Background: Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville
Photo by Kalderi

Living in Tennessee

Tennessee - The Stage Is Set For You

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Tennessee

Tennessee has had its share of hardships and troubles in addition to being the location of more American Civil War confrontations than in any other state except Virginia. Then there was the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 and the Memphis killing of Martin Luther King, Jr. back in 1968 . However one thing remains constant here: whether it's the latest Grand Ole Opry show or the Blues, there's always a reason for singing in Tennessee!

The world capitol of country music, the Blues birthplace, and Elvis Presley's home, Tennessee is a historical and cultural hotspot dissimilar to any other in the nation. Going from songs on to songbirds, it is appropriate that the state also has the largest bird variety in the US. particularly in the Appalachian region.

There are many unique cities and regions to select from when relocating to Tennessee, and every place has its own unique character. There’s the cosmopolitan hub and state capital of Memphis Tennessee where Elvis once lived, Nashville, with the nickname of "Music City," and Chattanooga, the green city near the Appalachian Trail. Also there’s Knoxville, with a pulsating arts scene and diverse architecture and and Other significant cities to mull over when relocating to Tennessee are Murfreesboro, the renowned college town with the nickname "Athens in the South;", Clarksville, with a strong the US Army presence; and Bartlett, Cleveland, Brentwood and Bristol.

First visited by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540, the Tennessee area would later be claimed by both France and England as a result of the 1670s and 1680s explorations of Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, Sieur de la Salle, and James Needham and Gabriel Arthur. Great Britain obtained the area after the French and Indian Wars in 1763.

During 1784–1787, the settlers formed the “state” of Franklin, which was disbanded when the region was allowed to send representatives to the North Carolina legislature. In 1790 Congress organized the territory south of the Ohio River, and Tennessee joined the Union in 1796.

Although Tennessee joined the Confederacy during the Civil War, there was much pro-Union sentiment in the state, which was the scene of extensive military action.

Climate

Most of the Tennessee has a humid subtropical climate, with the exception being some of the higher elevations in the Appalachians, which are classified as having a mountain temperate or humid continental climate due to cooler temperatures. The Gulf of Mexico is the dominant factor in the climate of of the state, with winds from the south being responsible for most of the state's annual rainfall. The state typocally has hot summers and mild to cool winters with generous amounts of rain throughout the year, with highest average monthly precipitation generally in the winter and spring months, between December and April.

Demography

  • Tennessee Geography, Facts and History
  • Tennessee Facts & Trivia
  • Tennessee Flags
  • Famous People from Tennessee
  • Tennessee Timeline
  • Tennessee Official Song
  • Education

    Tennessee Colleges. The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) is one of the two systems of public higher education in Tennessee. The TBR was approved by a 1972 Tennessee General Assembly Act. The TBR oversees all public colleges and colleges in the state that employ over 100,000 students each year

    The technical director of the TBR system is referred to as his chancellor. The Chancellor is responsible for managing the TBR system in accordance with the leadership of the Board and directing the TBR Central Office in accordance with the mission and vision of the Central Office

    Economy

    For 2012, the Tennessee held an asset surplus of $533 million, one of only eight states in the U.S. to report a surplus.

    Major outputs for the state include textiles, cotton, cattle, and electrical power. The state has over 82,000 farms, roughly 59 percent of which have beef cattle

    Flora and Fauna

    With its varied terrain and soils, Tennessee has an abundance of flora, including at least 150 kinds of native trees. Tulip poplar (the state tree), shortleaf pine, and chestnut, black, and red oaks are commonly found in the eastern part of the state while the Highland Rim abounds in several varieties of oak, hickory, ash, and pine. Gum maple, black walnut, sycamore, and cottonwood grow in the west, and cypress is plentiful in the Reelfoot Lake area. In East Tennessee, rhododendron, mountain laurel, and wild azalea blossoms create a blaze of color in the mountains. More than 300 native Tennessee plants, including digitalis and ginseng have been utilized for medicinal purposes. In 2003, 20 plant species were listed as threatened or endangered in Tennessee, including the Blue Ridge goldenrod, Cumberland rosemary and sandwort, Roan Mountain bluet, and Tennessee purple coneflower.

