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Neighborhood: St. Elmo
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Sunday, March 27, 2011    |   
The Incline Railway up Lookout Mountain is St. Elmo’s signature attraction.
The Incline Railway up Lookout Mountain is St. Elmo’s signature attraction.
Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

For years, St. Elmo was known as the home to many who worked in the heavy industries of Chattanooga. It was only a short distance from the strip of foundries that lined South Broad Street and employed thousands. Though some of the businesses have closed, St. Elmo has remained a neighborhood whose residents point to big pluses: being near to downtown while also at the foot of Lookout Mountain.

* Geographic area: From the Georgia border, St. Elmo stretches north along St. Elmo Avenue, including branching streets, until St. Elmo Avenue meets West 37th Street. It is bordered by Seneca Avenue to the east and Lookout Mountain to the west.

* Date founded: 1885.

* Landmarks: Incline Railway up to Lookout Mountain, billed as “the steepest passenger railway in the world,” gives visitors a panoramic view of the area from the top observation deck.

* Most famous residents: Usher, R&B musician; A.M. Johnson, Civil War general and neighborhood founder.

* Historic info: The area was first inhabited by Cherokees, who established a community called Lookout Town at the crossroads of two trails. Though settled, the area remained largely wooded until the development of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in 1890.

* Odd and unique traditions: Running since 1982, St. Elmo has one of the oldest neighborhood associations in all of Chattanooga.

* Schools: Zoned for Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, East Lake Academy and Howard School of Academics and Technology.

* Best-kept secret: St. Elmo is a local historic district, with hundreds of properties listed on the National Register.

* Fun fact: St. Elmo was named after an 1867 novel by Augusta J. Evans Wilson, who thought the views on Lookout Mountain were similar to those of St. Elmo Castle in Naples, Italy.