published Sunday, March 31st, 2013


Location: Southeast Tennessee on the Georgia state line.

Size: With 137.2 square miles, Chattanooga surrounds the cities of Red Bank and Ridgeside and the Tennessee side of East Ridge. Although smaller in population, Chattanooga is geographically bigger than New York, Chicago, Memphis or Atlanta.

Relative size: Chattanooga is the fourth-biggest city in Tennessee and the 139th-largest city in the United States, according to the 2010 census.

Population: 167,674 in 2010 census, up 7.8 percent from 2000 census.

Date founded: 1838.

History: The city is the site of a major Civil War battle between Union and Confederate troops over rail access for the Confederacy. Chattanooga was on the Trail of Tears when Cherokee Indians were moved from the Southeast to Oklahoma. The city became a manufacturing center in the 20th century.

Government: A nine-member, part-time City Council sets the budget and adopts ordinances, while the mayor is responsible for overseeing the operation of City Hall.

Unique events: Riverbend Festival, RiverRocks, Wine Over Water, Four Bridges Arts Festival, the Cotton Ball.

Most famous former residents: Singer Bessie Smith, NFL star Reggie White, singer Usher Raymond, actor Samuel L. Jackson.

“There is no question about it. I like this city. I’ve grown acclimated to it coming from Atlanta to here. There’s a comfortable way of life. It’s a beautiful city.”

— Rev. Ronald Cook, pastor of Rock Island Baptist Church

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