    Tennessee mammals include the raccoon (the state animal), white-tailed deer, black bear bobcat, muskrat, woodchuck, opossum, and red and gray foxes; the European wild boar was introduced by sportsmen in 1912. More than 250 bird species reside in Tennessee. Bobwhite quail, ruffed grouse, mourning dove, and mallard duck are the most common game birds. The state's 56 amphibian species include numerous frogs, salamanders, newts, and lizards; 58 reptile species include three types of rattlesnake. Of the 186 fish species in Tennessee's lakes and streams, catfish, bream, bass, crappie, pike, and trout are the leading game fish.

    Tennessee's Wildlife Resources Agency conducts an endangered and threatened species protection program. Seventy-six animal species were listed as endangered or threatened as of 2003, including the seven species of darter, gray and Indiana bats, pallid sturgeon, bald eagle, Carolina northern flying squirrel, least tern, and white wartyback pearlymussel. The snail darter, cited by opponents of the Tellico Dam following the passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973, is probably Tennessee's most famous threatened species.

  • Tennessee Birds (Northern Mockingbird)
  • Tennessee Official State Flower (Iris )
  • Tennessee Official State Tree (Tulip-tree)
  • Government

    The Tennessee State Capitol, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is the seat of government of Tennessee, serving as home of the Tennessee General Assembly and the location of the governor's office. Designed by architect William Strickland (1788–1854) of Philadelphia and Nashville, it was built between 1845 and 1859 and is one of Nashville's most prominent examples of Greek Revival architecture. The building, one of 12 state capitols without a dome, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and named a National Historic Landmark in 1971.

    The governor, the only executive elected statewide, appoints a cabinet of 21 members. The speaker of the state senate automatically becomes lieutenant governor; the secretary of state, treasurer, and comptroller of the treasury are chosen by the legislature. The governor is limited to serving two consecutive terms. A candidate for governor must be at least 30 years old, a US citizen, and must have been a state citizen for at least seven years prior to election.

    Voters must be US citizens, at least 18 years old, and state residents. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.

  • Tennessee State Government Official Website
  • Attractions

    If you're one of the many people who believe the most visited of the nation's national parks is either the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or Yosemite, you've probably not been to Tennessee. You may be surprised to learn that the most visited US national park is the Great Smoky Mountains (or "Smokies"), an area of outstanding natural beauty, which attracts twice as many visitors each year than its nearest rival, the Grand Canyon. Much of the state's popularity is due to its accessibility, sandwiched as it is between eight other states. It also has much to do with its astonishing natural beauty, rich history, and numerous first-rate attractions. Then, of course, there's the music. From the rock 'n' roll of Elvis to country greats like Johnny Cash, Tennessee was the starting place for many of the country's greatest artists and musical genres. Discover the best things to do in the state with our list of the top-rated tourist attractions in Tennessee

