Blount County, Tennessee facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|County of Blount|
Blount County Courthouse in Maryville
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
|Named for||William Blount|
|• Total||567 sq mi (1,470 km2)|
|• Land||559 sq mi (1,450 km2)|
|• Water||7.8 sq mi (20 km2) 1.4%%|
|• Density||242/sq mi (93/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Blount County is a county located in the East Tennessee Grand Division of the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 census, the population was 135,280. The county seat is Maryville, which is also the county's largest city. Blount County is included in the Knoxville, Tennessee Metropolitan Statistical Area.
What is today Blount County was for many thousands of years Indian territory, passed down to the Cherokee tribe that claimed the land upon the arrival of white settlers in the late 18th century. Shortly thereafter, on July 11, 1795, Blount County became the tenth county established in Tennessee, when the Territorial Legislature voted to split adjacent Knox and Jefferson counties. The new county was named for the governor of the Southwest Territory, William Blount, and its county seat, Maryville, was named for his wife Mary Grainger Blount. This establishment, however, did little to settle the differences between white immigrants and Cherokee natives, which was, for the most part, not accomplished until an 1819 treaty.
Like many East Tennessee counties, Blount County was opposed to secession on the eve of the Civil War. In Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession referendum on June 8, 1861, Blount Countians voted against secession by a margin of 1,766 to 414. Residents of pro-Union Cades Cove and pro-Confederate Hazel Creek (on the other side of the mountains in North Carolina) regularly launched raids against one another during the war.
Throughout its history the boundaries of Blount County have been altered numerous times, most notably in 1870 when a large swath of western Blount was split into Loudon and portions of other counties. Also, the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1936, while not affecting the legal boundaries of Blount County, has significantly impacted the use of southeastern Blount County.
Blount County has been served by The Daily Times, currently published in Maryville, since 1883.
On July 2, 2015, a freight train carrying hazardous materials went off of its tracks Over 5000 citizens were displaced from their homes within a two-mile (three kilometer) radius.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 567 square miles (1,470 km2), of which 559 square miles (1,450 km2) is land and 7.8 square miles (20 km2) (1.4%) is water.
The southern part of Blount County is part of the Great Smoky Mountains, and is protected by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The crest of the range forms the county's border with Swain County, North Carolina, and includes Blount's highest point, 5,527-foot (1,685 m) Thunderhead Mountain, and the 4,949-foot (1,508 m) Gregory Bald, a prominent grassy bald. The northern part of the county is part of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians. The geologic boundary between the Blue Ridge (which includes the Smokies) and Ridge-and-Valley provinces runs along Chilhowee Mountain, a long and narrow ridge that stretches across the central part of the county. Much of Blount's topography is characterized by elongate ridges and rolling hills— known locally as "The Foothills"— which emanate outward from the Smokies range.
The mountainous southern portion of Blount County is dotted by relatively isolated valleys known as Appalachian coves. The best known of these valleys, Cades Cove, is one of the most visited sections of the national park, and is noted for the remnants of the Appalachian community that occupied the cove prior to the park's formation, as well as an abundance of wildlife, especially white-tailed deer. Tuckaleechee Cove is occupied by the city of Townsend, and Millers Cove is occupied by the community of Walland. This part of the county is also home to two large caves: Tuckaleechee Caverns, a popular show cave, and Bull Cave, which at 924 feet (282 m) is the deepest in Tennessee.
The Tennessee River forms part of Blount's border with Knox County to the northwest. This section of the Tennessee is part of Fort Loudoun Lake, an artificial lake created by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The Little Tennessee River, a tributary of the Tennessee, forms part of Blount's southern border with Monroe County, and includes three artificial lakes: Tellico, Chilhowee, and Calderwood (two others, Cheoah and Fontana, are located just upstream in North Carolina). Little River, another tributary of the Tennessee, flows northward from deep within the Smokies and traverses the central part of the county. The river's confluence with its Middle Prong forms a popular swimming area known as the "Townsend Wye," which is located just inside the park south of Townsend.
- Great Smoky Mountains
- Chilhowee Mountain
- Thunderhead Mountain
- Gregory Bald
- Lake in the Sky
- Look Rock
- Fort Loudoun Lake
- Chilhowee Lake
- Little River
- Little Tennessee River
- Knox County, Tennessee - north
- Sevier County, Tennessee - east
- Swain County, North Carolina - south
- Graham County, North Carolina - southwest
- Monroe County, Tennessee - southwest
- Loudon County, Tennessee - west
National protected areas
- Appalachian Trail (part)
- Foothills Parkway (part)
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (part)
State protected areas
- Foothills Wildlife Management Area
- Sam Houston Schoolhouse (state historic site)
- Kyker Bottoms Refuge
- Tellico Lake Wildlife Management Area (part)
- Whites Mill Refuge
|U.S. Decennial Census
|Black or African American (non-Hispanic)||3,552||2.63%|
|Hispanic or Latino||5,709||4.22%|
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 135,280 people, 50,813 households, and 35,299 families residing in the county.
