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Maryville, Tennessee
City
Skyline with Greenbelt Park below
Skyline with Greenbelt Park below
Motto: "People are the Key"
Location of Maryville, Tennessee
Location of Maryville, Tennessee
U.S. Census map
U.S. Census map
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Blount
Settled 1785
Incorporated 1795
Named for Mary Grainger Blount
Area
 • Total 16.8 sq mi (43.5 km2)
 • Land 16.8 sq mi (43.5 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 940 ft (290 m)
Population (2014 est.)
 • Total 28,329
 • Density 1,661/sq mi (641.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 37801-37804
Area code(s) 865
FIPS code 47-46380
GNIS feature ID 1292868

Maryville is a city and the county seat of Blount County, Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. Maryville's population was 27,465 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Knoxville Metropolitan Area.

Maryville has received a number of accolades for its quality of life. Maryville is a short distance from popular tourist destinations such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Dollywood, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge.

History

When the first Euro-American explorers arrived in the area, they found the Great Indian Warpath, which ran along the route where the modern US-411 has been built. It was long used by the indigenous peoples of the area. A historic Cherokee village known as "Elajay" was situated at the confluence of Ellejoy Creek (named after the village) and the Little River. Its site was near the modern Heritage High School. Ensign Henry Timberlake passed through the village in 1762 while returning from his expedition to the Overhill villages to the west. He reported that it had been abandoned.

Fort-craig-maryville-tennessee
Monument marking the spring that once supplied water to Fort Craig

In 1785, Revolutionary War veteran John Craig built a wooden palisade enclosing cabins at what is known as Fort Craig (or Craig's Station) at present-day Maryville. Such stations were built throughout the frontier to defend settlers against attacks from the Cherokee. "On April 11, 1793, when settlers believed Indian attacks were imminent, 280 men, women, and children gathered in small huts at John Craig's station on Nine Mile Creek."

Craig donated 50 acres (20 ha) next to his fort for the founding of a new town. Incorporated as a city on July 11, 1795, the settlement was named in honor of Mary Grainger Blount, wife of the territorial governor William Blount. Blount County was named after him.

The family of Sam Houston moved to Maryville from Virginia in 1808, when Houston was 15. His older brothers put him to work as a clerk in a store they established in town, but he ran away. Houston lived for a few years with the Cherokee at Hiwassee Island, on the Hiwassee River, where he became fluent in their language and appreciative of their culture. After his return to Maryville about 1811, Houston started a one-room schoolhouse. He signed up for the army during the War of 1812 and rose rapidly in rank, beginning his military and political career. The schoolhouse still stands just off US-411 near the community of Wildwood.

Sam-houston-school-maryville
Sam Houston Schoolhouse in Maryville

Maryville was a center of abolitionist activity throughout the early 19th-century; it was generated mostly by the Society of Friends, which had a relatively large presence in Blount County. They were supported by anti-slavery advocates such as Isaac L. Anderson, the founder of Maryville College. When Tennessee voted on the Ordinance of Secession in 1861, only 24% of Blount Countians voted in favor of seceding from the Union.

Although staunchly pro-Union throughout the Civil War, Maryville was not liberated by federal troops until May 1864. In August of that year, a Confederate cavalry raid, under the command of General Joseph Wheeler, attacked the courthouse where the Union troops had taken shelter. To try to dislodge the federal soldiers, Confederates set fire to several buildings, including a store where the city's records were being kept. Polly Tool, an African-American slave, rescued most of the records. She was honored by a statue in the Blount County courthouse. In the Reconstruction Era Maryville became a hub of Radical Republican activity for East Tennessee. Its local Union League provided a lively forum for political discussion, and the Freedmen's Normal Institute was established on the present-day site of Maryville High School. The city elected W. B. Scott, the country's second African-American mayor, in 1869.

