|City of Chattanooga|
North Shore and Midtown neighborhoods, October 2012
|Nickname(s): Scenic City (official); Chatt, Chattown, Gig City, Nooga, and River City|
Location in Hamilton County and state of Tennessee.
Location in the United States
|Coordinates: 35°2′44″N 85°16′2″W / 35.04556°N 85.26722°WCoordinates: 35°2′44″N 85°16′2″W / 35.04556°N 85.26722°W|
|• Mayor||Andy Berke (D)|
|• City||143.2 sq mi (370.8 km2)|
|• Land||135.2 sq mi (352.2 km2)|
|• Water||8.0 sq mi (20.6 km2)|
|Elevation||676 ft (206 m)|
|Population (2015 (est)|
|• Density||1,222.5/sq mi (471.9/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP code(s)||37341, 37343, 37350, 37351, 37363, 37377, 37379, 37402, 37403, 37404, 37405, 37406, 37407, 37408, 37409, 37410, 37411, 37412, 37415, 37416, 37419, and 37421|
|GNIS feature ID||1307240|
Chattanooga is a city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with a population of 176,588 in 2015. The fourth-largest city in Tennessee, it is on the Tennessee River 135 miles (217 km) southeast of Nashville, 120 miles (190 km) northeast of Huntsville, Alabama, and 148 miles (238 km) northeast of Birmingham, Alabama. Chattanooga abuts the Georgia border and there are three major interstate highways in its vicinity: I-24, I-75, and I-59.
The city lies between the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau, surrounded by mountains and ridges. The official nickname for Chattanooga is the Scenic City, reinforced by the city's reputation for outdoor activities. Unofficial nicknames include River City, Chatt, Nooga, Chattown, and Gig City, referencing Chattanooga's claims that it has the fastest internet service in the Western Hemisphere.
The city has its own typeface, Chatype, which was launched in August 2012. According to the Nooga.com website, this marks the first time that an American city has its own custom-made typeface and also the first time a crowd-funded custom-made typeface has been used for any municipality in the world.
The first inhabitants of the Chattanooga area were Native Americans. Sites dating back to the Upper Paleolithic period showed continuous occupation through the Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian/Muskogean/Yuchi (900-1714 ce), and Cherokee (1776–1838). The Chickamauga Mound near the mouth of the Chickamauga Creek is the oldest remaining visible art in Chattanooga.
The Citico town and mound site was the most significant Mississippian/Muscogee landmark in Chattanooga up to 1915. The first part of the name "Chattanooga" derives from the Muskogean word cvto /chắtȯ/ – 'rock'. The latter may be derived from a regional suffix -nuga meaning dwelling or dwelling place.
The earliest Cherokee occupation dates from Dragging Canoe, who in 1776 separated himself and moved downriver from the main tribe to establish Native American resistance during the Cherokee–American wars) to European settlement in the southeastern United States. In 1816 John Ross, who later became Principal Chief, established Ross's Landing. Located along what is now Broad Street, it became one of the centers of Cherokee Nation settlement, which also extended into Georgia and Alabama.
In 1838 the US government forced the Cherokees, along with other Native Americans from southeastern U.S. states, to relocate to the area designated as Indian Territory, in what is now the state of Oklahoma. Their journey west became known as the "Trail of Tears" for their exile and fatalities along the way. The US Army used Ross's Landing as the site of one of three large internment camps, or "emigration depots", where Native Americans were held prior to the journey on the Trail of Tears. One of the internment camps was located in Fort Payne, Alabama and the largest was at Fort Cass, Tennessee.
In 1839, the community of Ross's Landing incorporated as the city of Chattanooga. The city grew quickly, initially benefiting from a location well-suited for river commerce. With the arrival of the railroad in 1850, Chattanooga became a boom town. The city was known as the site "where cotton meets corn," referring to its location along the cultural boundary between the mountain communities of Southern Appalachia to the north and the cotton-growing states to the south.
During the American Civil War, Chattanooga was a center of battle. During the Chickamauga Campaign, Union artillery bombarded Chattanooga as a diversion and occupied it on September 9, 1863. Following the Battle of Chickamauga, the defeated Union Army retreated to safety in Chattanooga. On November 23, 1863, the Battles for Chattanooga began when Union forces led by future United States President and Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant reinforced troops at Chattanooga and advanced to Orchard Knob against Confederate troops besieging the city. The next day, the Battle of Lookout Mountain was fought, driving the Confederates off the mountain. On November 25, Grant's army routed the Confederates in the Battle of Missionary Ridge. These battles were followed the next spring by the Atlanta Campaign, beginning just over the nearby state line in Georgia and moving southeastward. After the war ended, the city became a major railroad hub and industrial and manufacturing center.
The largest flood in Chattanooga's history occurred in 1867, before the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) system was created in 1933 by Congress. The flood crested at 58 feet (18 m) and completely inundated the city. Since the completion of the reservoir system, the highest Chattanooga flood stage has been nearly 37 feet (11 m), which occurred in 1973. Without regulation, the flood would have crested at 52.4 feet (16.0 m). Chattanooga was a major priority in the design of the TVA reservoir system and remains a major operating priority in the 21st century.
In December 1906, Chattanooga was in the national headlines as the United States Supreme Court, in the only criminal trial in its history, ruled that Hamilton County Sheriff Joseph H. Shipp had violated Ed Johnson's civil rights when Shipp allowed a mob to enter the Hamilton County Jail and lynch Johnson on the Walnut Street Bridge in United States v. Shipp. Chattanooga grew with the entry of the United States in the First World War in 1917, as the nearest training camp was in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Effects of the Influenza of 1918 on Chattanooga included having movie theaters and pool halls closed. By the 1930s Chattanooga was known as the "Dynamo of Dixie", inspiring the 1941 Glenn Miller big-band swing song "Chattanooga Choo Choo". The late 1950s saw the creation of the Interstate Highway System with President Dwight D. Eisenhower signing legislation into law in June 1956. Due to Mayor P.R. Olgiati's efforts, Chattanooga became the first city in Tennessee to have a completed interstate system in the early 1960s. In February 1958, Chattanooga became one of the smallest cities in the country with three VHF transmitters: WTVM (now WTVC-TV) channel 9 (ABC), WRGP-TV (now WRCB-TV) channel 3 (NBC), and WDEF-TV channel 12 (CBS).
The same mountains that provide Chattanooga's scenic backdrop also served to trap industrial pollutants which caused them to settle over the community, so much that in 1969, the federal government declared that Chattanooga had the dirtiest air in the nation. But environmental crises were not the only problems plaguing the city. Like other early industrial cities, Chattanooga entered the 1980s with serious socioeconomic challenges, including job layoffs due to de-industrialization, deteriorating city infrastructure, racial tensions, and social division. Chattanooga's population declined by more than 10% in the 1980s. However, Chattanooga was the only major U.S. city to lose this proportion of its population in the 1980s and then regain the same proportion in the next two decades.
In late 20th and early 21st centuries, substantial private and governmental resources have been invested in transforming the city's tarnished image. They have worked to revitalize its downtown and riverfront areas, making use of its natural resources. An early cornerstone of this project was a restoration lasting several years, from the mid-to-late 1980s to 1993, of the historic Walnut Street Bridge. An excellent specimen of the Camelback truss bridge, it is the oldest surviving bridge of its kind in the Southeastern United States, having been built in 1891.
Efforts to improve the city include the "21st Century Waterfront Plan" – a $120 million redevelopment of the Chattanooga waterfront and downtown area, which was completed in 2005. The Tennessee Aquarium, which opened in 1992, has become a major waterfront attraction that has helped to spur neighborhood development. Chattanooga has garnered numerous accolades for its transformation of its image. The city has won three national awards for outstanding "livability", and nine Gunther Blue Ribbon Awards for excellence in housing and consolidated planning. In addition to winning various national and regional awards, Chattanooga has been in the national limelight numerous times. Chattanooga was the profile city of the August 2007 edition of US Airways Magazine. In a seminal event for Chattanooga, Volkswagen announced in July 2008 the construction of its first U.S. auto plant in over three decades, the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant. In December 2009, Chattanooga was ranked 8th out of America's 100 largest metro areas for the best "Bang For Your Buck" city, according to Forbes magazine, which measured overall affordability, housing rates, and more. Chattanooga launched the first one gigabit a second Internet service in the United States in September 2010, provided through the city-owned utility of EPB. In August 2012, Chattanooga got its own typeface, called Chatype, which marks the first time a municipality has its own typeface in the United States and the first crowd-funded, custom-made typeface in the world.