Blount County is served by the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency's Public Transit system. ETHRA operates in about sixteen counties in eastern Tennessee, and is headquartered in the nearby city of Loudon. The service offers residents of any of the counties covered by ETHRA door-to-door pickup transportation across its service area by request only. ETHRA provides a large variety of services in Blount County and other parts of East Tennessee.
TYS, McGhee Tyson Airport
- Interstate highways
- Interstate 140 (Pellissippi Parkway)
- U.S. highways
- US Route 129 (Airport Hwy, Alcoa Hwy, Hwy 411 South & Calderwood Hwy)
- US Route 321 (Lamar Alexander Pkwy & Wears Valley Road)
- US Route 411 (Broadway Ave & Sevierville Road)
- US Route 441 (Chapman Highway)
- State highways
- Tennessee State Route 33 (Old Knoxville Hwy, Broadway Ave & Hwy 411 South)
- Tennessee State Route 35 (Sevierville Road, Washington Street & North Hall Road)
- Tennessee State Route 72
- Tennessee State Route 73 (Lamar Alexander Pkwy & Wears Valley Road)
- Tennessee State Route 115 (Airport Hwy, Alcoa Hwy, Hwy 411 South & Calderwood Hwy)
- Tennessee State Route 162 (Pellissippi Parkway)
- Secondary Routes
- Tennessee State Route 71 (Chapman Highway)
- Tennessee State Route 73 Scenic (Lamar Alexander Pkwy & Little River Road)
- Tennessee State Route 333 (Topside Road, Louisville Road, Quarry Rd & Miser Station Road)
- Tennessee State Route 334 (Louisville Road)
- Tennessee State Route 335 (William Blount Drive, Hunt Road & Old Glory Road)
- Tennessee State Route 336 (Montvale Road, Six Mile Road & Brick Mill Road)
- Tennessee State Route 429 (Airbase Road)
- Tennessee State Route 446 (Foothills Mall Drive)
- Tennessee State Route 447
- US Park Service Roads
- Foothills Parkway
- Little River Road
- Laurel Creek Road
- Cades Cove Loop Road
In addition to the federally operated Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which draws many visitors to the county each year, Blount County operates numerous smaller community parks and recreation centers, primarily in the cities of Alcoa and Maryville. Some of these facilities include:
- Amerine Park (Maryville)
- Bassell Courts (Alcoa)
- Bicentennial Park (Greenbelt)(Maryville)
- Eagleton Park (Maryville)
- Everett Athletic Complex (Maryville)
- Everett Park/Everett Senior Center (Maryville)
- Howe Street Park (Alcoa)
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center (Alcoa)
- Louisville Point Park (Louisville)
- Oldfield Mini Park (Alcoa)
- Pearson Springs Park (Maryville)
- Pole Climbers Athletic Fields (Alcoa)
- Rock Garden Park (Alcoa)
- Sandy Springs Park (Maryville)
- John Sevier Park/Pool (Maryville)
- Springbrook Park/Pool (Alcoa)
- Richard Williams Park (Alcoa)
An integral part of keeping the parks, and other parts of Blount County beautiful, is the organization called Keep Blount Beautiful. This organization works in coordination with other companies including The City of Alcoa Residential Recycling Pick Up Service and Blount County HGS Trash and Recycling Same Day Residential Pick Up Service, as well as many other recycling resources in Blount County, to work towards the community goals of reducing air, water, and land pollution in order to reduce particulate matter and smog, and to improve the overall health of local parks and preserved ecosystems in Blount County, as well as surrounding areas, of East Tennessee. These organizations and companies are appreciated by thousands of East Tennesseans due to their honorable work in the Blount County Community.
- Maryville (county seat)
- Vonore (partial)
- Eagleton Village
- Seymour (partial)
- Clover Hill
- Cold Springs
- Dry Valley
- Happy Valley
- Kinzel Springs
- Laws Chapel
- Old Glory
- Six Mile
- Top of the World
Most of the early European-American settlers were of little means; they were subsistence farmers throughout the early years of the county's establishment. The first industry to make its mark on Blount County, as in other neighboring counties, was that of lumber.
It was the massive development of this industry in the mountains of east Blount that, in part, led to the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It includes the southeastern portion of the county. Today manufacturing has replaced lumber in importance, with over 100 manufacturing plants located in the county.
Denso Manufacturing Tennessee Inc., a division of Denso Global, is the county's largest employer, with about 3,000 employees.
Public schools in Blount County are part of the Blount County Schools system, with the exception of schools in the cities of Maryville and Alcoa, both of which operate separate, independent school systems. Private schools located in the county include: Maryville Christian School; Montessori Middle School (opening in 2009); New Horizon Montessori School and Clayton-Bradley STEM school (2013).
Blount County is home to two post-secondary educational institutions: Maryville College, a Presbyterian-related, liberal arts college, founded in 1819 in downtown Maryville, and a satellite campus of Knoxville-based Pellissippi State Technical Community College, referred to as Pellissippi State Technical Community College, or P.S.T.C.C., Blount County Campus.