See Rock City

See Rock City

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jellico, TN

Marker at Tennessee-Kentucky state line in Jellico

Jellico is a city in Campbell County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 2,448 at the 2000 census.


The city is situated amidst the Cumberland Mountains in the Elk Creek Valley, which runs perpendicular to the Tennessee-Kentucky state line. Jellico spans the western bases and slopes of three steep hills that split the Elk Creek Valley from the larger Clear Fork Valley to the east. A prominent knob known as Indian Mountain rises nearly 1,000 feet (300 m) above Jellico to the west, and is visible from most of the city. The larger Jellico Mountain dominates the area beyond Indian Mountain to the west, and Pine Mountain dominates the area beyond the Clear Fork Valley to the east.

Indian Mountain viewed from Jellico

Jellico is centered around the junction of U.S. Route 25W (North Main Street and 5th Street), which connects Jellico to Interstate 75 to the southeast and Corbin, Kentucky to the north, and Tennessee State Route 97 (South Main Street), which connects Jellico with Huntsville to the southwest. The Tennessee-Kentucky state line forms Jellico's official northern boundary, although houses and businesses associated with the city are on both sides of the border.


North Main Street

The name "Jellico" is a regional corruption of "Angelica", an herb that grows in abundance in the surrounding mountains. The name was first applied to the mountains to the west and to the mountains' main drainage, Jellico Creek, which empties into the Cumberland River near Williamsburg, Kentucky. In the early 1880's, a high quality bituminous coal was discovered in the Jellico Mountains, and with the completion of railroad tracks to the area in 1883, coal mines quickly sprang up throughout the area. The city of Jellico was initially founded as Smithburg in 1878, but changed its name to "Jellico" in 1883 to capitalize on the growing popularity of Jellico coal. The city was incorporated on March 7, 1883.

Railroad tracks in Jellico

Throughout the 1890's and early 1900's, Jellico was one of the most productive coal fields in Kentucky and Tennessee. In 1906, a railroad car packed with dynamite exploded in Jellico, killing eight and destroying part of the town. The town quickly recovered, however, and many of the buildings in the Main Street area date from this recovery period. In 1999, much of North and South Main Street was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Jellico Commercial Historic District.


Jellico Community Hospital is the largest employer with approximately 350 employees.

On October 18, 2012, WATE television reported that Jellico was "broke" and that "city employees had not been paid."

Notable People

Grace Moore monument at Veterans Memorial Park

Jellico was the childhood home of Grace Moore, soprano star of opera, musical theatre, and film.

External Links

Indian Mountain State Park

Jellico, Tennessee at the Open Directory Project

Jellico, Tennessee — official site

Jellico Photo Album — old and recent photographs of Jellico

The History of Jellico

Source: Internet