South Pittsburg, Tenn.: City Profile

South Pittsburg, Tenn.: City Profile

March 25th, 2012 in Chattanooganow2012

Cedar Avenue is loaded with quaint shops and colorful local people. The Princess Theatre, at center has a major rnovation.

Photo by Ben Benton /Times Free Press.

"It's an historic town with roots that go way back, and the people really do care about each other."

- J.D. Loyd, owner of Loyd's clothing store

Location: On the Alabama border in Southwest Marion County

Size: 5.92 square miles

Population: 2,992

Founded: 1886 and 1899 (separate dates of incorporation)

Government: Mike Killian is mayor. City Commissioners are Debbie Hughes, Gene King, Ronnie Lancaster and Ed Reynolds.

Schools: South Pittsburg Elementary, South Pittsburg High

Attraction: Each April, the town hosts the two-day National Cornbread Festival with contests, music and food featuring the event's namesake.

Place in history: The most notable Civil War war event was the bombing of the Union Army's earthen Fort McCook in August 1862. Fort McCook, which was located at the mouth of Battle Creek near the present-day Sonic Drive-In, was bombarded by heavy artillery for 12 hours on the night of Aug. 27, 1862.

Famous residents: The best-known native is Jobyna Lancaster Ralston, according to the South Pittsburg Historic Preservation Society. She was born in South Pittsburg on Nov. 21, 1899. After her first stage performance as the Prince in "Cinderella" at the town's Wilson Theatre/Opera House, she went to acting school in New York and later performed on Broadway. She also starred in the first Marx Brothers' film, "Humor Risk," and continued acting until 1931, appearing in more than 100 films.