On July 16, 2015, a shooting occurred at two U.S. military facilities in Chattanooga. Six people—four U.S. Marines, one sailor, and the gunman—were killed and two people were wounded.
Chattanooga's economy includes a diversified and growing mix of manufacturing and service industries.
Notable Chattanooga businesses include Access America Transport, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, CBL & Associates, The Chattanooga Bakery, Chattem, the world's first Coca-Cola bottling plant, Coker Tire, U.S. Xpress Inc., Covenant Transport, Double Cola, CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Luken Communications, Miller & Martin, the National Model Railroad Association, Reliance Partners, Republic Parking System, Rock/Creek, Tricycle Inc., and Unum. The city also hosts large branch offices of Cigna, AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and UBS. McKee Foods Corporation, the maker of nationally known Little Debbie brand snack cakes, is a privately held, family-run company headquartered in nearby Collegedale, Tennessee.
Notable companies that have manufacturing or distribution facilities in the city include Alstom, Amazon.com, BASF, DuPont, Invista, Komatsu, Rock-Tenn, Plantronics, Domtar, Norfolk Southern, Ferrara Candy Company (manufacturer of Brach's candies), Alco Chemical, Colonial Pipeline, and Buzzi Unicem. The William Wrigley Jr. Company has a prominent presence in Chattanooga, the sole site of production of Altoids breath mint products since 2005. There is also a Vulcan Materials quarry in the vicinity of the city.
In May 2011, Volkswagen Group of America inaugurated its Chattanooga Assembly Plant. The $1 billion plant, opened in May 2011, serves as the group's North American manufacturing headquarters. The plant, which currently employs some 2,700 people and will increase by another 2,000 people within the next few years and manufactures the Passat (since April 2011) and the Atlas (from late 2016), will have a first-in-the-South full research and development center in downtown Chattanooga, employing some 200 engineers. The plant is the first one in the United States for Volkswagen since the 1988 closure of the Volkswagen Westmoreland Assembly Plant near New Stanton, Pennsylvania.
In addition to corporate business interests, there are many retail shops in Chattanooga, including two shopping malls: Hamilton Place Mall in East Brainerd and Northgate Mall in Hixson. Eastgate Mall in Brainerd used to be a shopping mall, but has changed into a multi-use office building. The P.F. Chang's restaurant at Hamilton Place Mall has had a unique theme since the restaurant opened in November 2006: water, based on the fundamental role the Tennessee River plays in Chattanooga and the fact that the CEO of P.F. Chang's since 2000, Richard Federico, is a 1976 alumnus of the University of Tennessee and has family in Chattanooga. In December 2001, Chattanooga was the site of the first two Dairy Queen Grill and Chill restaurants in the United States.
Tourism and Hospitality has been a growing part of Chattanooga's economy, with 2014 being the first year for Hamilton County to surpass $1 billion in revenue.
Startups have been an increasing trend, due in part to EPB's fiber optic grid. Notable venture firms based in the city are Blank Slate Ventures, Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, Lamp Post Group, SwiftWing Ventures, and The Jump Fund. The city is served by several incubators, notably Co.Lab, the Business Development Center, and Lamp Post Group. The Business Development Center is among the nation's largest incubators, both in square footage and in the number of startups that it supports. Co-working spaces have picked up downtown, including Society of Work and Chattanooga Workspace. Unique in the city is the startup accelerator Gigtank, which utilizes the city's gigabit capacities and focuses on 3D printing, healthcare, and smartgrid technologies. Notable startups include Quickcue (acquired by OpenTable in 2013), Reliance Partners, PriceWaiter, Bellhops Moving Help, Variable Inc. (NODE), Ambition, Feetz, and TransCard. Chattanooga went from zero investable capital in 2009 to over $50 million in 2014.
Electric power for most of the city and surrounding area is provided by the city-run Electric Power Board (EPB). EPB also provides high-speed Internet service, TV, and telephone service to business and residential customers throughout Hamilton County, as well as parts of Bledsoe County, Bradley County, Catoosa County, Dade County, Marion County, Rhea County, Sequatchie County, and Walker County, via the nation's largest municipally owned fiber optic system. TVA operates the nearby Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant, Chickamauga Dam, and the Raccoon Mountain Pumped-Storage Plant, all of which provide electricity to the greater Chattanooga area. TVA's corporate power generation and distribution organization is headquartered in downtown Chattanooga.
Natural gas and water are provided by the privately run Chattanooga Gas Company and Tennessee-American Water Company, respectively. In 2005, then-Mayor Ron Littlefield stated his desire for the city to purchase the Tennessee-American Water Company, which was sold in a public offering in 2007. Former Mayor Jon Kinsey's attempts to have the city buy control of Tennessee-American Water were defeated in court.
Comcast remains the dominant cable provider for most areas of the city. The incumbent telephone company is AT&T Inc. However, competing phone companies, such as EPB, cellular phones, and VoIP are making inroads. A major interstate fiber optics line operated by AT&T traverses the city, making its way from Atlanta to Cincinnati. There are more choices among TV, Internet, and phone service providers for Chattanooga residents than in most other cities its size because of the intense competition between AT&T, Comcast, and EPB.
EPB's gigabit public fiber optic network
Beginning in 2009 and continuing through March 2011, when Haletown, Tennessee received service from EPB's fiber optic network, EPB began to establish its exclusive fiber optic network to its 600 sq mi (1,600 km2) service area, which covers the greater Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area. In September 2010, EPB became the first municipally owned utilities company in the United States to offer internet access directly to the public at speeds up to one gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second by utilizing its fiber optic network. The network has been emulated by at least six other cities in Tennessee and studied by other cities in the US and even internationally. Jay Weatherill, South Australia's Premier, visited Chattanooga in January 2012 and "looked at the current gigabit network that was supporting critical city safety functions such as police and fire communications infrastructure, equipment and applications. He also inspected wastewater management, storm water management, traffic control and medical diagnostics applications [and] first-hand operations of a smart lighting and camera system that allows the police to control public lighting and see what is happening in heavy crime areas. [The article says the] use of broadband to carry the video and control signaling has contributed to making Chattanooga's Coolidge Park a safer place to visit."
In 2011 the expansion of EPB's network became a subject of major controversy in Tennessee. The success of its network, credited with the expansion of Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant and the establishment of Amazon.com facilities in Chattanooga and Cleveland, led to a number of legal challenges by AT&T and Comcast insisting that public funds not be used to fund expansion of public networks in competition with private ones. However, according to EPB itself, federal agencies, electricity industry trade sources, and other press sources, the investment in the fully fiber optic network is justified by electrical system benefits alone, including early fault detection and decreases in standby power.
As of 2014, there are 27 banks operating in the Chattanooga metropolitan area, lending to financial strength. Among the heavy hitters are regional banks First Tennessee, SunTrust Banks, and Regions Financial Corporation, but the area also has offices from UBS, Chase, and Bank of America. In part to the strength and growing economic development, Chase recently shifted its East Tennessee headquarters from Knoxville to Chattanooga.