    Amusement Parks

    Anakeesta Gatlinburg
    Goats on the Roof, Pigeon Forge
    Dollywood, Pigeon Forge
      Dollywood is a theme park jointly owned by entertainer Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment. It is located in the Knoxville-Smoky Mountains metroplex in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Hosting nearly 3 million guests in a typical season  which is mid-March thru the Christmas holidays – Dollywood is the biggest ticketed tourist attraction in Tennessee. In addition to standard amusement park thrill rides, Dollywood features traditional crafts and music of the Smoky Mountain area. The park hosts a number of concerts and musical events each year, including appearances by Dolly Parton and her family as well as other national and local musical acts. It is also the site of the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame. Wild Eagle, America's first wing coaster, entering the brake run. The theme park is the anchor of Dolly's 150-acre Dollywood amusement destination, which also includes sister water park, Dollywood's Splash Country (35 acres), Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa (20 acres),and Dolly Parton's Stampede Dinner Attraction (5 acres).
    Fun Stop, Pigeon Forge
    Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, Gatlinburg
    Incredible Pizza Company, Cordova
    The Island in Pigeon Forge, Pigeon Forge
    NASCAR Speedpark, Sevierville
    Ober Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg
      Ober Gatlinburg is an amusement park and ski area, located in the mountains overlooking Gatlinburg, Tennessee, The area contains a large mall with indoor amusements, an indoor ice skating rink including new ice bumper cars, snack bars, a full-service lounge, restaurant, and gift and clothing stores. Outside there is an alpine slide, the ski mountain coaster, a chair swing, a maze, mini golf, a scenic chairlift to the top of Mount Harrison, kiddie rides, water raft rides (summer only) and a new rock climbing wall.
    Rockin' Raceway, Pigeon Forge
    Rowdy Bear Mountain Gatlinburg
    Sir Goony's Fun Zone, Chattanooga
    Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, Pigeon Forge
      Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is a mountain coaster located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It opened in, 2013, and was the first mountain coaster to be built in the Smoky Mountains. The coaster is also the longest alpine coaster in the nation as well. It is one of four mountain coasters located in the Pigeon Forge area. One to two riders sit in individual carts, which are pulled to the top of a mountain by the means of a cable. Once released at the top, the cart navigates twists and turns down the mountain on a secured rail. Unlike a conventional roller coaster, the cars are equipped with hand brakes, which allow the riders to control their speed. Additionally, the carts themselves have a magnetic braking system to prevent the cart from going too fast. The ride also has LED lighting for night rides, with over 300,000 lights.
    Wilderness at the Smokies, Sevierville
      Wilderness at the Smokies is a resort located on Wilderness Territories property in Sevierville, Tennessee. It opened in 2008 as part of the new Bridgemont development, which, along with the resort itself, now includes shopping, dining, and conference facilities, a hotel, outdoor waterpark, a condominium resort, indoor waterpark, and Lake Wilderness outdoor waterpark. Additional facilities include the "Runaway Canyon" Proslide and Dark Mammoth (family raft ride with water curtains, lighting effects, and sound effects), which opened on November 20, 2009. In May, 2010, Wilderness Rafting and Catalooche Creek Adventure Golf, at Lake Wilderness, were added.

    National Parks

    Trail of Tears
    The American Legacy of the Cherokee Trail of Tears Image by Paul Andrews
    Tennessee Department of Tourism
    Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Maine to Georgia, CT,GA,MA,MD,ME,NC,NH,NJ,NY,PA,TN,VA,VT,WV
      The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.
    Big South Fork National Recreation Area, Oneida, KY,TN
      Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features and has been developed to provide visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities.
    Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Fort Oglethorpe, GA,TN
      In 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought for control of Chattanooga, known as the "Gateway to the Deep South." The Confederates were victorious at nearby Chickamauga in September. However, renewed fighting in Chattanooga that November provided Union troops victory and control of the city. After the fighting, a Confederate soldier ominously wrote, "This...is the death-knell of the Confederacy."
    Cumberland Gap National Military Park, Middlesboro, KY,TN,VA
      At Cumberland Gap, the first great gateway to the west, follow the buffalo, the Native American, the longhunter, the pioneer... all traveled this route through the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky. Modern day explorers and travelers stand in awe at this great gateway and the many miles of trails and scenic features found in the park.
    Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Dover, KY,TN
      Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant was becoming quite famous as he wrote these words following the surrender of Confederate Fort Donelson on Sunday, February 16, 1862. The Union victory at Fort Donelson elated the North, and stunned the South. Within days of the surrender, Clarksville and Nashville would fall into Union hands. Grant and his troops had created a pathway to victory for the Union.
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the states of NC,TN
      Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park.
    Obed Wild & Scenic River, Wartburg, TN
      The Obed Wild and Scenic River looks much the same today as it did when the first white settlers strolled its banks in the late 1700s. While meagerly populated due to poor farming soil, the river was a hospitable fishing and hunting area for trappers and pioneers. Today, the Obed stretches along the Cumberland Plateau and offers visitors a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.
    Shiloh National Military Park, Shiloh, TN,MS
      Visit the sites of the most epic struggle in the Western Theater of the Civil War. Nearly 110,000 American troops clashed in a bloody contest that resulted in 23,746 casualties; more casualties than in all of America's previous wars combined. Explore both the Shiloh and Corinth battlefields to discover the impact of this struggle on the soldiers and on the nation.
    Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail, AL,AR,GA,IL,KY,MO,NC,OK,TN
      Remember and commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people, forcefully removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. They traveled by foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat in 1838-1839.

