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Karns, Tennessee
Oak Ridge Highway (TN-62) in Karns
Oak Ridge Highway (TN-62) in Karns
Karns, Tennessee is located in Tennessee
Karns, Tennessee
Karns, Tennessee
Location in Tennessee
Karns, Tennessee is located in the United States
Karns, Tennessee
Karns, Tennessee
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Knox
Named for Thomas Karns
981 ft (299 m)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 865
GNIS feature ID 2804639

Karns is a census-designated place in northwest Knox County, Tennessee, United States, about 11 miles (18 km) northwest of the center of Knoxville.


The community was formerly called Beaver Ridge. However, in 1913 when the first high school building was erected in Karns, the school was named in honor of Professor Thomas Conner Karns (1845–1911), the first Superintendent of Public Instruction for Knox County. Later, in the 1950s, the community voted to officially change its name from Beaver Ridge/Byington to Karns.


Karns is located in Beaver Creek Valley between Beaver Ridge and Copper Ridge, both of which are elongate ridges typical of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians. The center of the community is located at 35°58′55″N 84°06′50″W / 35.98194°N 84.11389°W / 35.98194; -84.11389 (35.982, -84.114). Elevation ranges from about 960 to 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level. Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Clinch River, flows through the community.


Karns has grown from primarily a farming area to a community with a population of over 19,000. Mixed among the remaining farms and pastures are subdivisions, small businesses, schools, and light industry. Industries in the community include Unitrac Railroad Materials, a manufacturer of railroad components. The Karns schools are part of Knox County Schools, and including Karns High School, enroll over 3,700 students from Karns, Ball Camp, Hardin Valley, and Solway. Most people commute to work outside of the community.


Karns is the site of several public schools operated by Knox County Schools. Public elementary schools in the area are Karns Elementary School, Ball Camp Elementary School, Amherst Elementary School, and Hardin Valley Elementary School. Three middle schools, Karns Middle School, Hardin Valley Middle School, and Northwest Middle School include grades 6, 7, and 8. The community's long-time high school is Karns High School. A new high school, Hardin Valley Academy, opened in 2008 to reduce pressure on Karns, Farragut, and Bearden High Schools due to growth in the student population in western Knox County.

In addition, it is the site of Grace Christian Academy, a K-12 private school operated as a ministry of Grace Baptist Church.

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