Within the first four months of 2015, Chattanooga became a very hot market for bank mergers with the merging of 3 locally owned banks, and 1 in nearby Cleveland, Tennessee. CapitalMark, formed in 2007, will be acquired by the Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners for $187 million to have the fourth largest market share in the Chattanooga metro area. First Security Group, Inc, the largest Chattanooga-based bank, formed in 2000, will be acquired by the Atlanta-based Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc., for $160 million. Cornerstone, started in 1985, will merge with the Knoxville-based SmartBank in a stock deal. Cleveland's Southern Heritage Bank was acquired in 2014 by First Citizens National Bank in Dyersburg, Tennessee, for $32.2 million. All these mergers only leave one Chattanooga-based, independent bank, First Volunteer Bank. Others in the area locally based include Ringgold, Georgia-based Northwest Georgia Bank, Dunlap, Tennessee-based Citizens Tri-County Bank, Ooltewah-based Community Trust and Banking Co., Dayton, Tennessee-based Community National Bank, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia-based Capital Bank, LaFayette, Georgia-based Bank of LaFayette, and Cleveland-based Bank of Cleveland.
Politics, government, and law
The city operates under a charter granted by the state legislature in 1852; the charter has been subsequently amended. The city operates under a strong mayor system, which changed from a commission form of government with members voted at-large. In 1989 U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar ruled that the commission-style government violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by diluting the minority black vote. As a result of Brown v. Board of Commissioners, Chattanooga abandoned the at-large voting system that it had used for the commission form of government, established single-member districts to represent both majority and minority elements of the population, eliminated voting privileges for non-resident property owners, and created the city's current mayor-council form of government. The current strong mayor system started in 1991 after a 1990 citywide election that used the district system.
The city's legislative branch is represented by members from nine districts, elected from single-member districts in partisan elections. The current council members are Chip Henderson (District 1), Jerry Mitchell (District 2), Ken Smith (District 3), Larry Grohn (District 4), Russell Gilbert (District 5), Carol Berz (District 6), Chris Anderson (District 7), Moses Freeman (District 8), and Yusuf Hakeem (District 9).
Chattanooga's delegation to the Tennessee House of Representatives includes Gerald McCormick (R), who represents District 26, Richard Floyd (R), who represents District 27, JoAnne Favors (D), who represents District 28, Mike Carter (R), who represents District 29, Vince Dean (R), who represents District 30, and Jim Cobb (R), who represents District 31. In the Tennessee Senate, Chattanooga is divided between Districts 10 and 11 with Todd Gardenhire (R) and Bo Watson (R) representing each district respectively.
Chattanooga is represented in the United States House of Representatives by Chuck Fleischmann (R), who represents the 3rd District. In the United States Senate, both Bob Corker (R) and Lamar Alexander (R) have district offices in Chattanooga.
Chattanooga, as the county seat of Hamilton County, is home to Chattanooga's City Courts and Hamilton County's Courts.
Chattanooga is the location of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee's Southern Division, which is housed in the Joel W. Solomon Federal Courthouse. The Southern Division has jurisdiction over Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties.
The Chattanooga Police Department dates from 1852. Starting in 1883, it hired black police officers, making Chattanooga one of the first major Southern cities to have them. But after the state legislature imposed segregation, black police officers were dropped from the force. They were hired again on a permanent basis beginning on August 11, 1948, years before other major cities in the Southeast, such as Birmingham, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi, integrated their police departments. The first seven black officers in 1948, Thaddeus Arnold, Singer Askins, W.B. Baulridge, C.E. Black, Morris Glenn, Arthur Heard, and Thomas Patterson, were initially restricted to walking beats in black neighborhoods. In 1960, black police officers were authorized to patrol all neighborhoods and arrest white citizens.
Primary and secondary education
Most of Chattanooga's primary and secondary education is funded by the government. The public schools in Chattanooga, as well as Hamilton County, have fallen under the purview of the Hamilton County School System since the 1997 merger of the urban Chattanooga City Schools system and the rural Hamilton County Schools system. The Howard School, was the first public school in the area, established in 1865 after the Civil War. Tyner High School (now Tyner Academy), was the first secondary school built east of Missionary Ridge in 1907. It is now the home of Tyner Middle Academy (Hamilton County, Tennessee). The Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences and the Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts are additional public magnet schools.
The city is home to several well-known private and parochial secondary schools, including Baylor School, Boyd-Buchanan School, Chattanooga Christian School, Girls Preparatory School, McCallie School, and Notre Dame High School. The Siskin Children's Institute in Chattanooga is a specialized institution in the field of early childhood special education.
A wide variety of higher education institutions can be found in Chattanooga and nearby. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is the second largest campus of the University of Tennessee System, with a student population of over 11,669 as of 2015-16 school year. Chattanooga State Community College is a two-year community college with a total undergraduate enrollment of roughly 11,000 students. Tennessee Temple University is a Baptist college located in the Highland Park neighborhood that is no longer operating as of 2015. Chattanooga is also home to a branch of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, which provides medical education to third- and fourth-year medical students, residents, and other medical professionals in southeast Tennessee through an affiliation with Erlanger Health System. Covenant College, a private liberal arts college operated by the Presbyterian Church in America, is located in the nearby suburb of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, and has a student population of about 1,000. Southern Adventist University is located in the suburb of Collegedale, Tennessee, and enrolls roughly 3,000 students. Virginia College School of Business and Health offers a variety of programs leading to diplomas, associate degrees, and bachelor's degrees.
The Chattanooga Public Library opened in 1905. Since 1976, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library system had been jointly operated by the city and county governments; due to Chattanooga terminating a 1966 agreement with Hamilton County to distribute sales tax revenue equally, the city has taken over full funding responsibilities as of 2011. The city was given a Carnegie library in 1904, and the two-story purpose-built marble structure survives to this day at Eighth Street and Georgia Avenue as commercial office space. In 1939, the library moved to Douglas Street and McCallie Avenue and shared the new building with the John Storrs Fletcher Library of the University of Chattanooga. This building is now called Fletcher Hall and houses classrooms and offices for the university. In 1976, the city library moved to its third and current location at the corner of Tenth and Broad streets.
Chattanooga has three hospital systems: Erlanger Health System, Parkridge Hospital System, and Memorial Hospital System.
Erlanger Hospital is a non-profit academic teaching center affiliated with the University of Tennessee's College of Medicine. Erlanger is also the area's primary trauma center, a Level-One Trauma Center for adults, and the only provider of tertiary care for the residents of southeastern Tennessee, north Georgia, northeastern Alabama, and western North Carolina. Erlanger treats approximately 250,000 people every year. In 2008, Erlanger was named one of the nation's "100 Top teaching hospitals for cardiovascular care" by Thomson Reuters. Erlanger has been operated by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority since 1976.
Parkridge Hospital is located east of downtown in the Glenwood district and is run by Tri-Star Healthcare. Tri-Star also operates Parkridge East Medical Center in nearby East Ridge.
Culture and tourism
As the birthplace of the tow truck, Chattanooga is the home of the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. Another transportation icon, the passenger train, can be found at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, called TVRM by locals, which is the largest operating historic railroad in the South. Chattanooga is home to the Hunter Museum of American Art. Other notable museums include the Chattanooga History Center, the National Medal of Honor Museum, the Houston Museum, the Chattanooga African American Museum, and the Creative Discovery Museum.
Arts and literature
Chattanooga has a wide range of performing arts in different venues. Chattanooga's historic Tivoli Theatre, dating from 1921 and one of the first public air-conditioned buildings in the United States, is home to the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera (CSO), which became the first merged symphony and opera company in the United States in 1985. The CSO performs under the baton of Kayoko Dan. The Chattanooga Theatre Centre offers 15 productions each year in three separate theater programs: the Mainstage, the Circle Theater, and the Youth Theater. Another popular performance venue is Memorial Auditorium.
Chattanooga touts many attractions, including the Tennessee Aquarium, caverns, and new waterfront attractions along and across the Tennessee River. In the downtown area is the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, housed in the renovated Terminal Station and exhibiting the largest HO model train layout in the United States. Also downtown are the Creative Discovery Museum, a hands-on children's museum dedicated to science, art, and music; an IMAX 3D Theatre, and the newly expanded Hunter Museum of American Art. The Tennessee Riverwalk, an approximately 13-mile (21 km) long trail running alongside the river, is another attraction for both tourists and residents alike.