    National Forests

    Cherokee National Forest - 656,394 acres
      Cherokee National Forest has eleven wilderness areas, three large lakes, and over 600 miles of trails, including 150 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains. There are 43 mammal species, 154 fish species, 55 amphibian species, and 262 bird species in the forest

    Sports

    Tennessee is home to three major professional sports franchises: the Tennessee Titans have played in the National Football League since 1997, the Memphis Grizzlies have played in the National Basketball Association since 2001, and the Nashville Predators have played in the National Hockey League since 1998. A yet-to-be-named Major League Soccer franchise is scheduled to begin play in Nashville in 2020.

    The state is also home to 14 teams playing in minor leagues. Nine Minor League Baseball teams call the state their home. The Memphis Redbirds and Nashville Sounds, each of the Pacific Coast League, compete at the Triple-A level, the highest before Major League Baseball. The Chattanooga Lookouts, Jackson Generals, and Tennessee Smokies play in the Double-A Southern League. The Elizabethton Twins, Greeneville Reds, Johnson City Cardinals, and Kingsport Mets are Rookie League teams of the Appalachian League.

  • Tennessee Sports
  • Taxes

    The tax rate was 6% from 1937 to 2016, but is 3% for the 2018 tax year and is set to ramp down to zero in 2021. The first $1,250 of individual income and $2,500 of joint income is exempt from this tax. The state's sales and use tax rate for most items is 7%. Food is taxed at a lower rate of 5.25%, but candy, dietary supplements and prepared food are taxed at the full 7% rate. Local sales taxes are collected in most jurisdictions, at rates varying from 1.5% to 2.75%, bringing the total sales tax to between 8.5% and 9.75%, one of the highest levels in the nation.

    Transportation

    Memphis International Airport
    Memphis International Airport
    Tennessee Airports. Major airports within the state include Memphis International Airport (MEM), Nashville International Airport (BNA), McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) outside of Knoxville in Blount County, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA), Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI), and McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport (MKL), in Jackson. Because Memphis International Airport is the major hub for FedEx Corporation, it is the world's largest air cargo operation.

    Rail

    Memphis and Newbern, are served by the Amtrak City of New Orleans line on its run between Chicago, Illinois, and New Orleans, Louisiana. Nashville is served by the Music City Star commuter rail service.

    Cargo services in the state are mostly served by CSX Transportation, which has a hump yard in Nashville called Radnor Yard. Norfolk Southern Railway operates lines in East Tennessee, through cities including Knoxville and Chattanooga, and operates a classification yard near Knoxville, the John Sevier Yard. BNSF operates a major intermodal facility in Memphis.

    Roads

    Interstate 40 crosses the state in a west-east orientation. Its branch interstate highways include I-240 in Memphis; I-440 in Nashville; I-840 in Nashville; I-140 from Knoxville to Alcoa; and I-640 in Knoxville. I-26, although technically an east-west interstate, runs from the North Carolina border below Johnson City to its terminus at Kingsport. I-24 is an east-west interstate that runs cross-state from Chattanooga to Clarksville. In a north-south orientation are highways I-55, I-65, I-75, and I-81. Interstate 65 crosses the state through Nashville, while Interstate 75 serves Chattanooga and Knoxville and Interstate 55 serves Memphis. Interstate 81 enters the state at Bristol and terminates at its junction with I-40 near Dandridge. I-155 is a branch highway from I-55.

    Tennessee Housing

    The median home value in Tennessee is $162,000. Tennessee home values have gone up 9.3% over the past year and  predictions are they will rise 5.7% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Tennessee is $128. The median price of homes currently listed in Tennessee is $242,900. The median rent price in Tennessee is $1,300. Tennessee Association of Realtors
    Tennessee Real Estate Commission
    Tennessee Real Estate Listings

    Tennessee Cities & Towns

    There are 95 counties, and 346 municipalities in the state. Municipalities in the state may be designated as "cities" or "towns". These terms do not have legal significance in Tennessee and are not related to population, date of establishment, or type of municipal charter. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, 3,564,494 Tennesseans, or just over 56% of the state's total population of 6,346,105, resided in municipalities. The remainder resided in unincorporated areas. . As of 2018, there were a total of 81 census-designated places in Tennessee. Nashville has the largest population with 667,560 residents, the smallest is Fairfield with a population of 131.
  • Tennessee Cities and Towns
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