Local history and information about the city of Signal Mountain, Tennessee


Signal Mountain is located at 35°8′N 85°21′W (35.1291, -85.3424).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 6.7 square miles (17.3 km2), all of it land.


Signal Mountain’s history dates back years before settlement of the mountain itself. Centuries prior to the Civil War, Native Americans used a location on the mountain known as Signal Point to send fire and smoke signals across the Tennessee Valley. Later, the Union Army used Signal Point as a communications station during the American Civil War. At the outbreak of the war, only a few families lived on the mountain. However, when various health epidemics struck Chattanooga in 1873 and 1878, several wealthy families relocated to the mountain where they could find clear air and pure water. In the early 20th century, Charles E. James purchased 4,400 acres (18 km2) of land in the Signal Point area and developed the mountain. In 1913, construction was completed of twelve miles (19 km) of streetcar track, which linked Chattanooga to Signal Mountain. While the streetcars are no longer used, the tracks remain in the streets of Signal Mountain’s historic district named after Velma. On April 4, 1919, the Tennessee Legislature passed the bill that chartered the Town of Signal Mountain. During the 1970s, the town experienced significant growth.[3]

Notable residents


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 7,429 people, 2,924 households, and 2,122 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,112.6 people per square mile (429.4/km2). There were 3,054 housing units at an average density of 457.4 per square mile (176.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.36% White, 0.22% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.35% Asian, and 0.22% from other races.

There were 2,924 households, of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.9% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.4% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.02.

The population of Signal Mountain was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 27.1% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 87.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.3 males.

The median income for a household was $66,900, and the median income for a family was $86,997. Males had a median income of $70,241 versus $30,878 for females. The per capita income for the town was $37,134. About 2.3% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.

Culture And Attractions

Signal Mountain is home to a number of outdoors attractions including the Cumberland Trail, Mabbitt Springs, and Signal Point, which is a U.S. National Park. Visitors and citizens have many different locations to hike and backpack such as Rainbow Lake and Edward’s Point. [1]

The Signal Mountain Playhouse presents 2 plays per year including an outdoor musical every summer in the natural amphitheatre behind the Town Hall. The MACC (Mountain Arts Community Center), located in the historic Signal Mountain Elementary school building, offers classes in all forms of artistic expression including music, dance, and visual arts. There is also a large outdoor public playground and pavilion called The Pumpkin Patch that is open for all to enjoy. Also, Bachman Community Center has many yearly events, as well as a small library and community garden plots. Additionally, the Mountain Opry hosts a weekly bluegrass music show every Friday evening.


  • Elementary Schools: Nolan Elementary, Thrasher Elementary
  • Middle School: Signal Mountain Middle/High School
  • High School: Signal Mountain Middle/High School (opened fall 2008)

Imported from Wikipedia.org