Bristol, Tennessee facts for kids

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Bristol, Tennessee
City
A sign welcomes visitors to the twin cities of Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee.
A sign welcomes visitors to the twin cities of Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee.
Flag of Bristol, Tennessee
Flag
Nickname(s): The Birthplace of Country Music
Motto: A Good Place To Live
Location of Bristol, Tennessee
Location of Bristol, Tennessee
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Sullivan
Incorporated 1856
Named for Bristol, England
Area
 • Total 29.5 sq mi (76.4 km2)
 • Land 29.4 sq mi (76.1 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 1,676 ft (511 m)
Population (2012)
 • Total 26,675
 • Density 908.2/sq mi (350.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 37617, 37620, 37621 & 37625
Area code(s) 423
FIPS code 47-08540
GNIS feature ID 1327702
Website www.bristoltn.org
Statestreet
State Street separates Virginia (left) and Tennessee (right).

Bristol is a city in Sullivan County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 26,702 at the 2010 census. It is the twin city of Bristol, Virginia, which lies directly across the state line between Tennessee and Virginia. The boundary between the two cities is also the state line, which runs along State Street in their common downtown district. Bristol is a principal city of the Kingsport−Bristol−Bristol, TN-VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City−Kingsport−Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area − commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.

Bristol is probably best known for being the site of some of the first commercial recordings of country music, showcasing Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, and later a favorite venue of the mountain musician Uncle Charlie Osborne. The U.S. Congress recognized Bristol as the "Birthplace of Country Music" in 1998, and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is located in Bristol. Bristol is the birthplace of Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Bristol is also the site of Bristol Motor Speedway, a NASCAR short track that is one of the most well-known motorsports facilities in the country.

History

"Birthplace of Country Music"

Grand Guitar
The Grand Guitar on West State Street.

The U.S. Congress declared Bristol to be the "Birthplace of Country Music", according to a resolution passed in 1998, recognizing its contributions to early country music recordings and influence, and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is located in Bristol.

In 1927 record producer Ralph Peer of Victor Records began recording local musicians in Bristol, to attempt to capture the local sound of traditional "folk" music of the region. One of these local sounds was created by the Carter Family, which got its start on July 31, 1927, when A.P. Carter and his family journeyed from Maces Spring, Virginia, to Bristol to audition for Ralph Peer, who was seeking new talent for the relatively embryonic recording industry. They received $50 for each song they recorded. That same visit by Peer to Bristol also resulted in the first recordings by Jimmie Rodgers.

Since 1994, the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance has promoted the city as a destination to learn about country music and the city's role in the creation of an entire music genre. Currently, the Alliance is organizing the building of a new Cultural Heritage Center to help educate the public about the history of country music in the region.

Every year, during the third weekend in September, a music festival called the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion takes place. The festival is held downtown, where Tennessee and Virginia meet, and it celebrates Bristol's heritage as the Birthplace of Country Music.

Geography

Bristol is located in the northeast corner of Tennessee, at 36°34′9″N 82°11′51″W / 36.56917°N 82.1975°W / 36.56917; -82.1975 (36.569135, -82.197489).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.5 square miles (76.4 km2), of which 29.4 square miles (76.1 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2) (0.44%) is water.

Climate

Bristol features a humid subtropical climate with warm to hot summers and short, chilly winters. Due to the elevation of the city, Bristol does not quite experience the hot summers seen in other parts of the South and its winters are colder than many other cities in the region. Bristol on average sees roughly 40 inches of precipitation per year. Snow does occasionally fall in the city, as the city averages roughly 15 inches of snow annually.

Climate data for Bristol, Tennessee
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
(26.1)
80
(26.7)
85
(29.4)
89
(31.7)
92
(33.3)
97
(36.1)
102
(38.9)
101
(38.3)
100
(37.8)
90
(32.2)
81
(27.2)
78
(25.6)
102
(38.9)
Average high °F (°C) 43.7
(6.5)
48.0
(8.89)
58.9
(14.94)
67.4
(19.67)
75.2
(24)
82.2
(27.89)
84.6
(29.22)
84.1
(28.94)
79.1
(26.17)
69.1
(20.61)
58.2
(14.56)
48.1
(8.94)
66.6
(19.22)
Average low °F (°C) 24.3
(-4.28)
26.8
(-2.89)
35.4
(1.89)
43.0
(6.11)
51.6
(10.89)
59.9
(15.5)
64.1
(17.83)
63.1
(17.28)
56.6
(13.67)
44.2
(6.78)
35.9
(2.17)
28.2
(-2.11)
44.4
(6.89)
Record low °F (°C) -21
(-29.4)
-15
(-26.1)
-2
(-18.9)
21
(-6.1)
30
(-1.1)
38
(3.3)
48
(8.9)
43
(6.1)
34
(1.1)
20
(-6.7)
5
(-15)
-9
(-22.8)
-21
(-29.4)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.37
(85.6)
3.57
(90.7)
3.44
(87.4)
3.33
(84.6)
3.80
(96.5)
3.90
(99.1)
4.69
(119.1)
3.47
(88.1)
2.99
(75.9)
2.10
(53.3)
3.10
(78.7)
3.37
(85.6)
41.13
(1,044.7)
Snowfall inches (cm) 5.2
(13.2)
4.2
(10.7)
2.3
(5.8)
0.4
(1)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.9
(2.3)
2.6
(6.6)
15.6
(39.6)
Source: climate-zone.com

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,647
1890 3,324 101.8%
1900 5,271 58.6%
1910 7,148 35.6%
1920 8,047 12.6%
1930 12,005 49.2%
1940 14,004 16.7%
1950 16,771 19.8%
1960 17,582 4.8%
1970 20,064 14.1%
1980 23,986 19.5%
1990 23,421 −2.4%
2000 24,821 6.0%
2010 26,702 7.6%
Est. 2015 26,666 −0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
2012 Estimate

As of the census of 2000, there were 24,821 people, 10,648 households, and 6,825 families residing in the city. The population density in 2000 was 846 people per square mile (326.5/km²). There were 11,511 housing units at an average density of 392.2 per square mile (151.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.15% White, 2.97% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.68% of the population.

There were 10,648 households out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. Nearly 32% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26, and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 21.1% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,039, and the median income for a family was $37,341. Males had a median income of $28,210 versus $21,173 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,535. About 11.5% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those age 65 or over.

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