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Tracy City, Tennessee
Tracy City City Hall, November 2014.
Tracy City City Hall, November 2014.
Location of Tracy City, Tennessee
Location of Tracy City, Tennessee
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Grundy
Established 1850s
Incorporated 1915
Named for Samuel Franklin Tracy
 • Total 4.8 sq mi (12.5 km2)
 • Land 4.8 sq mi (12.4 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 1,821 ft (555 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,481
 • Density 309/sq mi (118.5/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 37387
Area code(s) 931
FIPS code 47-74880
GNIS feature ID 1304149

Tracy City is a town in Grundy County, Tennessee, United States. Incorporated in 1915, the population was 1,481 at the 2010 census. Named after financier Samuel Franklin Tracy, the city developed out of railroad and mining interests after coal was found in 1840. In 2010 the people of Tracy City elected a dead man, Carl Robin Geary, as mayor.


See also: Grundy County, Tennessee#History

In 1840 local boys digging a groundhog out of the ground discovered coal. In the early 1870s Tracy City an experimental blast furnace was built by Samuel Jones and owned by the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company. The furnace, called "Fiery Gizzard", was built to see if local coal would be used to produce iron. The furnace made 15 tons of iron before the stovepipe fell on the third day. The former location of the furnace is marked with a historical marker. The coke ovens at Tracy City supplied railroad and industrial fuel and workers and their families moved into the area in great numbers from 1875 until 1900. By 1910 the industry faded due to problems invoked by labor unions and convict labor. Tracy City is also home to the oldest family bakery in Tennessee, Dutch Maid Bakery. In 1987 the coke ovens were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tracy City was incorporated in 1915.

James K. Shook School
Arsonists destroyed Tracy City's James K. Shook School in 1976 after this 1971 photo.

Tracy City has featured prominently in Grundy County's history of arson. Ten buildings in the business district were set alight in 1935. The 100-year-old L&N Depot, 86-year-old James K. Shook School, various waterworks, schools, a lumber yard, and a doctor's clinic were also torched in the 20th century.


Tracy City is located at 35°15′39″N 85°44′30″W / 35.26083°N 85.74167°W / 35.26083; -85.74167. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12 km2), of which 4.8 square miles (12 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.83%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 1,936
1950 1,414
1960 1,577 11.5%
1970 1,388 −12.0%
1980 1,444 4.0%
1990 1,556 7.8%
2000 1,679 7.9%
2010 1,481 −11.8%
Est. 2015 1,440 −2.8%

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,679 people, 712 households, and 474 families residing in the town. The population density was 350.8 people per square mile (135.3/km²). There were 775 housing units at an average density of 161.9 per square mile (62.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.09% White, 0.71% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.30% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.

There were 712 households out of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $23,826, and the median income for a family was $28,864. Males had a median income of $28,563 versus $18,571 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,457. About 17.5% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.6% of those under age 18 and 21.2% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Tracy City serves as the location of the Grundy County Historical Society and Tracy City Library. The city has one art gallery named "The Nature Works"[1] which focuses solely on nature and wildlife. Twelve churches are located in Tracy City, including the Tracy City First Baptist Church, which was founded in 1892.

Parks and recreation

Tracy City is at one end of the Fiery Gizzard Trail, renowned for scenic beauty and diversity.

The town has a road side picnic area and Tracy City Mini Park. The town also has a community center, the Plainview Community Center.

Grudy Lakes State Park is in Tracy City.

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