Across the river from downtown is the North Shore district, roughly bounded by the Olgiati Bridge to the west and Veterans Bridge to the east. The newly renovated area draws locals and tourists to locally owned independent boutique stores and restaurants, plus attractions along the Chattanooga Riverpark system, including Coolidge Park and Renaissance Park.
The Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park is located a short distance from the downtown area.
Parks and natural scenic areas provide other attractions. The red-and-black painted "See Rock City" barns along highways in the Southeast are remnants of a now-classic Americana tourism campaign to attract visitors to the Rock City tourist attraction in nearby Lookout Mountain, Georgia. The mountain is also the site of Ruby Falls and Craven's House. The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is a steep funicular railway that rises from the St. Elmo Historic District to the top of the mountain, where passengers can visit the National Park Service's Point Park and the Battles for Chattanooga Museum. Formerly known as Confederama, the museum includes a diorama that details the Battle of Chattanooga. From the military park, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Moccasin Bend and the Chattanooga skyline from the mountain's famous "point" or from vantage points along the well-marked trail system.
The Heritage park is a park that lies in East Brainerd. Heritage park has a bocce ball court, a playground complete with swings, and a walking pavement. The park also features an off-leash dog park which is operated by the Friends of East Brainerd, the City of Chattanooga Parks and Recreation Department, McKamey Animal Center and the Goodwill Assistance Dog Academy.
Near Chattanooga, the Raccoon Mountain Reservoir, Raccoon Mountain Caverns, and Reflection Riding Arboretum and Botanical Garden boast a number of outdoor and family fun opportunities. Other arboretums include Bonny Oaks Arboretum, Cherokee Arboretum at Audubon Acres, and Cherokee Trail Arboretum. The Ocoee River, host to a number of events at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, features rafting, kayaking, camping, and hiking. Just outside Chattanooga is the Lake Winnepesaukah amusement park. The Cumberland Trail begins in Signal Mountain, just outside Chattanooga.
The front of the Tennessee Aquarium
The Tennessee Aquarium from the back
Trail of Tears water steps off of Market Street, downtown Chattanooga
A view of the Walnut Street Bridge and the Tennessee River
Looking South towards Lookout Mountain
Festivals and events
Chattanooga hosts the well-known Riverbend Festival, an annual nine-day music festival held in June in the downtown area. One of the most popular events is the "Bessie Smith Strut", a one-night showcase of blues and jazz music named for the city's most noted blues singer. The annual "Southern Brewer's Festival" and the "River Roast" festival celebrate such traditional Southern staples as beer and barbecue.
New events, such as GoFest!, the "Between the Bridges" wakeboard competition, Heritage Festival, and Talespin, complement well-established events, such as Riverbend and the Southern Brewer's Festival, and attract their own audiences. Back Row Films is a citywide celebration of film co-sponsored by the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Arts & Education Council, and UTC.
"Nightfall" is a free weekly concert series in Miller Plaza on Friday nights that features an eclectic mix of rock, blues, jazz, reggae, zydeco, funk, bluegrass, and folk music from Memorial Day until the end of September. The Chattanooga Market features events all year round as part of the "Sunday at the Southside", including an Oktoberfest in mid-October.
The Chattanooga Dulcimer Festival, held each June, features workshops for mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, and auto harp, among others, along with performances by champion performers from across the nation.
Chattanooga is also the center of much bluegrass music. In 1935, as well as from 1993 to 1995, the city hosted the National Folk Festival. Since 2007, the annual 3 Sisters Festival showcases traditional and contemporary bluegrass artists, and has been named on of the country's top 5 bluegrass festivals by Great American Country.
Each January, Chattanooga plays host to Chattacon, a science fiction and fantasy literary convention. The convention is organized by the nonprofit Chattanooga Speculative Fiction Fans, Inc. First held in 1976, the convention drew an estimated 1,000 attendees to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel in 2012, as well as an estimated 1,300 attendees in 2013.
Maggie the Mayfield cow at the Chattanooga Market.
Riverbend 2013 from Market Street Bridge as people are arriving.
Opening night of Riverbend 2013
Chattanooga has a large, growing, and diversified sports scene for a city of its size, including college sports, minor league baseball, semi-professional teams, professional cycling exemplified by the Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships, the Ironman Triathlon, and a large nationally renowned regatta the first weekend of November.
Chattanooga was the home of the NCAA Division I Football Championship game, which was held at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, from 1997 to 2009. From 2010 to 2016, the Dallas, Texas suburb of Frisco hosts the NCAA Division I Football Championship game.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) Mocs compete in NCAA Division I and the Southern Conference. UTC's athletic programs include football at the FCS level, women's soccer, volleyball, and cross country in the fall; men's and women's basketball, Wrestling, and indoor track & field in the winter; and softball and outdoor track & field in the spring. Men's and women's golf and men's and women's tennis play in the fall and spring.
The Chattanooga Lookouts, a Class AA Southern League baseball team affiliated with the Minnesota Twins, boast a loyal following and respectable participation in season-end playoffs. Games take center stage at the downtown riverfront AT&T Field with tickets starting at $5.
Chattanooga is home to several semi-professional football teams, including the Tennessee Crush and the Chattanooga Steam. The Tennessee Crush plays its games at Finley Stadium in downtown Chattanooga. The Chattanooga Steam plays at Lookout Valley High School near Lookout Mountain.
The city's semi-professional soccer team, Chattanooga FC, plays in the National Premier Soccer League and has led the league in attendance three of the four years of its existence. Chattanooga FC has also gone to the national finals three times since its inception, and drew a record 18,227 fans for their 2015 NPSL title match. The club has also found success in the U.S. Open Cup defeating the professional USL's Wilmington Hammerheads to reach the tournament's third round in 2014 and 2015.
Chattanooga is also home to several rugby teams: the Chattanooga Rugby Football Club, Nooga Red, Nooga Black, men's Old Boys, a women's rugby team, men's and women's teams at UTC, and an all-city high school team. The Chattanooga Rugby Football Club, which was established in 1978 and the 2011 and 2013 DII Mid South champions, is affiliated with USA Rugby and USA Rugby South. The club fields two teams, Nooga Red, which competes in Division II, and Nooga Black, which competes in Division III. There is also a men's Old Boys team, a Chattanooga women's rugby team, as well as collegiate men's and women's teams representing the Mocs at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. A citywide high school rugby team, the Wolfpack, was established in 2012 and is open to any high school player living in the Chattanooga area. All seven teams play their home matches at Montague Park.
The Tennessee River, which flows through the middle of Chattanooga, is an excellent place to row. The Head of the Hooch rowing regatta takes place in downtown Chattanooga during the first weekend of November. The head race originally took place on the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta before moving to Chattanooga in 2005, hence the name Head of the Hooch. With 1,965 boats in 2011 and nearly 2,000 boats in 2012, this competition ranks as the 2nd largest regatta in the United States, with numerous college and youth teams, such as UNC Men's Crew, Vanderbilt Rowing Club, James Madison University Crew, University of Tennessee Women's Rowing, Orlando Rowing Club, Nashville Rowing Club, Newport Rowing Club, and Chattanooga Rowing, competing. There are also multiple local rowing clubs, such as the Lookout Rowing Club for adults and the Chattanooga Junior Rowing Club for high school students. The weekend of the Head of the Hooch also sees hot-air balloon rides and other activities.
In 2013, the Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships were held in Chattanooga. The schedule for the 3-day event on May 25–27 featured a handcycling time trail and various other cycling time trials and road races, including a men's road race that took the cyclists through the heart of downtown Chattanooga and up Lookout Mountain for a total race distance of 102.5 miles (165.0 km). American professional cyclist Freddie Rodriguez won the national road race championship title for the fourth time in his career. The Championships' debut in Chattanooga marked the first time in the event's 29-year history that women were allowed to compete for professional national titles. Chattanooga will also host the Championships in 2014 and 2015.
