Sullivan County, Tennessee facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|County of Sullivan|
Sullivan County Courthouse in Blountville
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
|Named for||General John Sullivan|
|• Total||430 sq mi (1,100 km2)|
|• Land||413 sq mi (1,070 km2)|
|• Water||16 sq mi (40 km2) 3.8%%|
|• Density||379/sq mi (146/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Sullivan County is part of the Kingsport–Johnson City–Bristol, TN-VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Kingsport–Johnson City–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area, commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.
Sullivan County was created in 1779 from a portion of Washington County, and named for John Sullivan, a general in the Revolutionary War. Long Island of the Holston in Kingsport had been an important landmark for the Cherokee. The island was the site of Fort Robinson, constructed in 1761 following the fall of Fort Loudoun further to the south, making the Sullivan area one of the earliest settled areas of Tennessee.
Sullivan County was one of the few East Tennessee counties to support secession on the eve of the Civil War. In Tennessee's June 1861 referendum, the county voted 1,586 to 627 in favor of secession.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 430 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 413 square miles (1,070 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2) (3.8%) is water. The western portion of the county lies within the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, which are characterized by long, narrow ridges roughly oriented northeast-to-southwest. The northeastern end of Bays Mountain, part of the Ridge-and-Valley range, rises southwest of Kingsport. The eastern portion of the county lies within the Blue Ridge Mountains. Holston Mountain, which at 4,284 feet (1,306 m) is the highest point in Sullivan, straddles the county's eastern boundary with Johnson County.
In Kingsport, the South Fork Holston River and the North Fork Holston River join to form the Holston River, one of the tributaries of the Tennessee River. The Watauga River, a tributary of the South Fork Holston, forms part of Sullivan's boundary with Washington County to the south. The North Fork Holston forms part of Sullivan's boundary with Hawkins County to the west. Fort Patrick Henry Dam and Boone Dam both create large artificial lakes along the South Fork Holston southeast of Kingsport.
Blountville, Sullivan's county seat, is Tennessee's only unincorporated county seat.
Morrell Cave (also known as Worleys Cave) is a Tennessee State Natural Area. The cave has a surveyed length of 4.4 miles (7.1 km), making it the second longest cave in East Tennessee and the 177th longest cave in the United States. Morrell Cave is located on the south side of the Holston River, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) east of Bluff City. During the Civil War, the cave was a major source of saltpeter, the main ingredient of gunpowder. Significant evidence of this mining activity remains in the cave, including evidence of large amounts of saltpeter-bearing dirt that were removed, pick marks in the dirt, and an elaborate system of trails used by the miners. Cave historian Marion O. Smith has determined that there were two companies of the Confederate Nitre and Mining Bureau, District No. 7, that were active in Sullivan County.
Adjacent counties and independent city
- Washington County, Virginia (northeast)
- Bristol, Virginia (northeast)
- Johnson County (east)
- Carter County (southeast)
- Washington County (southwest)
- Hawkins County (west)
- Scott County, Virginia (northwest)
National protected areas
- Appalachian Trail (part)
- Cherokee National Forest (part)
State protected areas
- Morril's Cave State Natural Area
- Rocky Mount State Historic Site
- Warriors' Path State Park
Other protected areas
- Bays Mountain Park (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census
|Black or African American (non-Hispanic)||3,197||2.02%|
|Hispanic or Latino||3,548||2.24%|
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 158,163 people, 68,560 households, and 44,284 families residing in the county.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 156,281 people living in the county. 95.5% were White, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 2.2% of some other race and 1.0% of two or more races. 4.8% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
- Bluff City
- Johnson City (mostly in Washington County and a small portion in Carter County)
- Kingsport (partial)
Sullivan County, Tennessee Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.