In the 1970s, after several department stores and other retailers moved from the downtown area to Alcoa's Midland shopping center, the city spent $10 million on a renewal project called "Now Town". Traffic was re-routed, facades were placed on old buildings, slums were cleared, and the Bicentennial Greenbelt Park was created. The project failed to attract business back to the downtown locations; instead retailers moved to the new Foothills Mall a few years later. The downtown area remained in decline until the 2000s (decade), when the city agreed to reverse many of the "Now Town" changes.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander was born in Maryville in 1940. Alexander served as Governor of Tennessee from 1979–1987 and Secretary of Education (1991–1993) under President George H. W. Bush. He ran unsuccessful campaigns for president in 1996 and 2000, both times announcing his candidacy for the Republican Party from his hometown of Maryville. In 2002, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, succeeding Fred Thompson.

On July 2, 2015, a freight train carrying hazardous materials went off of its tracks Over 5000 citizens were displaced from their homes within a two-mile (three kilometer) radius.

In 2016, an LGBT center opened in Maryville. A prior center had opened but later moved to Alcoa, Tennessee.

Geography

Greenbelt-park-bridge-tn1
Greenbelt Park

Maryville is located in north-central Blount County at 35°44′59″N 83°58′33″W / 35.74972°N 83.97583°W / 35.74972; -83.97583 (35.749857, -83.975805), in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Chilhowee Mountain, the outermost ridge of the Western Smokies, rises prominently to the south. Chilhowee's eastern flank— known locally as "The Three Sisters"— is visible from almost anywhere in the city, and dominates the southern horizon along US-321 between Maryville and Walland. Maryville is bordered on the north by Maryville's twin city, Alcoa. A number of small suburbs— including Wildwood, Ellejoy, and Clover Hill— surround Maryville to the east and west.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.8 square miles (43.5 km2), all land.

Major streets

  • Broadway, the main street of the downtown area, is an alignment of U.S. Route 411 and partly of U.S. Route 129. It continues to Sevierville to the east and Monroe County to the west.
  • Lamar Alexander Parkway, an alignment of U.S. Route 321, continues to Lenoir City to the west and Townsend and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the east.
  • Maryville-Alcoa Bypass, an alignment of U.S. Route 129 and part of the primary route between Maryville and Knoxville
  • Montvale Road (State Route 336)
  • Morganton Road, which runs parallel to US-411, connects Maryville to Greenback and the old Morganton area to west.
  • Cusick Street crosses Broadway at the center of the downtown area. It extends north through Alcoa toward Louisville.
  • Washington Street (State Route 35)

Parks

BiCen Park Sign
Bicentennial Greenbelt Park sign
  • Maryville Alcoa Greenway
  • Bicentennial Greenbelt Park
  • Amerine Park
  • Everett Park
  • John Sevier Park
  • Pearson Springs Park
  • Sandy Springs Park

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 513
1860 493 −3.9%
1870 811 64.5%
1880 1,098 35.4%
1890 1,686 53.6%
1910 2,381
1920 3,739 57.0%
1930 4,958 32.6%
1940 5,609 13.1%
1950 7,742 38.0%
1960 10,348 33.7%
1970 13,808 33.4%
1980 17,480 26.6%
1990 19,208 9.9%
2000 23,120 20.4%
2010 27,465 18.8%
Est. 2015 28,464 3.6%
Sources:

As of the census of 2010, there were 27,465 people, 10,712 households, and 7,028 families. The population density was 1,634.8 people per square mile (631.2/km²). There were 11,679 housing units at an average density of 637.6 per square mile (246.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.0% White, 3.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.55% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.2% of the population.

There were 10,712 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 29.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city, the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 20 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.1 years. For every 100 females there were 88.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,394, and the median income for a family was $61,227. Males had a median income of $31,478 versus $20,418 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,579. About 9.0% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.3% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.

Climate

Average temperatures in July range from 69 degrees low to 87 degrees high. Average temperatures in January range from 29 degrees low to 46 degrees high. Most of the year is very pleasant with mild temperatures.

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