In August 2013, further cementing Chattanooga's growing status as a nationally recognized outdoor haven, the Chattanooga Sports Committee, an organization established in 1992 to help the city host major sporting events, announced that the Ironman Triathlon would be coming to the city in a 5-year deal. The city will become one of only 11 cities in the United States to host the grueling competition showcasing Chattanooga's natural beauty, which consists of a 2.4-mile (3.9 km) swim, a 112-mile (180 km) bike race (which will be broken down into two 56-mile (90 km) loops), and a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run (which will be broken down into two 13.1-mile (21.1 km) loops). The competition begins its first year in Chattanooga on September 26, 2014, continuing every September thereafter through 2018. The winner of the competition will get a $25,000 prize and a spot in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
Due to its location at the junction of the Cumberland Plateau and the southern Appalachians, Chattanooga has become a haven for outdoor sports, such as hunting, fishing, trail running, road running, adventure racing, rock climbing, mountain biking, and road biking. The internationally known StumpJump 50k has been hosted on nearby Signal Mountain since 2002.
Chattanooga has been a member of the League of American Bicyclists' Bronze level since October 2003, the only city in Tennessee to be a member of the organization before Knoxville and Nashville joined in 2010 and 2012, respectively. The city boasts a number of outdoor clubs: Scenic City Velo, SORBA-Chattanooga, the Wilderness Trail Running Association, and the Chattanooga Track Club. The city also funds Outdoor Chattanooga, an organization focused on promoting outdoor recreation. In September 2004, the city appointed its first-ever executive director of Outdoor Chattanooga to implement the organization's mission, which includes promoting bicycling for transportation, recreation, and active living. For paddlers, Chattanooga offers the Tennessee River Blueway, a 50-mile (80 km) recreational section of the Tennessee River that flows through Chattanooga and the Tennessee River Gorge. The Tennessee Aquarium has a high speed catamaran, the River Gorge Explorer, to allow up to 70 people to explore the Tennessee River Gorge. The Explorer departs from the Chattanooga Pier. Since 2008, Chattanooga has hosted the Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship, the crowning event of the largest disc dog competition series in the world.
As of the census of 2010, there were 167,674 people, 70,749 households, and 40,384 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,222.5 people per square mile (472.5/km²). There were 79,607 housing units at an average density of 588.8 per square mile (226.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58.0% White, 34.9% Black, 2.0% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.8% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin (regardless of race) comprised 5.5% of the total population. Non-Hispanic Whites were 55.9% of the population in 2010, down from 67.3% in 1980. There were 70,749 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36% were married couples living together, 17.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 26% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 27% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.1 years. 46.1% of the population was male and 53.9% of the population was female.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,817, and the median income for a family was $43,314. Males had a median income of $36,109 versus $31,077 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,756. About 14% of families and 16.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.
Chattanooga's Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in Georgia, grew from 476,531 people, as of the 2000 census, to 529,222 people, as of the 2010 census, a 9% increase during the 2000s.
The single largest religious group in Chattanooga is Christianity. According to the 2010 statistics the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest denomination with 225 congregations and 122,300 members followed by the United Methodist Church with 31,500 members and 83 churches. The third-largest denomination is the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) with 82 churches and 17,000 members. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville has 12 congregations and 1,200 members. The second-largest religion is Islam, with 2,156 adherents.
The city is located at latitude 35°4' North, longitude 85°15' West.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 143.2 square miles (371 km2), of which 135.2 square miles (350 km2) is land and 8.0 square miles (21 km2) (5.56%) is water. In terms of land area, Chattanooga ranks 68th, which is between Las Vegas, Nevada and Philadelphia. The total area of Chattanooga makes the city larger than that of many cities larger in population, such as Baltimore, Maryland, Atlanta, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Salt Lake City.
The most prominent natural features in and around Chattanooga are the Tennessee River and the surrounding mountains. The city is nestled between the southwestern Ridge-and-valley Appalachians and the foot of Walden's Ridge; the river separates the ridge from the western side of downtown. Several miles east, the city is bisected by Missionary Ridge, which is the site of an important battle in the Civil War.
The Tennessee River is impounded by the TVA's Chickamauga Dam north of the downtown area. Five automobile bridges, one railroad trestle, and one pedestrian bridge, all described below, cross the river.
Road transport is facilitated by Interstate 75 to Atlanta and Knoxville, Interstate 24 to Nashville, and Interstate 59 to Birmingham. Chattanooga and portions of Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia is served by the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport. CSX transports rail freight to Atlanta and Nashville, and Norfolk Southern conveys rail cargo to Atlanta, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Knoxville, and Memphis.
In addition to the restoration of downtown, many of Chattanooga's neighborhoods have experienced a rebirth of their own. Chattanooga has many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and three neighborhoods: Ferger Place, Fort Wood, and St. Elmo. Additionally, Chattanooga has ten local historic districts: Fort Wood, Ferger Place, Glenwood, Missionary Ridge, Market and Main Streets, Market Street Warehouse, M.L. King Boulevard, St. Elmo, Stone Fort Land Company, and Stringer's Ridge.
- Apison, Tennessee
- Chickamauga, Georgia
- Collegedale, Tennessee
- East Brainerd, Tennessee
- East Ridge, Tennessee
- Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
- Harrison, Tennessee
- Hixson, Tennessee
- Lookout Mountain, Georgia
- Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
- Ooltewah, Tennessee
- Red Bank, Tennessee
- Ridgeside, Tennessee
- Ringgold, Georgia
- Rossville, Georgia
- Sale Creek, Tennessee
- Signal Mountain, Tennessee
- Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee
- Walden, Tennessee
Chattanooga, like much of Tennessee, has a four-season humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa). Winter days are usually mild but most years have at least one day (average 3.2) where the high remains at or below freezing. Snow is not common, and many years may receive none; the 1971–2000 snowfall seasonal median was 0.6 inches (1.5 cm). However, 11 inches (28 cm) was recorded between January 9–10, 2011. Summers are hot and humid, with a July daily mean of 80.0 °F (26.7 °C) and 52 days annually with 90 °F (32 °C) or greater temperatures.
Average annual precipitation is over 52 inches (1,300 mm). On average, November through March represents an extended relatively wet period, because of Chattanooga's frequent placement (in the winter season) in a zone of conflict between warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and cold, dry air from Canada, amplified by jet-stream energy and abundant Gulf moisture. July presents a secondary maximum in precipitation, due to frequent thunderstorm activity. Despite the mountains that surround the city, Chattanooga can and has been threatened by tornadoes. These tornadoes include the April 2011 tornado outbreak, which impacted the city and nearby locations, including Apison and Cherokee Valley just over the nearby state line in Catoosa County, Georgia, where fifteen people died, eight in Apison and seven in Cherokee Valley.
|Climate data for Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, Tennessee (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1879–present)|
|Record high °F (°C)|| 78
|Mean maximum °F (°C)|| 67.9
|Average high °F (°C)|| 50.2
|Average low °F (°C)|| 30.7
|Mean minimum °F (°C)|| 13.1
|Record low °F (°C)|| −10
|Average precipitation inches (mm)|| 4.91
|Average snowfall inches (cm)|| 1.7
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||10.7||10.2||10.7||9.5||10.6||10.4||11.7||9.4||8.0||7.7||9.6||11.1||119.6|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||1.0||0.9||0.3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.1||0.4||2.7|
|Average relative humidity (%)||71.2||68.2||65.9||63.8||71.5||73.1||74.9||76.0||77.0||74.6||73.5||72.9||71.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||147.0||155.6||200.5||240.2||275.6||275.5||265.2||256.8||227.9||218.8||158.7||140.4||2,562.2|
|Percent possible sunshine||47||51||54||61||64||63||60||62||61||63||51||46||58|
|Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)|
Considered to be the gateway to the Deep South, along with the Midwest and the Northeast for motorists from states such as Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, Chattanooga's extensive transportation infrastructure has evolved into an intricate system of interstates, streets, tunnels, railroad lines, bridges, and a commercial airport.
