a city named for a mountain and
immortalized in a "train song"
Chattanooga lies on the
Moccasin Bend of the Tennessee River. The seat of
Hamilton County, it has a population of
approximately 167,670, making it the fourth
largest city in Tennessee. Chat-to-to-noog-gee
is a Creek word meaning "mountain rising to
a point," which refers to nearby Lookout
Mountain. The city gained international fame with
the 1941 recording of "Chattanooga Choo
Choo" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.
Inhabited for thousands of years, the area
that is now occupied by Chattanooga was home to
the Chickamauga branch of the Cherokee when the
first Americans arrived. In 1816, John Ross, a
Chickamauga chief, opened a trading post called
Ross' Landing that consisted of a ferry,
warehouse, and river landing. With the
organization of Hamilton County in 1819, Ross'
Landing served not only the Cherokee trade but
also as a convenient business center for the
county. In 1838, Cherokee parties left from Ross'
Landing for the West on what became known as the Trail
of Tears. The town that grew up around Ross'
Landing was incorporated as Chattanooga in 1839,
and was chartered as a city in 1851.
Because of Chattanoog's strategic location,
some of the hardest fought and most complex
battles of the Civil
War happened during the fall of 1863 on
Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. 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 Major General 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.
After the war ended, the city became a major
railroad hub and industrial and manufacturing
center. It did not, however, become a major
population center until after the Tennessee
Valley Authority began electrifying the region.
Chattanooga's economy includes a mix of
manufacturing and service industries.The world's
first Coca-Cola bottling plant still operates in
Chattanooga, and the city is also home to the
world's only Altoids breath mints manufacturing
facility. Other companies with manufacturing or
distribution facilities in the city include
DuPont, Alco Chemical, and Volkswagen.
Road transport in and out of Chattanooga is
provided by interstates 75, 24, and 59.
Chattanooga and portions of Southeast Tennessee
and North Georgia is served by the Chattanooga
Chattanooga has a mayor-council form of
government. The City Council is comprised of
members from nine districts, elected from
single-member districts in partisan elections,
while the Mayor is elected at large.
Public education is directed by the Hamilton
County School System. Chattanooga is home to the
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga,
Chattanooga State Community College, and
Tennessee Temple University.
Sites and Attractions
The Chattanooga Choo Choo Terminal Train
Station Complex includes the Southern Railway
Terminal (built in 1908), a hotel, shops,
restaurants, and the original Chattanooga Choo
Choo (the one which inspired the Glenn Miller
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military
Park, the first and largest Civil War park in the
country, preserves the sites of the two battles
fought in and around Chattanooga. It was
established through the efforts of Civil War
veterans, who came together from both armies in
1889 for the express purpose of preserving the
The Hunter Museum of American Art showcases
100 years of architecture and houses the finest
collection of American art in the Southeast. The
collection spans the history of American art from
the colonial period to the present day, and
covers a wide variety of media.
The International Towing and Recovery Museum
and Hall of Fame reminds visitors that the
world's first tow truck was created in
Chattanooga in 1916.
Ross' Landing Park and Plaza encompasses a
four-acre area surrounding the Tennessee Aquarium
and overlooking the Tennessee River and scenic
landscapes. The park includes green spaces, a
playground, a pier, and The Passage, an area
where people can play in water cascading down
steps alongside six-foot clay medallions set into
the wall representing specific aspects of the
Cherokee tribe's history.
Other major Chattanooga sites include: Bessie
Smith Cultural Center, Chattanooga African
American Museum, Chattanooga History Center,
Chattanooga Zoo, Creative Discovery Museum,
Houston Museum of Creative Arts, National Medal
of Honor Museum, and Tennessee Valley Railroad
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
The Chattanooga Lookouts is a Class AA
Southern League baseball team affiliated with the
Minnesota Twins. The city is also home to the
Chattanooga Rugby Football Club, the Tennessee
Crush and the Chattanooga Steam
(semi-professional football teams), and
Chattanooga FC (a semi-professional soccer team).
Chattanooga Visitors Bureau http://www.chattanoogafun.com/
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