“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Tennessee Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on January 27, 2022

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Tennessee ranks ninth among states and provinces with markers in this database. The United States of America is a state in the United States of America located in the American South. It is also in the East South Central region. Tennessee is some 42 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 6.8 million people. The state is divided into 95 counties and all of them have entries in this database. In Tennessee we have discovered historical markers in 425 cities and towns lying in 472 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 5,473 historical markers in Tennessee, by our count. We have cataloged 5,461 historical markers and 354 war memorials—each individually presented on 5,713 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 3.3% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another twelve historical markers in Tennessee that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

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The first Tennessee marker in the database, Graceland, was added March 6, 2006. It was photographed in Memphis in Shelby County. The last one added was submitted on January 22, 2022, and titled Old U.S. Post Office. It is in Jefferson City in Jefferson County. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Tennessee was erected in 1836. It was this one: Mr. Luther's Blacksmith Shop and Broom Factory, and one of our correspondents found it in Lebanon in Wilson County on November 5, 2017.

Tennessee Historical Topics
2,480 • Civil War
817 • Settlements and Settlers
677 • Industry and Commerce
507 • African Americans
450 • Education
423 • Churches and Religion
342 • Cemeteries and Burial Sites
272 • Arts, Letters, Music
269 • Native Americans
260 • Architecture
    ... and others ...

Tennesseans don’t want to forget their Civil War history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Tennessee about the Civil War—2,480 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Settlements and Settlers with 817 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Civil War topic was Free Hill Road, added September 9, 2007. It had been erected in Hendersonville in Sumner County. The last one submitted was submitted on January 3, 2022, and titled The Reverend Edmund Kelly. It had been erected in Columbia in Maury County. The earliest marker erected with the Civil War topic that we have listed was erected in 1869. It is Unknown Confederate Dead Monument, found in Union City in Obion County on September 10, 2020.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Tennessee? What we know is that Geographic Center of Tennessee is the most viewed entry in the database from Tennessee since it was added in 2009. It is located in Murfreesboro in Rutherford County. This year so far, the most viewed Tennessean entry is located near Camden in Benton County. It is One of Country Music's Darkest Days.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Tennessee county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Davidson County, with 618 of them. It is followed closely by Hardin County with 599 markers. The Nashville area of Davidson County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 518. In Hardin County the area with the most markers, 582, is Shiloh.

Historical Markers in These
Tennessee Counties
618 • Davidson County
599 • Hardin County
586 • Hamilton County
427 • Shelby County
346 • Williamson County
201 • Rutherford County
187 • Knox County
102 • Henderson County
100 • Sumner County
98 • Sevier County
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Tennessee with the most markers we again find Shiloh at the top of the list with 583 markers in or near it. And Nashville also shows up again in next place, with 518 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 38376 at the top of the list with 582 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 38376 is assigned to Shiloh TN.) It is followed by ZIP Code 37404 with 274 markers. (37404 is assigned to Chattanooga TN.)

Historical Markers Near These
Tennessee Cities and Towns
583 • Shiloh
518 • Nashville
475 • Chattanooga
345 • Memphis
256 • Franklin
174 • Murfreesboro
153 • Knoxville
84 • Dover
80 • Clarksville
80 • Lookout Mountain
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Davidson County, the first marker added to the database from there, Davidson County / Sumner County, was added September 9, 2007. near Hendersonville. The last one submitted was uploaded on December 26, 2021, and is titled Site of First Store and was erected in 1968, in Nashville. The earliest marker erected in Davidson County that we have listed was erected in 1849. It was Tomb of James Knox Polk, found in Nashville on July 16, 2015.

Latest entry from Tennessee. Click to go there
By Tom Bosse, September 4, 2021
Latest Entry from Tennessee
“Old U.S. Post Office”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Shiloh. The first: Shiloh United Methodist Church, was added April 3, 2008. It had been erected in 1978. The last: Shiloh Log Church added on October 19, 2021. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1902: 77th Pennsylvania Infantry, added on December 14, 2010.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

The Tennessee Historical Commission is currently in charge of the familiar silver and black official historical markers found all over the state. We have 1,438 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Tennessee. Click to go there
By Julie Santee, October 2016
A Tennessee Historical Commission Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Tennessee have been marked with history. Check out Sequatchie County, Pickett County and Hancock County. We've only found, respectively, 3, 3, and 2 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of Tennessee might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

Jan. 27, 2022