See also List of Tennessee state highways
Major surface routes
- Brainerd Road/Lee Highway (US 11)/(US 64)
- Broad Street
- Cummings Highway (US 41)/(US 72)
- Dayton Blvd (US 27)
- East Brainerd Road
- Georgia Avenue
- Hixson Pike
- Main Street (US 76)
- McCallie Avenue
- Ringgold Road
- Rossville Boulevard (US 27)
- Shallowford Road
- Signal Mountain Boulevard (US 127)
- Bachman Tubes, (also unofficially known as The East Ridge Tunnels), which carry Ringgold Road into the neighboring city of East Ridge.
- Missionary Ridge Tunnels (also unofficially known as McCallie or Brainerd Tunnels), which carry McCallie and Bailey Avenues through Missionary Ridge where the route continues as Brainerd Road.
- Stringer's Ridge Tunnel, which carries Cherokee Boulevard through Stringer's Ridge where the route continues as Dayton Boulevard.
- Wilcox Tunnel, which carries Wilcox Boulevard through Missionary Ridge and connects to Shallowford Road.
The city is served by a publicly run bus company, the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA). CARTA operates 17 routes, including a free electric shuttle service in the downtown area, and free wireless Internet on certain "smartbuses".
Though Chattanooga's most famous connection to the railroad industry is Chattanooga Choo Choo, a song made famous by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra, the city serves as a major freight hub with Norfolk Southern (NS) and CSX running trains on their own (and each other's) lines. The Norfolk Southern Railway's main classification yard, DeButts Yard, is just east of downtown; Norfolk Southern's Shipp's Yard and CSX's Wauhatchie Yard are southwest of the city. Norfolk Southern maintains a large railroad repair shop in Chattanooga. The two railroad companies are among the largest individual landowners in the city (the Federal Government is another).
The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM), the largest historic operating railroad in the South, and the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway also provides railroad service in Chattanooga. The headquarters of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) has been in Chattanooga next to the TVRM since 1982, when the NMRA moved from Indianapolis, Indiana.
Using the AAR reporting marks (NS for Norfolk Southern, CSXT for CSX Transportation, TVRM for the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, TNT for subsidiary Tyner Terminal Railroad, and CCKY for Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway), the rail lines passing through Chattanooga are as follows:
- CSXT – Western & Atlantic Subdivision (Chattanooga to Atlanta, Georgia)
- Chattanooga Subdivision (Chattanooga to Nashville, Tennessee on former NC&StL trackage)
- NS – Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific, aka the Queen and Crescent Route, (Chattanooga to Cincinnati, Ohio via Lexington, Kentucky)
- Alabama Division (Chattanooga to Memphis via Huntsville, Alabama)
- Alabama Great Southern (Chattanooga to New Orleans, Louisiana via Birmingham, Alabama)
- Georgia Division (Chattanooga to Atlanta)
- Central Division (Chattanooga to Knoxville, Tennessee)
- Chattanooga Traction Company
- North Chattanooga to Signal Mountain
- Dry Valley Line (Red Bank to Lupton City)
- TVRM – East Chattanooga to Grand Junction (3 miles (4.8 km))
- East Chattanooga Belt Line Railroad (from near 23rd Street, across to Holtzclaw Avenue and East Chattanooga around North Chamberlain Ave., used by TVRM)
- TNT - Tyner Terminal Railroad (Enterprise South Industrial Park railroad operations)
- CCKY – formerly the Tennessee Alabama & Georgia line (Chattanooga to Hedges, Georgia, abandoned since 2009)
The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, often referred to as the Incline Railway by locals, serves as a tourist attraction. It is also occasionally used for commuting by Lookout Mountain residents, particularly during wintry weather when traveling up and down the mountain could be very dangerous.
Despite the high level of freight rail activity, there is no passenger rail service in the city for either commuters or long-distance travelers.
Being bisected by the Tennessee River, Chattanooga has seven bridges that allow people to traverse the river; five of the bridges being automobile bridges, one a rail bridge, and one a pedestrian bridge. These are the following, from west to east:
- P.R. Olgiati Bridge – Named for a former mayor, P.R. Olgiati, this bridge, which was dedicated in 1959, carries U.S. Highway 27 from downtown towards Dayton, Tennessee and points northward.
- Market Street Bridge – Officially called the John Ross Bridge, this bridge is a bascule bridge, which is a type of draw bridge. The bridge was completed in 1917 for the large sum of $1,000,000 for the time. Having stood for decades since its last major overhaul, the Tennessee Department of Transportation declared it unsafe in late 2004. The bridge was closed in 2005 for a long-overdue renovation and was reopened on August 4, 2007.
- Walnut Street Bridge – Also known as "The Walking Bridge", it is one of the centerpieces of Chattanooga's urban renewal and is the second longest pedestrian bridge in the nation. Constructed in 1891, the bridge was declared unsafe and closed to traffic in 1978. It was on the verge of being demolished in the late 1980s when public outcry led to it being restored as a pedestrian-only span that opened in 1993.
- Veterans Memorial Bridge – Completed in 1984, this bridge has helped commuters from Hixson, Lupton City, and other northern areas reach downtown quickly.
- C.B. Robinson Bridge – Opened in 1981, this bridge carries Dupont Parkway from Amnicola Highway to Hixson Pike and Route 153.
- Tenbridge – This truss bridge with a vertical lift carries the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway over the river and is a popular railfan area. It was constructed in 1920.
- Wilkes T. Thrasher Bridge – Completed in 1955, this route carries Highway 153 over the Chickamauga Dam.
The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) offers non-stop service to various domestic destinations via regional and national airlines, including Allegiant Airlines, United Express, American Eagle, Delta Connection, and US Airways Express.
Media and communications
The Chattanooga Times Free Press, the area's only daily newspaper, is published every morning. It was formed in 1999 from the merger of two papers that had been bitter rivals for half a century, the Times and the News-Free Press. The Times was owned and published by Adolph Ochs, who later bought the New York Times. The Times was the morning paper and had a generally more liberal editorial page. The News-Free Press, whose name was the result of an earlier merger, was an afternoon daily and its editorials were more conservative than those in the Times. On August 27, 1966, the News-Free Press became the first newspaper in the nation to dissolve a joint operating agreement. In 1999, the Free Press, which had changed its name from News-Free Press in 1993, was bought by an Arkansas company, WEHCO Media, publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which then bought The Times from the Ochs heirs. The Times Free Press is the only newspaper in the United States to have 2 editorial pages, each reflecting opposite ends of the political spectrum. The Times' editorial page, which is liberal, is on the left page and the Free Press' editorial page, which is conservative, is on the right page.
The Chattanooga Pulse is a free weekly alternative newspaper, published every Wednesday, that focuses primarily on arts, music, film and culture. It was formed in 2003 by Zachary Cooper and Michael Kull, running independently until 2008, when the paper was purchased by Brewer Media Group, which also owns and operates five radio stations in the city.
Enigma is a free monthly pop culture and entertainment magazine. Founded as a weekly newspaper in 1995 by David Weinthal, Enigma lays claim to being Chattanooga's oldest alternative newspaper, even though it had ceased physical publication from 2013 until resuming as a monthly magazine in 2015.
The Chattanoogan and its website "Chattanoogan.com", established in 1999, is an online media outlet that concentrates on news from Chattanooga, North Georgia, and Southeast Tennessee. The publisher is John Wilson, previously a staff writer for the Chattanooga Free Press. The Chattanoogan is the oldest online newspaper in Chattanooga.
Nooga.com, purchased in November 2010 by local entrepreneur Barry Large, relaunched in 2011 as a local news website offering "quality daily content focusing on local business, politics, and entertainment in the Chattanooga area."
