is protected by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The crest of the range forms the county's border with Swain County, North Carolina, and includes Blount's highest point, 5,527-foot (1,685 m) Thunderhead Mountain, and the 4,949-foot (1,508 m) Gregory Bald, a prominent grassy bald. The northern part of the county is part of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians.[17] The geologic boundary between the Blue Ridge (which includes the Smokies) and Ridge-and-Valley provinces runs along Chilhowee Mountain, a long and narrow ridge that stretches across the central part of the county.[18] Much of Blount's topography is characterized by elongate ridges and rolling hills— known locally as "The Foothills"— which emanate outward from the Smokies range.

The mountainous southern portion of Blount County is dotted by relatively isolated valleys known as Appalachian coves. The best known of these valleys, Cades Cove, is one of the most visited sections of the national park, and is noted for the remnants of the Appalachian community that occupied the cove prior to the park's formation, as well as an abundance of wildlife, especially white-tailed deer. Tuckaleechee Cove is occupied by the city of Townsend, and Millers Cove is occupied by the community of Walland. This part of the county is also home to two large caves: Tuckaleechee Caverns, a popular show cave, and Bull Cave, which at 924 feet (282 m) is the deepest in Tennessee.[19]

The Tennessee River forms part of Blount's border with Knox County to the northwest. This section of the Tennessee is part of Fort Loudoun Lake, an artificial lake created by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The Little Tennessee River, a tributary of the Tennessee, forms part of Blount's southern border with Monroe County, and includes three artificial lakes: Tellico, Chilhowee, and Calderwood (two others, Cheoah and Fontana, are located just upstream in North Carolina). Little River, another tributary of the Tennessee, flows northward from deep within the Smokies and traverses the central part of the county. The river's confluence with its Middle Prong forms a popular swimming area known as the "Townsend Wye," which is located just inside the park south of Townsend.

Geographical features[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

State protected areas[edit]

  • Foothills Wildlife Management Area
  • Sam Houston Schoolhouse (state historic site)
  • Kyker Bottoms Refuge
  • Tellico Lake Wildlife Management Area (part)
  • Whites Mill Refuge


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 5,587
1810 12,098 116.5%
1820 11,258 −6.9%
1830 11,028 −2.0%
1840 11,745 6.5%
1850 12,424 5.8%
1860 13,270 6.8%
1870 14,237 7.3%
1880 15,985 12.3%
1890 17,589 10.0%
1900 19,206 9.2%
1910 20,809 8.3%
1920 28,800 38.4%
1930 33,989 18.0%
1940 41,116 21.0%
1950 54,691 33.0%
1960 57,525 5.2%
1970 63,744 10.8%
1980 77,700 21.9%
1990 85,969 10.6%
2000 105,823 23.1%
2010 123,010 16.2%
Est. 2014 126,339 [20] 2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[21]
1790-1960[22] 1900-1990[23]
1990-2000[24] 2010-2014[2]
Age pyramid Blount County[25]

As of the census[26] of 2000, there were 105,823 people, 42,667 households, and 30,634 families residing in the county. The population density was 190 people per square mile (73/km²). There were 47,059 housing units at an average density of 84 per square mile (33/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.73% White, 2.91% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 1.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 42,667 households out of which 30.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.40% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% are classified as non-families by the United States Census Bureau. Of the 42,667 households, 1,384 are unmarried partner households: 1,147 heterosexual, 107 same-sex male, 130 same-sex female. 24.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.80% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 29.40% from 25 to 44, 25.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.80 males. However, these data are distorted by female longevity. As verified by 2000 U.S. Census, for every 100 females under 65 there were 98.7 males, for every 100 females under 55 there were 99.5 males, and for every 100 females under 20 there were 105 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,862, and the median income for a family was $45,038. Males had a median income of $31,877 versus $23,007 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,416. About 7.30% of families and 9.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.30% of those under age 18 and 9.10% of those age 65 or over.


The following list consists of the current elected members of the Blount County government:[27]

  • Commissioners:

Blount County government
County Executive Ed Mitchell
Assessor of Property Tim Helton
Clerk and Master Stephen Ogle
County Clerk Roy Crawford Jr
Clerk of Courts Thomas Hatcher
County Treasurer
District Attorney Mike Flynn
Registrar of Deeds Phyllis Crisp
Chief Highway Officer Bill Dunlap
Registrar of Probate
County Sheriff James Berrong
Trustee Scott Graves
State government
State Representative(s) 2 Representatives:Art Swann (R-Tennessee District 8), Bob Ramsey (R-Tennessee District 20)
State Senator(s) 1 Senators:Doug Overbey (R-Tennessee District 8)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s) John Duncan (R-2nd District)
U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R)
Bob Corker (R)


Most of the early European-American settlers were of little means; they were subsistence farmers throughout the early years of the county's establishment. The first industry to make its mark on Blount County, as in other neighboring counties, was that of lumber.

