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

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on February 23, 2020

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Tennessee ranks tenth among states and provinces with markers in this database. Tennessee 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 93 of them have entries in this database. In Tennessee we have discovered historical markers in 345 cities and towns lying in 399 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in Tennessee? There are least 3,723 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 3,675 historical markers and 195 war memorialsóeach individually presented on 3,792 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 2.9% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 48 historical markers in Tennessee that we donít 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.

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 February 21, 2020, and titled Woodbine. It is in Nashville in Davidson County and had been erected in 1975. 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 Categories
2,034 • Civil War
508 • Settlements and Settlers
274 • Industry and Commerce
262 • African Americans
231 • Education
202 • Churches and Religion
193 • Cemeteries and Burial Sites
178 • Native Americans
145 • Government and Politics
137 • Arts, Letters, Music
    ... and more ...

Tennesseans donít 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 Waró2,034 of themóthan about any other historical category. It is followed by Settlements and Settlers with 508 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Civil War category was Free Hill Road, added September 9, 2007. It had been erected in Hendersonville in Sumner County. The last one submitted was submitted on December 26, 2019, and titled McNairyís Attack. It had been erected in White Bluff in Dickson County. One of the earliest marker erected with the Civil War category that we have listed was erected in 1890. More than one was erected in 1890. This is one of them: Garrity's Alabama Battery, found in Lookout Mountain in Hamilton County on June 29, 2009.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Tennessee county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Hardin County, with 560 of them. It is followed closely by Hamilton County with 524 markers. The Shiloh area of Hardin County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 549. In Hamilton County the area with the most markers, 420, is Chattanooga.

Historical Markers in These
Tennessee Counties
560 • Hardin County
524 • Hamilton County
321 • Shelby County
248 • Davidson County
188 • Williamson County
140 • Knox County
137 • Rutherford County
78 • Stewart County
75 • Sevier County
74 • Greene County
    ... and more ...

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 549 markers in or near it. And Chattanooga also shows up again in next place, with 420 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers itís 38376 at the top of the list with 549 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 38376 is assigned to Shiloh TN.) It is followed by ZIP Code 37404 with 273 markers. (37404 is assigned to Chattanooga TN.)

Historical Markers Near These
Tennessee Cities and Towns
549 • Shiloh
420 • Chattanooga
276 • Memphis
196 • Nashville
167 • Franklin
118 • Murfreesboro
110 • Knoxville
79 • Lookout Mountain
73 • Dover
61 • Greeneville
    ... and more ...

Getting back to Hardin County, the first marker added to the database from there, Shiloh United Methodist Church, was added April 3, 2008. It was erected in 1978 near Shiloh. The last one submitted was uploaded on December 14, 2019, and is titled Veterans Marker and was erected in 2007, in Saltillo. The earliest marker erected in Hardin County that we have listed was erected in 1902. It was 77th Pennsylvania Infantry, found near Shiloh on December 14, 2010.

Latest entry from Tennessee. Click to go there
By Steve Masler, February 17, 2020
Latest Entry from Tennessee

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Chattanooga. The first: Ernest Walter Holmes, Sr., was added August 4, 2007. The last: Chickamauga Station added on October 14, 2019. One of the earliest erected, dating from 1890 (more than one was erected that year): Mebane's Tennessee Battery, added on December 5, 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 1,015 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

Youíll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Tennessee have been marked with history. Check out Cheatham County, Scott County and Hancock County. We've only found, respectively, 3, 2, and 1 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of Tennessee might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe youíll discover more historical markers while youíre there. If you do, perhaps youíll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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