Blount County, Tennessee

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Blount County
County of Blount
Blount County Courthouse in Maryville
Blount County Courthouse in Maryville
Official seal of Blount County
Map of Tennessee highlighting Blount County
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 35°41′N 83°56′W / 35.69°N 83.93°W / 35.69; -83.93
Country United States
State Tennessee
Founded1795
Named forWilliam Blount[1]
SeatMaryville
Largest cityMaryville
Area
 • Total567 sq mi (1,470 km2)
 • Land559 sq mi (1,450 km2)
 • Water7.8 sq mi (20 km2)  1.4%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total135,280 Increase
 • Density242/sq mi (93/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.blounttn.org

Blount County is a county located in the East Tennessee Grand Division of the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 census, the population was 135,280.[2] The county seat is Maryville,[3] which is also the county's largest city. Blount County is included in the Knoxville, Tennessee Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

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 a majority of 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]

Blount County has been served by The Daily Times, currently published in Maryville, since 1883.[8]

On July 2, 2015, a freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed. About 5,000 residents were displaced from their homes within a two-mile (three-kilometer) radius.[9][10][11][12][13]

Geography[edit]

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.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

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

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18005,587
181012,098116.5%
182011,258−6.9%
183011,028−2.0%
184011,7456.5%
185012,4245.8%
186013,2706.8%
187014,2377.3%
188015,98512.3%
189017,58910.0%
190019,2069.2%
191020,8098.3%
192028,80038.4%
193033,98918.0%
194041,11621.0%
195054,69133.0%
196057,5255.2%
197063,74410.8%
198077,70021.9%
199085,96910.6%
2000105,82323.1%
2010123,01016.2%
2020135,28010.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[18]
1790-1960[19] 1900-1990[20]
1990-2000[21]
2010-2020[2]
Age pyramid Blount County[22]

2020 census[edit]

Blount County racial composition[23]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 117,952 87.19%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,552 2.63%
Native American 339 0.25%
Asian 1,280 0.95%
Pacific Islander 23 0.02%
Other/Mixed 6,425 4.75%
Hispanic or Latino 5,709 4.22%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 135,280 people, 50,813 households, and 35,299 families residing in the county.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[24] 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, 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.

Government[edit]

United States presidential election results for Blount County, Tennessee[25][26]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 47,369 71.12% 17,932 26.92% 1,308 1.96%
2016 37,443 71.72% 12,100 23.18% 2,665 5.10%
2012 35,441 71.98% 12,934 26.27% 859 1.74%
2008 35,571 68.88% 15,253 29.53% 821 1.59%
2004 33,241 68.24% 15,047 30.89% 424 0.87%
2000 25,273 62.15% 14,688 36.12% 701 1.72%
1996 19,310 52.29% 14,687 39.77% 2,933 7.94%
1992 18,415 48.91% 14,655 38.92% 4,581 12.17%
1988 20,027 67.26% 9,602 32.25% 147 0.49%
1984 20,525 68.74% 9,188 30.77% 146 0.49%
1980 17,959 63.81% 9,412 33.44% 773 2.75%
1976 13,851 52.79% 12,096 46.10% 293 1.12%
1972 16,078 73.85% 5,303 24.36% 390 1.79%
1968 12,753 57.10% 5,176 23.17% 4,407 19.73%
1964 11,876 58.40% 8,459 41.60% 0 0.00%
1960 13,552 68.20% 6,213 31.27% 107 0.54%
1956 12,667 70.90% 5,076 28.41% 124 0.69%
1952 11,708 69.22% 5,163 30.53% 42 0.25%
1948 6,152 64.47% 3,141 32.91% 250 2.62%
1944 6,193 68.30% 2,836 31.28% 38 0.42%
1940 4,312 55.85% 3,363 43.56% 45 0.58%
1936 4,119 57.22% 3,056 42.45% 24 0.33%
1932 3,275 67.29% 1,515 31.13% 77 1.58%
1928 4,125 85.16% 712 14.70% 7 0.14%
1924 2,754 72.93% 968 25.64% 54 1.43%
1920 5,540 78.09% 1,550 21.85% 4 0.06%
1916 2,462 70.42% 1,015 29.03% 19 0.54%
1912 870 27.92% 836 26.83% 1,410 45.25%
1908 2,568 74.80% 847 24.67% 18 0.52%
1904 1,987 75.52% 618 23.49% 26 0.99%
1900 2,201 71.35% 825 26.74% 59 1.91%
1896 2,652 72.20% 970 26.41% 51 1.39%
1892 1,933 66.77% 821 28.36% 141 4.87%
1888 2,237 67.73% 1,009 30.55% 57 1.73%
1884 1,823 67.32% 849 31.35% 36 1.33%
1880 1,597 64.42% 882 35.58% 0 0.00%


Like most of East Tennessee, Blount County has been a Republican bastion for decades. The last non-Republican to carry the county was Theodore Roosevelt, during his third-party run in 1912. As a measure of how Republican Blount County is, Franklin D. Roosevelt lost the county by large margins in all four of his successful campaigns, and Barry Goldwater carried it in 1964 by one of his largest margins in the state. Democrats have only come close to winning here twice in recent memory. In 1976, Jimmy Carter took 46 percent of the vote. In 1992, George H. W. Bush was held to 48.9 percent of the vote—the only time in over a century that a Republican has failed to win a majority in Blount County.