It was the massive development of this industry in the mountains of east Blount that, in part, led to the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It includes the southeastern portion of the county. Today manufacturing has replaced lumber in importance, with over 100 manufacturing plants located in the county.[4]

Denso Manufacturing Tennessee Inc., a division of Denso Global, is the county's largest employer, with about 3,000 employees.[28][29]


Wilson Center at Maryville College

Public schools in Blount County are part of the Blount County Schools system, with the exception of schools in the cities of Maryville and Alcoa, both of which operate separate, independent school systems. Private schools located in the county include: Maryville Christian School;[30][31] Montessori Middle School (opening in 2009[32]); New Horizon Montessori School and Clayton-Bradley STEM school (2013).

Blount County is home to two post-secondary educational institutions: Maryville College, in downtown Maryville, and a satellite campus of Knoxville-based Pellissippi State Technical Community College, referred to as Pellissippi State Technical Community College, Blount County Campus.



Blount County is served by the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency's Public Transit system. ETHRA, as it is commonly referred to, operates over sixteen counties in eastern Tennessee, and is headquartered in the nearby city of Loudon. The service offers residents of any of the counties covered by ETHRA door-to-door pickup transportation across its service area by request only.[33]


TYS, McGhee Tyson Airport



In addition to the federally operated Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which draws many visitors to the county each year, Blount County operates numerous smaller community parks and recreation centers, primarily in the cities of Alcoa and Maryville. Some of these facilities include:[34]

  • Amerine Park (Maryville)
  • Bassell Courts (Alcoa)
  • Bicentennial Park (Greenbelt)(Maryville)
  • Eagleton Park (Maryville)
  • Everett Athletic Complex (Maryville)
  • Everett Park/Everett Senior Center (Maryville)
  • Howe Street Park (Alcoa)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center (Alcoa)
  • Louisville Point Park (Louisville)
  • Oldfield Mini Park (Alcoa)
  • Pearson Springs Park (Maryville)
  • Pole Climbers Athletic Fields (Alcoa)
  • Rock Garden Park (Alcoa)
  • Sandy Springs Park (Maryville)
  • John Sevier Park/Pool (Maryville)
  • Springbrook Park/Pool (Alcoa)
  • Richard Williams Park (Alcoa)


Map of Blount County, Tennessee showing cities, CDPs, and Census county divisions.
Wildwood area



Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Former communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tara Mitchell Mielnik, "Blount County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 31 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b About Blount County Blount County official website
  5. ^ Oliver Perry Temple, East Tennessee and the Civil War (R. Clarke Company, 1899), p. 199.
  6. ^ Durwood Dunn, Cades Cove: The Life and Death of An Appalachian Community (University of Tennessee Press, 1988), pp. 134-136.
  7. ^ Lansford, D., and D. Waterworth. "Blount County History," TNGenWeb Project
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Quick Links". CNN. 
  12. ^ "5,000 Evacuated After Train Carrying Toxic Substance Derails In Tennessee". Huffington Post. July 2, 2015. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  17. ^ Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, et al., "Ambient Air Monitoring Plan," Environmental Protection Agency website, 1 July 2010, p. 6. Accessed: 18 March 2015.
  18. ^ Harry Moore, A Roadside Guide to the Geology of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1988), p. 149.
  19. ^ Larry E. Matthews, "Caves of Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains", 2008, ISBN 978-1-879961-30-2, pages 171-173.
  20. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  21. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  23. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2015. 
  25. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  26. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  27. ^ Blount County, National Association of Counties website
  28. ^ "DENSO Plant 203 is a key marker in 20-year history," The Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times, April 7, 2008
  29. ^ "Denso Tennessee names new president," The Knoxville News-Sentinel, April 1, 2008
  30. ^ Maryville Christian School website
  31. ^ Millard, B. "Maryville Christian welcomes record class," The Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times, Sept. 17, 2006
  32. ^ Tucker, M. "New Montessori Middle construction progressing," The Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times, April 15, 2008
  33. ^ ETHRA homepage
  34. ^ Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks & Rec website

Further reading[edit]

  • Inez Burns (1995). History of Blount County, Tennessee. Windmill Publications.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°41′N 83°56′W / 35.69°N 83.93°W / 35.69; -83.93