Chattanooga is served by the following AM and FM radio stations:
- WDYN 980 AM – Southern Gospel / WDYN Radio Operated By Tennessee Temple University. (Licensed to Rossville, GA)
- WFLI 1070 AM – Southern Gospel (Licensed to Lookout Mountain, TN)
- WGOW 1150 AM – News Talk / NewsRadio 1150 (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WSDT 1240 AM – News Talk / Sports (Licensed to Soddy-Daisy, TN)
- WNOO 1260 AM – Urban gospel and Motown (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WXCT 1370 AM – Sports / 1370 Fox Sports Radio (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WLMR 1450 AM – Christian Talk (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WJOC 1490 AM – Southern Gospel (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WUTC 88.1 FM – NPR/Mixed music / Music 88. Operated by UTC. First and only station in Chattanooga to be broadcasting in HD Radio. (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- W203AZ 88.5 FM – Religious / CSN International (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WMBW 88.9 FM – Christian / Moody Radio For The Heart of the Southeast. Owned and operated by Moody Bible Institute. (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WYBK 89.7 FM – Christian. Operated By Bible Broadcasting Network. (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- W211BG 90.1 FM – Religious (Licensed to Walden, TN)
- WSMC 90.5 FM – Classical/NPR/PRI Operated by Southern Adventist University. (Licensed to Collegedale, TN)
- WJBP-FM 91.5 FM – Christian / Family Life Radio (Licensed to Red Bank, TN)
- WAWL – College Alternative / The Wawl (Web only / Formerly broadcasting on 91.5) Chattanooga State Community College (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WDEF-FM 92.3 FM – Adult Contemporary / Sunny 92.3 (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WSAA 93.1 FM – Christian Rock / Air 1 (Licensed to Benton, TN)
- WMPZ 93.5 FM – Urban Adult Contemporary / Groove 93 (Licensed to Harrison, TN)
- WJTT 94.3 FM – Urban contemporary / Power 94 (Licensed to Red Bank, TN)
- WAAK-LP 94.7 FM – Variety (Low power station licensed to Boynton/Ringgold, GA)
- WPLZ 95.3 FM – Classic Hits / Big 95.3 (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WUSY 96.1 FM - Classic Country / The Legend 96.1
- WDOD 96.5 FM – Hits 96.5—Chattanooga's No. 1 Hit Music Station (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WUUQ 97.3 and 99.3 FM – Classic Country / Q Country 97.3/99.3 (Licensed to South Pittsburg, TN)
- WLND 98.1 FM – Hot AC / 98.1 The Lake (Licensed to Signal Mountain, TN)
- WOOP-LP 99.9 FM – Classic country, old-time gospel, bluegrass, and mountain music. Operated by the Traditional Music Resource Center (Licensed to Cleveland, TN)
- WUSY 100.7 FM – Contemporary Country / US101 (Licensed to Cleveland, TN)
- WJSQ 101.7 FM – Contemporary and Classic country / 101.7 WLAR (Licensed to Athens, TN)
- WOCE 101.9 FM – Spanish (Licensed to Ringgold, GA)
- WGOW 102.3 FM – Talk Radio 102.3 (Licensed to Soddy-Daisy, TN)
- WBDX 102.7 FM – Contemporary Christian (Licensed to Trenton, GA)
- WJLJ 103.1 FM – Contemporary Christian (Simulcast with WBDX 102.7) (Licensed to Etowah, TN)
- WKXJ 103.7 FM – Top 40 / 103.7 Kiss FM (Licensed to Walden, TN)
- WALV 105.1 FM – Sports Talk / ESPN 105.1 The Zone (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- WRXR 105.5 FM – Active Rock / Rock 105 (Licensed to Rossville, GA)
- WSKZ 106.5 FM – Classic Rock / KZ106 (Licensed to Chattanooga, TN)
- W295BI (WPLZ HD-2) Adult Contemporary / Big Easy 106.9 (Licensed to Ooltewah, TN)
- WOGT 107.9 FM – Country / Nash Icon (Licensed to East Ridge, TN)
Chattanooga's television stations include:
- WRCB channel 3, NBC affiliate – (DT 13 / cable 4)
- WOOT-LP channel 6, independent (formerly UPN) (silent)
- WTVC channel 9, ABC affiliate – (DT35 / cable 10)
- WDEF channel 12, CBS affiliate – (DT47 / cable 13)
- WNGH channel 18, GPB affiliate – (DT 33 / cable 12)
- WELF channel 23, TBN affiliate – (DT 16 / cable 9)
- W26BE channel 26, 3ABN affiliate – (Not on cable in Chattanooga)
- WYHB-LP channel 39, America One affiliate – (DT 44 / Not on Cable in Chattanooga)
- WTCI channel 45, PBS member station (DT29 / cable 5)
- WFLI-TV channel 53, The CW Television Network affiliate (Formerly UPN and The WB) (DT 42 / cable 6)
- WDSI channel 61, Fox affiliate – (DT 40 / cable 11)
See the separate List of people from Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Chattanooga has been referred to in pop culture numerous times over the decades, including in books, documentaries, films, TV shows, and more. In recent years, Chattanooga has appeared in more productions of blockbuster movies and TV shows, as well as independent films and documentaries.
- Up Lookout Mountain on the Electric Incline (1913)
- Battle Fields Around Chattanooga (1913)
- The Blue and the Gray (1935)
- Our Country (2003)
- John Henry: Inside the Sculptors Studio (2008)
- Let There Be Light: The Odyssey of Dark Star (2010)
- Memphis & Charleston Railroad: Marriage of the Waters (2010)
- Born and Bred (2011)
- When Mourning Breaks (2013)
Chattanooga and its environs have been featured in numerous films since the early 1970s, principally due to Chattanooga being the home of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM), which has allowed its equipment to be filmed in various films.
- Fool's Parade (1971) (Southern 4501 as B&O 4501)
- Eleanor & Franklin (1976), starring Jane Alexander and Edward Herrmann
- The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James (1986)
- Fled (1996) (shot on the TVRM mainline)
- Mama Flora's Family (1998)
- October Sky (1999) (Southern 4501 appearing as N&W 4501 with O. Winston Link being the engineer)
- The Adventures of Ociee Nash (2003)
- Warm Springs (2005) (shot in Summerville, Georgia, using TVRM equipment)
- Heaven's Fall (2007)
- Leatherheads (2008), starring George Clooney and Renée Zellweger
- Water for Elephants (2011), starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson
- The music video for Josh Turner's 2003 country music hit single Long Black Train was shot on TVRM property as well.
- The Man Trail (1915)
- The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1981)
- The Big Blue (1988)
- Dutch (1991)
- Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)
- All Over Again (2001)
- Straight into Darkness (2004)
- 42 (2013) (filmed at Engel Stadium)
- Identity Thief (2013) (scene set in St. Louis was filmed on the Market Street Bridge)
The 1941 Glenn Miller song that catapulted Chattanooga to international fame, Chattanooga Choo Choo, has been performed in numerous movies, including the 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade, featuring the Miller Orchestra and a young Milton Berle, "The Glenn Miller Story" starring James Stewart in the 1953 title roll and the 1984 eponymous film Chattanooga Choo Choo.
Sporting and entertainment events
A number of pro wrestling events, as well as other events, such as circuses, concerts, ice shows, monster truck rallies, and rodeos, have been held in Chattanooga since the late 1980s, all at UTC's McKenzie Arena, also known as The Roundhouse because of its round shape and the impact of the railroad industry on Chattanooga. The events include the following:
- Clash of the Champions IV: Season's Beatings (1988)
- Saturday's Night Main Event (January 27, 1990 episode)
- Halloween Havoc (1991)
- WWF in Your House: Final Four (February 16, 1997)
- 2005 and 2011 Men's Southern Conference basketball tournaments
- 2005 Women's Southern Conference basketball championship game
- Kenny Rogers concert (October 8, 1982; first-ever event held in McKenzie Arena)
- Toby Keith concert (February 8, 2007)
- Elton John concert (2011, 2013)
Police POV, COPS, and the MTV show Cuff'd have shown members of the Chattanooga Police Department apprehending suspects. In addition to police reality shows, Chattanooga and nearby areas have been either been featured or mentioned in several TV shows, including the following:
- America's Walking (This Woman's Not Stopping episode, originally broadcast May 20, 2002)
- R&B Divas: Atlanta (Til Divas Do Us Part episode, originally broadcast June 19, 2013)
- American Idol (Top 3 Results Show episode, originally broadcast May 19, 2011)
- Antiques Roadshow (Chattanooga episodes (Hours 1-3), originally broadcast March 30 and April 6 and 13, 2009)
- Bridezillas (Shederyl & Poni episode)
- Fitness Truth (CF Open Chattanooga episode, originally broadcast August 14, 2011)
- $40 a Day (Chattanooga episode, originally broadcast October 29, 2004)
- Evening Magazine
- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sharrock Family episode, originally broadcast May 15, 2011)
- Good Eats (Hook, Line, and Dinner episode, originally broadcast September 8, 1999)
- Mystery Manhunt (2012-)
- Off Limits (Tennessee episode, originally broadcast June 20, 2011)
- Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy (Larry Gets the Horns episode, originally broadcast February 22, 2011)
- 16 and Pregnant (Maci episode, originally broadcast June 11, 2009)
- Teen Mom (Maci Bookout character)
- Tennessee Crossroads (Show 752 episode, originally broadcast June 23, 1994)
- The Andy Griffith Show (Andy the Matchmaker and The Shoplifters episodes, originally broadcast on November 14, 1960 and March 2, 1964, respectively.)
