kids encyclopedia robot

Charleston, Tennessee facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Charleston, Tennessee
Buildings along US-11
Buildings along US-11
Location of Charleston in Bradley County, Tennessee.
Location of Charleston in Bradley County, Tennessee.
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Bradley
Incorporated November 11, 1956
 • Total 1.07 sq mi (2.78 km2)
 • Land 1.04 sq mi (2.69 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.09 km2)
728 ft (222 m)
 • Total 664
 • Estimate 
 • Density 671.48/sq mi (259.31/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code 423
FIPS code 47-13020
GNIS feature ID 1305866

Charleston is a city in Bradley County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 664 at the 2020 census. It is included in the Cleveland Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Charleston was the site of the last Cherokee Agency as well as Fort Cass, the headquarters of the Cherokee Removal of 1838, known as the Trail of Tears. The valley between Charleston and Cleveland, Tennessee was filled for 12 miles (19 km) with internment camps in which thousands of Cherokee from various towns waited during the summer of 1838 for the start of the main trek west (Duncan 2003:261).


Charleston is situated along the south bank of the Hiwassee River, which flows down out of the Appalachian Mountains several miles to the east and empties into the Chickamauga Lake impoundment of the Tennessee River several miles to the west. The river forms the boundary between Bradley County and McMinn County. Calhoun, Charleston's sister city, is situated on the north bank of the Hiwassee, on the McMinn County side.

Charleston is traversed by U.S. Route 11, which enters the city from Calhoun to the north and exits the city en route to Cleveland to the south. Interstate 75, which roughly parallels U.S. 11 in the area, runs along Charleston's western boundary.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), of which 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 5.77%, is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 359
1890 394 9.7%
1960 764
1970 792 3.7%
1980 756 −4.5%
1990 653 −13.6%
2000 630 −3.5%
2010 651 3.3%
2019 (est.) 697 7.1%

2020 census

Charleston racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 425 64.69%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 156 23.5%
Native American 1 0.15%
Asian 4 0.6%
Other/Mixed 49 7.38%
Hispanic or Latino 29 4.37%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 664 people, 307 households, and 199 families residing in the city.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 651 people, 253 households, and 166 families residing in the city. The population density was 651 people per square mile. The housing unit density was 253 units per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 77.27% White, 19.82% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 1.69% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 4.15% of the population.

Of the 253 households, 30.04% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.83% were married couples living together, 11.46% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.32% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.39% were non-families. 30.43% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.86% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.27% under the age of 18, 60.37% ages 18 to 64, and 13.36% age 65 and older. The median age was 38.6 years. 50.54% of the population were females, and 49.46% were males.

The median household income was $34,805, and the median family income was $48,333. Males had a median income of $32,188, versus $30,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,587. About 8.0% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 26.4% of those age 65 and over.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Charleston has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


The city is across the Hiwassee River from a large paper mill operation of Bowater Corporation (Resolute Forest Products) in Calhoun, which is a major local employer. Logging trucks and rail traffic to and from this plant frequently traverse Charleston.

Charleston is the postal address of the international headquarters of the Christian denomination The Church of God, commonly called "The Church of God (Charleston, Tennessee)" to distinguish it from other similarly named denominations. However, the denomination's headquarters are actually located in Cleveland.

Olin Chemical and Lonza, both located on Old Lower River Road in Charleston, make pool chemicals as well as several other products. They employ several hundred people.

GE Lighting (DHL Supply Chain) broke ground right off the interstate in 2007 and employs several hundreds of people, distributing General Electric light bulbs. An Amazon Fulfillment Center, located off the interstate in Charleston, employs several hundred people.

Germany-based chemical company Wacker Chemie broke ground in 2011 on a new solar-grade polysilicon production facility (550-acre Greenfield site). At a cost of $2 billion, 650 new jobs were generated.

kids search engine
Charleston, Tennessee Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.