Home News 9 Tennessee metropolis nicknames and the historical past behind them
News - May 24, 2021

9 Tennessee metropolis nicknames and the historical past behind them



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee is exclusive within the range that stretches between the borders. A lot so, it’s onerous to discover a city that doesn’t have a declare to fame.   

“There’s Center Tennessee, East Tennessee, West Tennessee. No different state has particular divisions,” stated Lee Curtis, Communication and legislative liaison for the Tennessee State Museum. “If you happen to’re from Center Tennessee and also you’re a Tennessean, or when you’re from West Tennessee and also you’re a Tennessean, you say ‘I’m from West Tennessee.’ You simply don’t say I’m from Tennessee.”  

From means up on the foothills, all the way in which all the way down to the valleys, Tennessee’s satisfaction is nice, and so are the cities that make up the state.

The Marble Metropolis 

Knoxville claims the nickname “The Marble Metropolis.” It dates all the way in which again to 1852, when a person named James Stone opened a quarry simply north of downtown Knoxville.    

“If you happen to cross the state line with this Knoxville marble from the quarries from the river, then you definitely’ll discover that the Knoxville marble is within the Nationwide Gallery of Artwork in D.C. – that constructing – [also] the New York State Capitol, Grand Central Station, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington,” Curtis stated.  

Mousetail Touchdown 

Simply as elements of Tennessee stretch out and contact many elements of the nation, simply as many individuals are impressed to return see the state for themselves. One place they received’t discover anyplace else is Mousetail Touchdown State Park in Linden, Tennessee.   

A nickname earned through the Civil Battle when tanneries, or leather-based retailers, had been set on fireplace by Union troopers. 

“There was one tannery particularly that as quickly as they began burning it – it was sort of just like the exodus of mice. The group had been like ‘oh my gosh, take a look at all of the mice,” Curtis stated. 

Years later, the state bought the property, giving it a reputation no customer might overlook.

The Gateway to the South 

Talking of holiday makers, how they enter the state leads to our subsequent nickname. If you happen to’re touring from the north, you’ll most probably drive by Clarksville, often known as “The Gateway to the South.” 

“Years in the past, they felt like ‘wait a minute, we’re the doorway to Tennessee. These coming from the north, they’re going to have to return by Clarksville and we’re the gateway to the south. We’re the gateway to Tennessee,’” Curtis stated. ‘They’re going to return by right here, and we’re going to be these first ambassadors that welcome them to Tennessee.”  

The Athens of the South 

When you get into the center of Tennessee, you may discover our state capitol constructing is formed completely different than most. It’s a tower, not a dome. The explanation ties into why Nashville is named the “Athens of the South.”   

“I don’t suppose lots of people notice that, as a result of all people thinks Athens of the South, oh the Parthenon, the reproduction.” Curtis defined it truly comes from Nashville’s dedication to greater schooling.  

In truth, Philip Lindsley from New Jersey, a former faculty president for the college that grew to become Princeton, got here to Tennessee to assist the struggling Cumberland School. He ended up renaming the college to the College of Nashville. Lindsley was additionally the primary to dub Nashville the “Athens of the South.” 

The Secret Metropolis 

Though Tennessee has many facets to spotlight, one metropolis needed to stay beneath wraps for a few years. Oak Ridge, often known as the “Secret Metropolis,” was developed shortly after the assault on Pearl Harbor.  

“The U.S. Military Corps of Engineers bought 59,000 acres of this space, rural Tennessee, for a top-secret mission, which was going to be identified now immediately because the ‘Manhattan Undertaking,’” Curtis stated. “This was to provide the world’s first atomic weapon to hopefully finish World Battle II.”  

A mission Tennesseans labored onerous to guard. 

“Nobody might know,” Curtis stated. “A whole lot of the folks didn’t even know what jobs they had been doing. Why they had been plugging the wires in. They didn’t even know what it was for.” He continued, “Some folks – after they discovered what that they had carried out – needed to get remedy for it as a result of they realized ‘oh my gosh, we simply helped produce an atomic bomb.’”

Little Chicago 

With nicer climate, you most likely don’t affiliate Tennessee with the town of Chicago. However Johnson Metropolis obtained a style of the Windy Metropolis when Al Capone would cease by on his method to Florida. Throughout the prohibition – rumor has it – townspeople would make alcohol and bootleg it on railways that spanned from the Appalachian Mountains and crossed in Tennessee. Curtis stated Capone additionally reportedly ran a number of speakeasies constructed simply North of Johnson Metropolis.  

The Greatest Little City 

Adamsville could have a inhabitants of fewer than 2,500 folks, however the metropolis boasts about providing “a small city ambiance of realizing and being identified by everybody.” The city is understood for its colleges, church buildings, and trade, which incorporates the greater than 45-acre Adamsville Industrial Park. 

A number of massive names have ties to Adamsville. Former Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton grew up on a farm close to Adamsville. It’s additionally dwelling to one in every of rock ‘n’ roll’s first DJs, Dewey Phillips.  

Curtis’ favourite distinguished determine of Adamsville is Sheriff Buford Pusser, who was portrayed within the Seventies film Strolling Tall. Sheriff Pusser was identified for refusing to hold a gun. As an alternative, he walked tall with a giant stick. A follow he used up till his spouse was murdered. Each are actually buried within the Adamsville Cemetery. 

The Metropolis with Spirit 

Nearly a decade in the past, the folks of Cleveland, Tennessee voted to nickname their city the “Metropolis with Spirit.” In keeping with Curtis, Cleveland’s Chamber of Commerce Vice President Melissa Woody sums up the nickname finest.  

“She’ll inform you that they volunteer for every thing. Their spirit is so excessive. From their faith to their religion, their hope for entrepreneurship, to so many issues that they do in that little city, she stated ‘this city is stuffed with spirit,’” Curtis stated. “So, they actually have gone out and branded themselves as the town with spirit.” 

Music Metropolis 

Imagine it or not, Nashville coined the time period “Music Metropolis” even earlier than the increase of nation music!  

“The Music Metropolis [nickname] began on the previous steam boat with Captain Tom Smith and Ryman and the Gospel and the Fisk Jubilee singers,” Curtis stated. “After which the nation music, Grand Ole Opry simply made it that a lot stronger.” 

However the nickname doesn’t cease there. In keeping with historians, a few years in the past a group of singers from Center Tennessee went to sing for the Queen of England. Apparently the Queen was so impressed she stated “you should come from a music metropolis.” 

Even immediately, musicians and songwriters nonetheless head to Nashville with a dream of creating it massive. Curtis defined Nashville continues to be a metropolis of nice alternative for musicians.

And what in regards to the nickname for the state itself?

The Volunteer State 

Maybe the most effective time period to signify the women and men that make up Tennessee is the nickname you most likely comprehend it finest by – “The Volunteer State.” 

“Most historians take a look at the Volunteer State nickname out of the battle of 1812 when Tennesseans had been referred to as into service and so they responded with an enormous variety of volunteers coming ahead,” stated Gordon Belt with the Tennessee State Libraries and Archives. 

A title that also holds true, greater than 225 years later, particularly when you think about the trials the state has overcome in latest historical past. During the last 12 months, numerous Tennesseans have come collectively to assist restore destruction from the March 3 twister outbreak, battle the COVID-19 pandemic, and most not too long ago assist after the Nashville downtown bombing. There’s no stopping Tennesseans from persevering with to indicate up it doesn’t matter what the following 225 years throw on the Volunteer State.  

This 12 months, Information 2 is bringing you tales on the folks, locations, and occasions which have formed the state with Tennessee 225.



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