Monterey, Tennessee

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Monterey, Tennessee
Town of Monterey
East Commercial Avenue
East Commercial Avenue
"We're Not Cookeville!",[1] "Where Hilltops Kiss the Sky"[1]
Location of Monterey in Putnam County, Tennessee.
Location of Monterey in Putnam County, Tennessee.
Coordinates: 36°8′43″N 85°15′57″W / 36.14528°N 85.26583°W / 36.14528; -85.26583Coordinates: 36°8′43″N 85°15′57″W / 36.14528°N 85.26583°W / 36.14528; -85.26583
CountryUnited States
Named forSpanish for "King of the Mountain"[2]
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorJJ Reels
 • Vice MayorCharles Looper
 • Town Council
 • Total3.03 sq mi (7.85 km2)
 • Land3.03 sq mi (7.84 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
1,883 ft (574 m)
 • Total2,850
 • Estimate 
 • Density957.07/sq mi (369.56/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)931
FIPS code47-49760[6]
GNIS feature ID1294185[7]

Monterey is a town in Putnam County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 2,850 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Cookeville, Tennessee Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Monterey is rooted in a settlement that developed around a landmark known as the "Standing Stone" in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The stone was as a guidepost for travelers along Avery's Trace, and is believed to have earlier served as a boundary marker between the territories of the Cherokee and Shawnee.[2] By 1805, three families had settled permanently in area, and the Standing Stone Inn was established to cater to westward-bound migrants.[2]

The Standing Stone Monument

In the Spring of 1864, during the Civil War, 200 Union soldiers led by Colonel William B. Stokes entered the Monterey area with orders to root out Confederate guerrilla activity. On the morning of March 12 of that year, Stokes' men entered the home of William Alexander Officer near Monterey and killed six of his guests, having accused them of being Confederate guerrillas.[8] A Tennessee Historical Commission marker on Commercial Avenue in Monterey remembers the event.

The current town of Monterey was established in 1893 by the Cumberland Mountain Coal Company as a hub for its operations in the area. Several hundred acres were purchased from Thomas Jefferson Whittaker, and the town was surveyed and platted. It was given the name "Monterey" after the Spanish term for "King of the Mountain."[2]

On the evening of April 3, 2020, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the watershed of the Calfkiller River due to the failure of the dam confining the town's municipal lake.[9]


Monterey is located at 36°8′43″N 85°15′57″W / 36.14528°N 85.26583°W / 36.14528; -85.26583 (36.145291, -85.265757).[10] The town is situated at the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau in eastern Putnam County, just north of the point where the counties of Putnam, White, and Cumberland meet, and just southwest of the point where Putnam, Overton, and Fentress meet. It is located approximately 90 miles (140 km) east of Nashville and the same distance west of Knoxville, and is connected with these two cities by Interstate 40 (exits 300 and 301) and U.S. Route 70. State Route 84 connects Monterey with Livingston to the northwest and Sparta to the southwest. State Route 62 connects Monterey with Clarkrange along U.S. Route 127 to the east, and State Route 164 connects the town with Crawford and the rural areas of the western Plateau to the north.

The sources of the Calfkiller River and the Falling Water River are both located just west of Monterey, on opposite sides of I-40.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2), of which, 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) of it is land and 0.34% is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)2,898[5]1.7%

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 2,717 people, 1,029 households, and 697 families residing in the town. The population density was 920.9 people per square mile (355.6/km2). There were 1,141 housing units at an average density of 386.7 per square mile (149.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 88.81% White, 0.92% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 9.09% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.34% of the population.

Railroad cars at the Monterey Depot

There were 1,029 households, out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 24.7% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $23,550, and the median income for a family was $28,603. Males had a median income of $21,772 versus $18,895 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,265. About 22.1% of families and 27.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.4% of those under age 18 and 16.5% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Welcome Page". Town of Monterey. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Monterey, Tennessee - History. Retrieved: 23 January 2013. Accessed at 17 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Monterey". Municipal Technical Advisory Service. University of Tennessee. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  4. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  8. ^ Op Walker, "Union Forces Massacred Several at Officer House 150 Years Ago," Originally published in the Cookville Herald-Citizen, 13 April 2014.
  9. ^ WTVF-DT, Newschannel 5 at 6 PM, April 3, 2020
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  12. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.

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