- The Middle (Vacation Days episode, originally broadcast March 5, 2014)
- The Steps (a locally produced web series)
- Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy (Hammond/Howard episode, originally broadcast January 17 and 24, 2005)
- Who Do You Think You Are? (Lionel Richie episode, originally broadcast March 4, 2011)
Miscellaneous film and TV productions
- Outcasts (2003)
- Assurances (2004)
- A Bright Past (2008)
- Last Breath (2009)
- The Campaign for Chattanooga: Death Knell of the Confederacy (2012)
- Ella (2012)
Some TV movies have been filmed in Chattanooga or nearby areas, as well, including the 1986 TV movie A Winner Never Quits. In addition, the 1999 music video Usher Live, starring Chattanooga native Usher, was filmed in Chattanooga.
- Hamm, Germany (since 1975)
- Wuxi, Jiangsu, China (since 1982)
- Givatayim, Israel (since 1988)
- Nizhny Tagil, Russia (since 1996)
- Gangneung, South Korea (since 2003)
- Wolfsburg, Germany (since 2011)
- Manfredonia, Italy (since 2014)
Chattanooga also has two twinning cities:
In January 2007, all of the cities above, with the exception of Wolfsburg, had a tree native to each locale planted at Coolidge Park's Peace Grove, which was established to replace a 100-year-old Slippery Elm tree which was damaged in a lightning storm in August 2006. Wolfsburg was added in September 2011. The Peace Grove has eight trees: a Linden Tree, which represents Hamm, a Chinese Elm, which represents Wuxi, a Mediterranean Cedar, which represents Givatayim, a White Birch, which represents Nizhny Tagil, a Ginkgo Tree, which represents Gangneung, an English Elm, which represents Swindon, a European Hornbeam, which represents Ascoli Piceno, and an Oak Tree, which represents Wolfsburg.
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Chattanoogan.com was launched Sept. 1, 1999, as one of the first full-service web-only daily newspapers in the country. Since that date, it has proven to be a pace-setter in the rapidly-developing field of Internet news publishing and has drawn a wide following and readership. It currently gets about 50,000–80,000 visits per day.
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A new Internet venture that calls itself one of the first full-service Web-only newspapers in the country is slated to appear today in Chattanooga. Chattanoogan.com will publish Monday through Friday on the Internet at www.chattanoogan.com, said publisher and co-owner John Wilson on Tuesday. Mr. Wilson, formerly with the Chattanooga Free Press for 28 years and the Hamilton County historian, said the Internet paper will offer local news, sports, features, weather, obituaries, opinion, health, and classified advertising. ...
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Barry Large, who co-founded Access America Transport Inc., says the new site could "transform the way people in our area gather their news, express their opinions, and plan their weekends." Large said Tuesday he is the majority owner in a group that acquired the Internet domain name nooga.com in November from Chattanooga businessman Rick Igou. Although the nooga.com site is inactive, Large said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday that he plans to launch a news site "that will provide quality daily content focusing on local business, politics, and entertainment in the Chattanooga area." "Nooga.com will go live in the near future, featuring an impressive array of writers and contributors from around the Scenic City,"
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- Hustvedt, Marc (February 19, 2010). "'The Steps', All Aboard As Chattanooga's Web Series Bows Tonight". TubeFilter.com. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- Trading Spouses at the Internet Movie Database
- Staff (2013). "Trading Spouses Episodes (Hammond/Howard)". TV.com. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- O'Neal, Carey (February 2, 2011). "Lionel Richie's Visit to the Scenic City". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Outcasts at the Internet Movie Database
- Assurances at the Internet Movie Database
- A Bright Past at the Internet Movie Database
- Last Breath at the Internet Movie Database
- The Campaign for Chattanooga at the Internet Movie Database
- Ella at the Internet Movie Database
- "Movie filmed in Chattanooga to premiere Saturday". WRCB. July 20, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- ponger (April 14, 1986). "A Winner Never Quits (TV Movie 1986)". IMDb. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- "Usher Live (Video 1999)". IMDb. March 23, 1999. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- "Chattanoog'as Sister Cities". City of Chattanooga. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "Hamm, Germany". Chattanooga's Sister Cities. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- "Wuxi, China". Chattanooga's Sister Cities. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- "Givatayim, Israel". Chattanooga's Sister Cities. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- "Nizhnii Tagil, Russia". Chattanooga's Sister Cities. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- "Gangneung, Republic of Korea". Chattanooga's Sister Cities. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- Sobolewski, Rich (September 26, 2011). "Chattanooga becomes sister city to Wolfsburg, Germany – WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports". WRCBtv.com. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- Staff. "Chattanooga adds Italian city to Sister City family". Retrieved April 12, 2014.
- "Reports from the Town Twinning Network". Swindon.gov.uk. June 6, 2006. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- Wang, Herman (September 17, 2006). "Chattanooga extends international ties with Italian city Ascoli Piceno". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- "Coolidge Park Tree in Danger of Being Replaced". City of Chattanooga. August 9, 2006. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- "Peace Grove Takes Slippery Elm's Place in Coolidge Park". City of Chattanooga. January 5, 2007. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- Epps, Nordia (September 27, 2011). "Chattanooga celebrates sister city agreement with second German city – WDEF.com; Volkswagen News". WDEF.com. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
- Armstrong, Zella. The History of Hamilton County and Chattanooga, Tennessee. (2 vol 1931; reprint The Overmountain Press, 1992)
- Crutchfield, Jennifer. Chattanooga Landmarks: Exploring the History of the Scenic City (The History Press, 2010)
- Desmond, Jerry R. Chattanooga (Arcadia Publishing, 1996)
- Downey, Fairfax. Storming of the Gateway: Chattanooga, 1863 (D. McKay Company, 1960)
- Ezzell, Tim. Chattanooga, 1865-1900: A City Set Down in Dixie (University of Tennessee Press; 2014) 212 pages; focuses on economic and political development
- Govan, Gilbert E., and James W. Livingood. "Chattanooga Under Military Occupation, 1863-1865." Journal of Southern History (1951) 17#1 pp: 23-47. in JSTOR
- Hubbard, Rita L. African Americans of Chattanooga: A History of Unsung Heroes (The History Press, 2007)
- Livingood, James Weston. Chattanooga: An Illustrated History (Windsor Publications, 1981)
- Scott, Michelle R. Blues Empress in Black Chattanooga: Bessie Smith and the Emerging Urban South (University of Illinois Press, 2008)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chattanooga, Tennessee.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1879 American Cyclopædia article Chattanooga.|
- Official website
- Chattanooga Convention and Visitor's Bureau
- Chamber of Commerce
- City charter
- Chattanooga Sports & Events Committee
- Chattanooga Times Free Press
- Chattanooga travel guide from Wikivoyage
- "Chattanooga". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). 1911. pp. 7–8.
- Chattanooga at DMOZ
- Hamilton County Map Maker