Blount County, Tennessee
|Blount County, Tennessee|
Blount County Courthouse in Maryville
Location in the state of Tennessee
Tennessee's location in the U.S.
|Named for||William Blount|
|• Total||567 sq mi (1,469 km2)|
|• Land||559 sq mi (1,448 km2)|
|• Water||7.8 sq mi (20 km2), 1.4%|
|• Density||220/sq mi (85/km²)|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government
- 5 Economy
- 6 Education
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Parks
- 9 Communities
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
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.
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. 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.
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.
On July 2, 2015, a freight train carrying hazardous materials went off of its tracks  Over 5000 citizens were displaced from their homes within a two mile (three kilometer) radius.
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. 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. 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.
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.
- Great Smoky Mountains
- Chilhowee Mountain
- Thunderhead Mountain
- Gregory Bald
- Lake in the Sky
- Look Rock
- Fort Loudoun Lake
- Chilhowee Lake
- Little River
- Little Tennessee River
- Knox County, Tennessee - north
- Sevier County, Tennessee - east
- Swain County, North Carolina - south
- Graham County, North Carolina - southwest
- Monroe County, Tennessee - southwest
- Loudon County, Tennessee - west
National protected areas
State protected areas
- Foothills Wildlife Management Area
- Sam Houston Schoolhouse (state historic site)
- Kyker Bottoms Refuge
- Tellico Lake Wildlife Management Area (part)
- Whites Mill Refuge
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census 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:
- Commissioners: Tonya Burchfield, Tab Burkhalter, Rick Carver, Mike Caylor, Gary Farmer, Jim Folts, Ronald French, Roy Gamble, Tom Greene, Brad Harrison, Mark Hasty, Scott Helton, Gerald Kirby, Holden Lail, Peggy Lambert, Mike Lewis, Kenneth Melton, Jerome Moon, Monika Murrell, Steve Samples, and Gordon Wright
|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|
|District Attorney||Mike Flynn|
|Registrar of Deeds||Phyllis Crisp|
|Chief Highway Officer||Bill Dunlap|
|Registrar of Probate|
|County Sheriff||James Berrong|
|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)|
|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.
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; Montessori Middle School (opening in 2009); 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.
TYS, McGhee Tyson Airport
- U.S. highways
- State highways
- Tennessee State Route 33 (Old Knoxville Hwy, Broadway Ave & Hwy 411 South)
- Tennessee State Route 35 (Sevierville Road, Washington Street & North Hall Road)
- Tennessee State Route 72
- Tennessee State Route 73 (Lamar Alexander Pkwy & Wears Valley Road)
- Tennessee State Route 115 (Airport Hwy, Alcoa Hwy, Hwy 411 South & Calderwood Hwy)
- Tennessee State Route 162 (Pellissippi Parkway)
- Secondary Routes
- Tennessee State Route 71 (Chapman Highway)
- Tennessee State Route 73 Scenic (Lamar Alexander Pkwy & Little River Road)
- Tennessee State Route 333 (Topside Road, Louisville Road, Quarry Rd & Miser Station Road)
- Tennessee State Route 334 (Louisville Road)
- Tennessee State Route 335 (William Blount Drive, Hunt Road & Old Glory Road)
- Tennessee State Route 336 (Montvale Road, Six Mile Road & Brick Mill Road)
- Tennessee State Route 429 (Airbase Road)
- Tennessee State Route 446 (Foothills Mall Drive)
- Tennessee State Route 447
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:
- 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)
- Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Blount County, Tennessee
- Blount County Rescue Squad
- Tara Mitchell Mielnik, "Blount County," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved: 31 March 2013.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- About Blount County Blount County official website
- Oliver Perry Temple, East Tennessee and the Civil War (R. Clarke Company, 1899), p. 199.
- Durwood Dunn, Cades Cove: The Life and Death of An Appalachian Community (University of Tennessee Press, 1988), pp. 134-136.
- Lansford, D., and D. Waterworth. "Blount County History," TNGenWeb Project
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
- 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.
- Harry Moore, A Roadside Guide to the Geology of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1988), p. 149.
- Larry E. Matthews, "Caves of Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains", 2008, ISBN 978-1-879961-30-2, pages 171-173.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
- Based on 2000 census data
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- Blount County, National Association of Counties website
- "DENSO Plant 203 is a key marker in 20-year history," The Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times, April 7, 2008
- "Denso Tennessee names new president," The Knoxville News-Sentinel, April 1, 2008
- Maryville Christian School website
- Millard, B. "Maryville Christian welcomes record class," The Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times, Sept. 17, 2006
- Tucker, M. "New Montessori Middle construction progressing," The Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times, April 15, 2008
- ETHRA homepage
- Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks & Rec website
- Inez Burns (1995). History of Blount County, Tennessee. Windmill Publications.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Blount County, Tennessee.|
- Official site
- Blount County Chamber of Commerce
- Blount County on FamilySearch Wiki – genealogical resources
- Tennessee Department of Transportation Map of Blount County
- The Daily Times
- Blount County Fire Dept
- Blount County at DMOZ
|Loudon County||Sevier County|
|Monroe County and Graham County, North Carolina||Swain County, North Carolina|