Signal Mountain

Signal Mountain

March 28th, 2014 in Fyi2014

Location: The town is at the southern end of the Cumberland Plateau on Walden's Ridge and features breathtaking views of the Tennessee River Gorge.

Geographic area: 7.6 square miles

Population: 7,704

Date founded: April 4, 1919

History: The town is named for Signal Point, an overlook used by Cherokee and Creek Indians to signal message. Union soldiers during the Civil War occupied the location and used it to 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 in 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 household income: $81,302 and 63.8 percent of residents have college degrees.

Landmarks or features: More than 600 acres of land designated as horticultural parks, scenic parks, wilderness parks and natural areas are part of the town. Town parks, Shackleford Ridge Park and Prentice Cooper State Forest host miles of trails.

Annual traditions: The town celebrates Arbor Day each year with a tree planting the first Friday of March. There is an annual Christmas Train Celebration held each year at James Park. The town also observes a National Day of Prayer at Town Hall.

Fun fact: The town's oldest retail building, located at 712 Signal Mountain Blvd., was built in 1912 as a commissary for the mountain. Back then, it was known for a pack of yellow cats that each had six toes on its front feet.

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

Julie Novak, a new Signal Mountain resident, said she enjoys the size of the town.

"Just the feeling of being in a small town. ... My kids instantly fell in love with the school," she said.