Chattanooga was founded in 1839. It ranks as one of the best cities in the country to live; it offers not only safety and security but also a meaningful history behind its modern façade.
Below are some of the things that make Chattanooga a famous city.
What is Chattanooga Known For?
1. Confederacy and Civil War
Chattanooga is a place where a decisive battle happened during the American Civil war. The Union won the battle, and the town was at the hands of the Union in the aftermath.
The Battle of Chattanooga occurred from November 23 to 25, 1863. The area was strategic as it had railroad junctions necessary to supply an army.
The Federal Forces defeated the Confederates in the Lookout Mountains, and the latter retreated into Georgia.About 13,000 lives were lost in that battle, and the ratio of loss between the two forces was about 50-50.
2. 1867 Flood
The Great Flood of 1867 is one of the events that make Chattanooga famous.
The flood occurred in March of the same year, and the Tennessee River began to rise at a fast rate of one foot per hour. Although Chattanooga is a place where flood was expected, this flood was not normal.
At the second day of the flood, it destroyed the Meigs Military Bridge. By the fourth day, the highest ground was also underwater.
The flood was so great that the Tennessee River crested 58 feet higher than its normal level. The flood was caused by heavy rains. After this flood, residents raised the city’s street level by one floor.
3. The Chatype
Chattanooga is famous because it has its own font or typeface called Chatype.
The font is a geometric serif type of font designed in 2012, and the design was made specifically for the city.
The designer was Robbie de Villiers ad Jeremy Dooley.
4. The First Patented Mini Golf Course
Chattanooga is where the fun version of the mini golf was born. In history, the minigolf has been arounds since the late 1800s. The original minigolf was from Scotland.
Chattanooga is not the origin of the minigolf itself. However, it was Garnet Carter who created the Tom Thumb in 1928 and patented the sport.
Tom Thumb is how they referred to the minigolf in reference to the iconic fictionalcharacter in children’sfairy tales.
The earliest tournaments or competitions for the mini golf happened in the US. At that time, the finals happened in Chattanooga in the Lookout Mountain.
5. Lookout Mountain Flight Park and Training School
Chattanooga is famous because it is home to one of the best fight schools for hang gliding, paragliding, and also flying.
The Lookout Mountain Flight Park and Training School is the biggest hang-gliding school in the country.
The training school has a state-of-the-art facility, they have over 40 years of excellent curricula. What makes it better is the scenic view of the Lookout Mountains. The school offers a 65-foot training hill, and mountain 1,400 feet of launch.
Of course, learning how to fly is costly, but then one would get the best education from this institution—they offer classes for all levels of paragliders and hang gliders.
6. The Chatanooga Choo Choo
Chatanooga is famous because of a song called the Chatanooga Choo Choo.
The song was released in 1941 by Mack Gordon. Below are some details about it:
- Writer: Mack Gordon
- Composer: Harry Warren
- Band: Glen Miller and His Orchestra
The creators wrote the song for a movie, the Sun Valley Serenade. It became a top-selling hit of the early years of the Second World War. The song sold 1.2 million copies.
The song was inspired by a train that traveled from Cincinnati to Chattanooga.
7. The Moonpie
The Moon Pie, which people now spell as the MoonPie, without a space, is a popular confectioner’s food in the United States.
If is made of two graham cookies with a marshmallow filling. Then, it gets a coating of something sugary, mostly chocolate.
Chattanooga is associated with this food because it is Chattanooga Bakery makes them. The southern snack has been around since 1917.
According to legends, the name moon pie came from a traveler named Earl Mitchell. One coal miner told Earl wanted a graham cracker with marshmallows as big as the moon. The name stuck and that is how the snack has been called ever since.
8. The First Tow Trucks
Chattanooga is famous because the first tow truck was invented here. Ernest Holmes was the inventor, and he launched the invention in 1916.
What he did was to attach a rigging system to a Cadillac. From here, the automotive industry gave birth to the towing and recovery vehicles popular today.
