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Camden, Tennessee
Downtown Camden
Downtown Camden
Location of Camden in Benton County, Tennessee.
Location of Camden in Benton County, Tennessee.
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Benton
Founded 1836
Incorporated 1838
Named for Camden, South Carolina
 • Total 5.68 sq mi (14.70 km2)
 • Land 5.68 sq mi (14.70 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
449 ft (137 m)
 • Total 3,582
 • Estimate 
 • Density 639.77/sq mi (247.02/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 731
FIPS code 47-10560
GNIS feature ID 1305616

Camden is a city in Benton County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 3,582 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Benton County.


Patsy Cline Memorial Camden TN 09
Patsy Cline Memorial at the 1963 crash site near Camden

Native Americans were living in the Camden area as early as the Archaic period (8000-1000 BC). A significant archaeological site has been excavated at nearby Eva (the actual site is now submerged under Kentucky Lake), uncovering evidence of semi-permanent habitation dating back 7000 years.

The first European settlers arrived in the Benton County area around 1818, shortly after (and probably before) the county was purchased from the Chickasaw. Camden has its roots as a stopover along the stage coach route between Nashville and Memphis. Initially known as "Tranquility", the community had attained the name "Camden" by the 1830s, a name influenced by the Revolutionary War-era Battle of Camden. When Benton County was created in 1835, Camden was chosen as the county seat. The City of Camden was officially incorporated in 1838.

It was near Camden where country music stars Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, and Hawkshaw Hawkins lost their lives in a plane crash on March 5, 1963.


Camden is situated along Cypress Creek, near the creek's modern confluence with the Kentucky Lake impoundment of the Tennessee River (the original lower 10 miles (16 km) of the creek were entirely engulfed by the lake with the completion of Kentucky Dam in 1944). The area is characterized by low hills to the north and west and wetlands to the east, the latter of which are largely protected by the Camden Wildlife Management Area.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.7 square miles (14.7 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 176
1860 159 −9.7%
1870 148 −6.9%
1880 200 35.1%
1890 330 65.0%
1900 399 20.9%
1910 692 73.4%
1920 800 15.6%
1930 955 19.4%
1940 992 3.9%
1950 2,029 104.5%
1960 2,774 36.7%
1970 3,052 10.0%
1980 3,279 7.4%
1990 3,643 11.1%
2000 3,828 5.1%
2010 3,582 −6.4%
2019 (est.) 3,632 1.4%

2020 census

Camden racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 3,168 86.23%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 158 4.3%
Native American 10 0.27%
Asian 49 1.33%
Other/Mixed 149 4.06%
Hispanic or Latino 140 3.81%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 3,674 people, 1,516 households, and 759 families residing in the city.

Parks and recreation

William Thompson House
The William Thompson House is one of four sites in Camden listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park, 8 miles (13 km) east
  • Natchez Trace State Park, 17 miles (27 km) southwest
  • Birdsong Resort, Marina, and Campground, 9 miles (14 km) southeast
  • Birdsong Trail Ride
  • Duck River Unit Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, 13 miles (21 km) southeast
  • Patsy Cline Memorial
  • Camden Speedway
  • Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Farm
  • Bargain Highway, where parts of U.S. Route 641 and U.S. Route 70 are transformed into a 30 mi (48 km) yard sale during the Labor Day weekend


Agriculture is important to the economy of Camden and Benton County. Sorghum was once a key crop; the last sorghum processing facility closed in 2001.

Jones Plastic and Engineering operates a 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) facility in Camden.

Camden is a bedroom community for employees of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the DuPont titanium dioxide production plant in nearby New Johnsonville.


Camden is served by the Benton County School System. Schools include:

  • Camden Elementary
  • Camden Junior High School
  • Camden Central High School



  • U.S. Route 70 connects Camden to Nashville to the east and Memphis to the west. It has a business route (US 70 Business) that runs through the center of town while the mainline bypasses Camden to the south.
  • Tennessee State Route 191 connects Camden to Eva and to Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park to the northeast and Interstate 40 to the southeast.
  • U.S. Route 641, which intersects US 70 Business in the western half of Camden and US 70 south of Camden, connects the area with Paris and Kentucky to the north and with I-40 and Parsons to the south.
  • Tennessee State Route 69A begins in Camden at the intersection of US 70 Business and TN 191 and runs north to Big Sandy.

Notable people

  • Willie "Butch" Borchert, member of Tennessee General Assembly
  • Nyman Furr, musician known as "The Tennessee Fiddler"
  • Tanner Hudson, NFL Tight End for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Frank P. Lashlee, member of Tennessee General Assembly
  • Col. Littleton, fashion designer
  • Charles F. Pendleton, awarded a Medal of Honor for his actions in the Korean War

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Camden (Tennessee) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Distinguished Hispanic diplomats
Bill Richardson
Horacio Rivero Jr
Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón
Edward C. Prado
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