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City Profile: Signal Mountain
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Sunday, March 27, 2011    |   
Settled by people seeking an escape from Chattanooga’s heat, Signal Mountain now flourishes as a stand-alone community on Walden’s Ridge. Signal Point, above, offers a vantage point for panoramic views of Tennessee River Gorge.
Settled by people seeking an escape from Chattanooga’s heat, Signal Mountain now flourishes as a stand-alone community on Walden’s Ridge. Signal Point, above, offers a vantage point for panoramic views of Tennessee River Gorge.
Photo by Jenna Walker /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

* Population: 7,500.

* Geographic area: 6.7 square miles.

* Date founded: April 4, 1919.

* Landmarks or geographic features: Rainbow Lake, a popular hiking destination originally part of the 1913 Signal Mountain Inn; miles and miles of hiking trails connecting Prentice Cooper State Forest, Shackleford Ridge Park and other town parks.

* Median income: $96,500.

* Unique characteristics: Signal Mountain is home to nine horticulture parks, three scenic parks and five wilderness parks.

* Most famous residents: Poet Emma Bell Miles (1879-1919), award-winning children’s author William O. Steele (1917-1979).

* Historic info: Taking its name from Signal Point, an overlook used by American Indians and Union troops to send messages, Signal Mountain was founded as a resort community where people could escape the cholera and yellow fever epidemics of the early 1900s.

* Odd/unique traditions: Yearly Christmas train celebration at James Park. National Day of Prayer observance at Town Hall.

* Schools: Thrasher Elementary School, Nolan Elementary School, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, Signal Mountain Christian School.

* Best-kept secret: The area’s Mountain Opry hosts a bluegrass show every Friday evening.

* Fun fact: Signal Mountain Playhouse annually presents two plays, one of which is a summer outdoor musical.