At that time, it was not called a tow truck, but The Wrecker. It had a lifting jib. Ernest got inspired to build one because one day, he needed dix men to pull a car out of a creek. He saw the need for a machine that could pull cars and made one. He manufactured the two trucks after improving on the first design.
9. First and Largest Military Park
The Chickamauga & Chattanooga Military Park was the first of its kind.
Authorized in 1890, it has over 9,000 acres of forests, monuments, and battlefields. It has historic landmarks where one can revisit actual war sites.
During the American Civil War, about 100,000 men fought in this area. They fought for the control of the entry to the deep south. Today, one can see cannons in the military park.
You can go up the mountains to see the exact spots where the soldiers fired these cannons.
10. Jack Daniel’s Distillery
The Jack Daniel’s liquor brand originated in Chattanooga. It is the oldest distillery in the country, and every drop of Jack Daniels whiskey comes from this site.
Back in 1816, a man established what is now known as Ross’s Landing. By the 1900s, Chattanooga became a distilling hub. There were 30 distilleries at that time,but the prohibition began.
The Jack Daniel distillery was founded in 1866 before the prohibition. It was the first registered distillery in the country. The founder, Jack Daniel, was the Master Distillery.
11. Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith was one of the most famous blues singers, and she hails from Chattanooga. In her career, she made 160 recordings. She died in 1937.
Today, Bessie Smith is an icon, and there is a museum in Chattanooga dedicated to her name.
The Bessie Smith Cultural Center is dedicated to celebrating not only Bessie’s life, but also the tradition and history of the blues, jazz, and art.
12. Lynching of Ed Johnson
Chattanooga is famous of one dark incident that happened in the city in 1906. On March 19 of the same year, Ed Johnson was murdered by a mob.
Ed was sentenced to death because of rape. However, the Justice at that time, John Marshall Harlan, issued a stay of execution. It was this announcement that angered people. To prevent any delay, the mob broke into the jail, took Ed, and lynched him on the Walnut Street Bridge.
Then President Theodore Roosevelt made it a goal to incarcerate the members of the mob. He directed the Secret Service to participate in the investigation.
The problem with this case is that the rape victim, Nevada Taylor, never swore in court that Ed was the perpetrator of the crime.
13. Modern Celebrities: Usher and Samuel Jackson
Although Usher was born in Texas, he grew up in Chattanooga. Usher said that he started dancing in the streets of the city, and it is where he developed his style.
Back in 2016, Usher paid a visit to his alma-mater, the Dalewood Middle School. He also encouraged the locals to make donations for art supplies. In exchange, they get a chance to win a ticket to his concert.
Samuel Jackson, another celebrity, also grew up in Chattanooga. He stayed in the city in the 1950s where he experienced segregation. He attended the East Fifth Street School and he spent most of his time with his aunt, who was a teacher.
14. Riverbend Festival
Chattanooga is also famous for the Riverbend Festival, which has been an annual event for 39 years now.
The Riverbend Festival is a music fest. It was named after the ben in the Tennessee River.
The first one was organized in 1982, and it used to be a five-day event. Today, the festival lasts for three days.
15. Fast Internet Speeds: EPB’s Network
Chattanooga has one of the fastest internet speeds in the world. The reason behind all this is the fiber-optic network that the EPD installed. The EPB is owned by the government.
Today, residents of the city enjoy speeds of 1 gigabit per second. They did this to attract new businesses.
The EPB also launched a 25-GB internet service—pretty much unheard of as there are still countries that offer only 30 MB of internet speed.
Chattanooga is an old city, with many colorful events and personalities. It is one of the most scenic cities in the world, and it holds the key to understanding an event that changed American history, the Battle of Chattanooga.
Jason Dempsey is the CEO and Co-Founder of Home City Living. After abandoning the corporate world in order to indulge his wanderlust, Jason founded Home City Living with his partner Rose to create the premier source of travel information and inside local knowledge on the web to help other would-be global explorers and seekers learn to spread their wings and fly.