kids encyclopedia robot

Cumberland County, Tennessee facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Cumberland County
Cumberland County Courthouse in Crossville
Cumberland County Courthouse in Crossville
Official seal of Cumberland County
Map of Tennessee highlighting Cumberland County
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Tennessee
Founded November 16, 1855
Named for Cumberland Mountains
Seat Crossville
Largest city Crossville
 • Total 685 sq mi (1,770 km2)
 • Land 681 sq mi (1,760 km2)
 • Water 3.8 sq mi (10 km2)  0.6%%
 • Total 61,145 Increase
 • Density 82/sq mi (32/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 6th

Cumberland County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 56,053. Its county seat is Crossville. Cumberland County comprises the Crossville, TN micropolitan statistical area.


Cumberland County was formed in 1856 from parts of Bledsoe, Roane, Morgan, Fentress, Rhea, Putnam, Overton, and White. During the Civil War, the county was nearly evenly split between those supporting the Union and those supporting the Confederacy.

In 1787, the North Carolina legislature ordered widening and improvements to Avery's Trace, the trail that ran from North Carolina through Knoxville and what is now Cumberland County to Nashville, Tennessee. They raised funds by a lottery and completed a project that built a wagon road. This slightly improved travel, but still required a bone jarring trip. The road was often muddy and crossed stone slabs so that it was only passable in some places on foot. Reportedly wagons could not get down the steep grade at Spencer's Mountain without locking brakes on all wheels and dragging a tree behind to slow the descent. The mountain top was described as "quite denuded of trees."

Cumberland County Courthouse, photographed in 1910

Cumberland County was the site of an important saltpeter mine. Saltpeter is the main ingredient of gunpowder and was obtained by leaching the earth from Grassy Cove Saltpeter Cave. Richard Green Waterhouse settled in this area in 1800. In his "Diary, Journal, and Memoirs" he states that he went with William Kelly into Grassy cove and explored his (Kelly's) saltpeter cave on October 7, 1812.

According to Barr (1961), Dicky Mathews began the manufacture of gunpowder at the cave in 1859. His son was killed by an explosion at Powder House Spring below the cave. This is an exceptionally large cave and evidence of mining extends far from the entrance. The leaching vats were located in a large room near the entrance, but this room is damp and the wooden vats have deteriorated to the point that they are difficult to recognize.

During the 1930s, as part of the New Deal, the federal government's Subsistence Homesteads Division established the Cumberland Homesteads outside of Crossville. The program provided land and houses for 250 impoverished families. Cumberland Mountain State Park was built as part of this project.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 685 square miles (1,770 km2), of which 681 square miles (1,760 km2) is land and 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2) (0.6%) is water. It is the fourth-largest county in Tennessee by area. The county is located atop the Cumberland Plateau. The southernmost of the Cumberland Mountains, known locally as the Crab Orchard Mountains, rise in the northeastern part of the county.

The county is home to a number of karst formations, most notably at Grassy Cove, a large, closed depression located southeast of Crossville. It is 3 miles wide, 5 miles long, and over 1,000 feet deep. All of the water draining into Grassy Cove flows underground through a large cave system and emerges 4 miles southwest at the head of the Sequatchie Valley to form the Sequatchie River.

The Tennessee Divide, where the watersheds of the Cumberland River and the Tennessee River meet, passes through the county. The source of the Caney Fork is located west of the divide, while the source of the Obed River is located east of the divide.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

State protected areas

  • Bledsoe State Forest (part)
  • Catoosa Wildlife Management Area (part)
  • Cumberland Mountain State Park
  • Cumberland Trail (part)
  • Keyes-Harrison Wildlife Management Area
  • Luper Mountain Wildlife Management Area
  • Mount Roosevelt Wildlife Management Area (part)
  • Ozone Falls State Natural Area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 3,460
1870 3,461 0.0%
1880 4,538 31.1%
1890 5,376 18.5%
1900 8,311 54.6%
1910 9,327 12.2%
1920 10,094 8.2%
1930 11,440 13.3%
1940 15,592 36.3%
1950 18,877 21.1%
1960 19,135 1.4%
1970 20,733 8.4%
1980 28,676 38.3%
1990 34,736 21.1%
2000 46,802 34.7%
2010 56,053 19.8%
2020 61,145 9.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2014
USA Cumberland County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid
Age pyramid Cumberland County

2020 census

Cumberland County racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 56,313 92.1%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 299 0.49%
Native American 130 0.21%
Asian 366 0.6%
Pacific Islander 12 0.02%
Other/Mixed 2,089 3.42%
Hispanic or Latino 1,936 3.17%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 61,145 people, 25,801 households, and 17,692 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 56,053 people, 23,791 households, and 16,954 families residing in the county. The population density was 82.3 people per square mile (32.1/km2).

There were 28,151 housing units at an average density of 41.3 per square mile (16.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.08% White, 0.3% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.1% from other races, and 1% from two or more races. 2.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

According to the 2014 American Community Survey the largest ancestry groups in Cumberland County were German (15%), American (14.8%), Irish (12.9%), and English (11.8%).

There were 23,791 households, out of which 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.4% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.7% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were one-person, and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.72.

The population was distributed by age as follows, with 19.1% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 20% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 26% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48.3 years. For every 100 females there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.

According to the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the county was $30,901, and the median income for a family was $35,928. Males had a median income of $26,559 versus $20,644 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,808. About 11.10% of families and 14.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.80% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


The Cumberland County School District oversees two high schools, nine elementary schools, and one charter school. Schools include Cumberland County & Stone Memorial High Schools.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Cumberland (Tennessee) para niños

kids search engine
Cumberland County, Tennessee Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.