All About Whitwell
Located in Marion County, Tennessee, a quaint town once called Cheekville, lies
in the spectacular Sequatchie Valley between the cities of Jasper and Dunlap, and
is bounded on either side by beautiful mountains. Named after a man from Wales,
Whitwell was established in 1877 as a mining community, and was the home of the
largest mine in Marion county. Many immigrants came here from Great Britain and the
surrounding European countries for the opportunity to work in America. The town soon
became a thriving community, growing around the coal mining and coke production done
during that time. Whitwell was the county seat for many years until the new interstate
system was built. The county seat was then moved to Jasper and remains there today.
Whitwell was officially established as The City of Whitwell in 1956.
Many settlers came here because of it's moderate climate, and it was an ideal place
to raise crops and livestock. Farming became the up and coming way to make a living
in Whitwell. By using the railway system which had been established to aid in hauling
coal, you now had a distribution center for crops and a mode of transportation for people.
Slowly, many people's occupations switched from mining to farming as the production of
fossil fuels in the Whitwell area decreased in the mid 1900's.
Still others saw that industries were finding their way into the surrounding towns.
South Pittsburg was beginning to produce steel, hoping to become the South's major
producer of steel and become the "Pittsburgh of the South", thus it's name. Nearby
Chattanooga found itself as a booming industry town. Being perched along the massive
berth of the Tennessee River as well as a popular connection for the railway system,
Chattanooga was growing in just about every industry of the time.
As the focus of the work force moved into other nearby towns, Whitwell soon became
mainly a farming community. But it's beauty and serenity were still unsurpassed and
remains so today. Many people simply could not leave this quaint little community. Today,
we find that people feel Whitwell is still a great place to live and raise their families and
choose to commute into Chattanooga and nearby towns to make a living. This means
that Whitwell has many strong points such as being only 15 minutes from Interstate 24,
35 minutes from Chattanooga, yet in close proximity to hospitals and shopping.
In the Fall enjoy the dramatic colors in the landscape as you visit the Fall Color Cruise
along the beautiful Tennessee River, and in the Spring come visit the world famous
National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, TN.
Whitwell still has that small town hospitality and friendliness. People know their neighbors,
have a strong faith in God and country, sit around the front porch of the grocery store to
gossip, and they take life one day at a time. You can sit in your yard at night, listening
to the crickets and owls while looking up into a spectacular starry night that you just
couldn't appreciate or see under the lights of the big city.
Whitwell even has a "Famous Son", Danny Shirley who is from Whitwell, is the lead
singer of the ever so popular country music band, "Confederate Railroad"!
Look on the Horizon, because there is another Famous Son of Whitwell arisin'!
His name is Arlo Gilliam, so, be sure to go see him play whenever he comes close to
wherever you are!
Whitwell hosts several yearly events in which the community turns out for in droves.
Two of the big events of the year: the almost half century old Labor Day Parade each
and every first Monday of September, which is always the prelude to the spectacular
"Miss Whitwell" Beauty Pageant! Then in the Falltime you can enjoy the the Famous
Ketner's Mill Country Fair. Everyone takes this opportunity to show their community
spirit and enjoy the day.
Also, now known the world over is the Children's Holocaust Memorial and Paper Clip
Project which is on permanent display at The Whitwell Middle School. There has
also been a movie made about this, called 'Paperclips' that portrays how our school's
teachers taught our kids here about the devastation of intolerance.
Another activity that at least 99.99% (the other .01% hasnt been born yet) of the
townsfolk here supports is the local High School football team at Whitwell High School!
They're the proud, the brave, and the fearless Whitwell Tigers!!! You'll find strong
rivalries with schools in nearby towns.
GO BIG RED!!!
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