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Crab Orchard, Tennessee facts for kids

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Crab Orchard, Tennessee
Main Street in Crab Orchard
Main Street in Crab Orchard
Stone Capital of Tennessee
Location of Crab Orchard in Cumberland County, Tennessee.
Location of Crab Orchard in Cumberland County, Tennessee.
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Cumberland
Settled 1780s
Incorporated 1921
Named for Crab apple trees
 • Total 10.94 sq mi (28.32 km2)
 • Land 10.94 sq mi (28.32 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,677 ft (511 m)
 • Total 752
 • Estimate 
 • Density 68.68/sq mi (26.52/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 931
FIPS code 47-17840
GNIS feature ID 1281520

Crab Orchard is a city in Cumberland County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 752 at the 2010 census.


Crab Orchard's position in a gap in the Crab Orchard Mountains made it an early "gateway" to the Cumberland area as early as the late 18th century. Pioneers passing through the area named it for its abundance of wild crab apple trees. In the 1780s, a road was built through the gap to help provide protection for travelers migrating from East Tennessee to the Nashville area.

The historian J. G. M. Ramsey reported several Cherokee, Creek, and Shawnee attacks at "the Crab-Orchard" during a period of heightened tensions between Native Americans and encroaching Euro-American settlers in the early 1790s. Around 1792, a small band of troops led by Captain Samuel Handley was attacked by a mixed group of Cherokee, Creek, and Shawnee at Crab Orchard, ending in Handley's capture. In April 1794, a group of travelers was ambushed by a band of Creeks, killing early Cumberland County settler Thomas "Big Foot" Spencer. A few weeks later, a "Lieutenant McClelland" was attacked and routed by a band of Creeks at Crab Orchard.

Franklin Industrial Minerals mine and plant in Crab Orchard

In the late 18th century, as Cherokee attacks subsided, the Walton Road was built as part of the stage road system connecting the Knoxville and Nashville areas. The road passed through Crab Orchard, bringing a steady stream of travelers and migrants to the area. Around 1800, Sidnor's Inn opened at Crab Orchard, with Bishop Francis Asbury being among its earliest guests. In 1827, Robert Burke, whose wife operated a tavern at what is now Ozone established the Crab Orchard Inn, which would remain open until the early 20th century.

Crab Orchard has given its name to a rare type of durable sandstone found in its vicinity. First used in local structures and sidewalks in the late 19th century, the Crab Orchard stone gained popularity in the 1920s when it was used in the construction of Scarritt College in Nashville. Numerous buildings in Crossville, have been constructed with Crab Orchard stone.

Crab Orchard is also home to a large limestone mine operated by Franklin Industrial Minerals. The mine and its accompanying plant dominate the south side of the Crab Orchard gap along Interstate 40 and US-70.


Crab Orchard is located at 35°54′21″N 84°52′38″W / 35.905965°N 84.877239°W / 35.905965; -84.877239 (35.905965, -84.877239). The town is situated atop the Cumberland Plateau in a gap amidst the Crab Orchard Mountains, a sub-range of the Cumberland Mountains. This gap has long been frequented by travelers between East and Middle Tennessee. Today, both Interstate 40 and U.S. Route 70 pass through Crab Orchard.

Big Rock Mountain (el. 2,703 ft/824m) rises prominently to the north of Crab Orchard. Haley Mountain (el. 2,660 ft/811m) and Black Mountain (2,827 ft/861m) dominate the view to the south. A section of the Cumberland Trail will, when completed, traverse Crab Orchard from north to south.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.1 square miles (29 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1980 1,065
1990 876 −17.7%
2000 838 −4.3%
2010 752 −10.3%
2019 (est.) 751 −0.1%

2020 census

Crab Orchard racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 666 92.5%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1 0.14%
Native American 1 0.14%
Asian 2 0.28%
Other/Mixed 29 4.03%
Hispanic or Latino 21 2.92%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 720 people, 282 households, and 189 families residing in the city.


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

See also

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