Signal Mountain

Signal Mountain

March 31st, 2013 in Fyi Chattanooga

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

• Location: A town on the southern end of the Cumberland Plateau overlooking the Tennessee River Gorge.

• Geographic area: 7.6 square miles.

• Population: 7,544.

• Date founded: April 4, 1919.

• History: The town is named for Signal Point, an overlook used by American Indians and later employed by Union troops during the Civil War to send messages and observe activity along the Tennessee River. Signal Mountain was later founded as a resort community in the 19th century where Chattanoogans could escape the cholera and yellow fever epidemics and enjoy cooler weather during the summer.

• Government: Council-manager form of government: Mayor Bill Lusk, Vice Mayor Susan Robertson, Councilwoman Annette Allen, Councilman Bill Wallace and Councilman Dick Gee.

• Schools: Thrasher and Nolan elementaries, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, Signal Mountain Christian School.

• Median income: $96,500, and 68 percent of residents have college degrees.

• Landmarks or features: There are about 18 miles of trails that are used for hiking, trail running and biking that connect through Shackleford Ridge Park and Prentice Cooper State Forest as well as town parks. Outdoor enthusiasts also enjoy Rainbow Lake, which was part of an attraction at Signal Mountain Inn in 1913. The town offers more than 600 acres of land designated as horticultural parks, scenic parks, wilderness parks and natural areas.

• Annual traditions: At James Park an annual Christmas Train Celebration is held each year. The town also observes a National Day of Prayer at Town Hall.

• Fun fact: Signal Mountain Playhouse presents two plays each year, one of which is a summer outdoor musical.

• Most famous residents: Poet Emma Bell Miles (1879-1919); award-winning children's author William O. Steele (1917-1979).

"I think it's the degree to which people volunteer their time and talent that makes Signal Mountain such a great place to live. People shelve books in the library, make copies for classroom teachers, do home repairs for the elderly, build stage sets, work on town boards, organize food drives, build trails. ... The list is endless and extraordinary."

- Annette Allen, Signal Mountain councilwoman