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 Todd Orr
Clerk and Master Stephen Ogle
County Clerk Gaye Hasty
Clerk of Courts Thomas Hatcher
County Treasurer
District Attorney Mike Flynn
Registrar of Deeds Phyllis Crisp
Chief Highway Officer Jeff Headrick
Registrar of Probate
County Sheriff James Berrong
Trustee Scott Graves
State government
State Representative(s) 2 Representatives:Jerome Moon (R-Tennessee District 8), Bryan Richey (R-Tennessee District 20)
State Senator(s) 1 Senators:Art Swann (R-Tennessee District 8)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s) Tim Burchett (R-2nd District)
U.S. Senators Bill Hagerty (R)
Marsha Blackburn (R)

Economy[edit]

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]

Education[edit]

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] and Clayton-Bradley STEM school.[32]

Blount County is home to two post-secondary educational institutions: Maryville College, a Presbyterian-related, liberal arts college, founded in 1819 in downtown Maryville, and a satellite campus of Knoxville-based Pellissippi State Community College, referred to as Pellissippi State Community College, or P.S.C.C., Blount County Campus.

Transportation[edit]

Paratransit[edit]

Blount County is served by the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency's Public Transit system. ETHRA operates in about 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] ETHRA provides a large variety of services in Blount County and other parts of East Tennessee.[34]

Airports[edit]

TYS, McGhee Tyson Airport

Highways[edit]

Parks[edit]

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:[35]

  • Amerine Park (Maryville)
  • Bassell Courts (Alcoa)
  • Bicentennial Greenbelt Park (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)

An integral part of keeping the parks, and other parts of Blount County beautiful, is the organization called Keep Blount Beautiful.[36] This organization works in coordination with other companies including The City of Alcoa Residential Recycling Pick Up Service[37] and Blount County HGS Trash and Recycling Same Day Residential Pick Up Service,[38] as well as many other recycling resources in Blount County,[39] to work towards the community goals of reducing air, water, and land pollution in order to reduce particulate matter and smog,[40] and to improve the overall health of local parks and preserved ecosystems in Blount County, as well as surrounding areas, of East Tennessee. These organizations and companies are appreciated by thousands of East Tennesseans due to their honorable work in the Blount County Community.

Communities[edit]

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

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Former communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tara Mitchell Mielnik, "Blount County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 31 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Blount County, Tennessee". quickfacts.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ a b About Blount County Archived 2006-06-16 at the Wayback Machine 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. ^ "About Us". The Daily Times. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  9. ^ "Thousands Evacuated After Derailed Train Hauling Chemicals Catches Fire in Tennessee". Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  10. ^ "Tennessee Train Derailment: 5,000 Residents Evacuated From Maryville". NBC News. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  11. ^ "5,000 Evacuated in Tennessee After Train Derailment Releases Toxic Fumes". Newsweek. July 2, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  12. ^ "Quick Links". CNN.
  13. ^ "Train Carrying Toxic Substance Derails Near Knoxville, Tennessee; Thousands Evacuated". Huffington Post. July 2, 2015.
  14. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Harry Moore, A Roadside Guide to the Geology of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1988), p. 149.
  17. ^ Larry E. Matthews, "Caves of Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains", 2008, ISBN 978-1-879961-30-2, pages 171-173.
  18. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  19. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  20. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  21. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  22. ^ Based on 2000 census data
  23. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  24. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  25. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  26. ^ http://geoelections.free.fr/. Retrieved January 13, 2021. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ Blount County Archived 2010-06-29 at the Wayback Machine, 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 Archived 2009-04-15 at the Wayback Machine, 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. ^ "Clayton-Bradley Academy - Reimagine education in Blount County, TN". Clayton-Bradley Academy. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  33. ^ ETHRA homepage Archived 2006-06-16 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ "Transportation | ETHRA". www.ethra.org. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  35. ^ Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks & Rec website
  36. ^ "Recycling Pick Up Options". Keep Blount Beautiful. Archived from the original on September 30, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  37. ^ Alcoa, City of. "Recycling / Sanitation & Recycling Services / Public Works & Engineering Department / City Departments / City of Alcoa - City of Alcoa". www.cityofalcoa-tn.gov. Retrieved October 4, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  38. ^ "Trash Garbage Recycling Services Blount County Maryville". www.hgstrashremoval.com. Archived from the original on October 4, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  39. ^ "Recycling". Keep Blount Beautiful. Archived from the original on September 30, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  40. ^ "Particulate Matter | Air & Radiation | US EPA". www3.epa.gov. Retrieved October 4, 2015.

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