See Rock City

See Rock City

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Etowah, TN

Etowah is a city in McMinn County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 3,663 at the 2000 census.


Etowah was founded in 1906, primarily as a location for a depot on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad (L&N) line as part of a more direct route between Atlanta and Cincinnati. The etymology of the town name is unclear, but local folklore states that a train crew brought a sign reading "Etowah" from the Etowah River, and the name stuck. The word Etowah comes from the Muskogee/Creek word italwa meaning "town." In 1902, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad announced its plan to build a more direct line from Atlanta to Cincinnati in order to avoid the rugged mountains of North Georgia and East Tennessee bypassing the Great Hiwassee Loop. A point midway between these cities was needed to service cars and change crews, and at the end of 1904, land had been purchased in McMinn County to serve as this site and the city of Etowah was planned. The L & N purchased 1,454 acres (5.88 km2) for the main terminus (depot), maintenance and repair facilities (shops), railroad yards and proposed township to support the railroad workforce. This land was purchased at $10 to $20 per acre and the L&N set about building a major rail center and the town of Etowah.

Out of what was referred to then as a wet swampland, a boomtown sprung up in 1906 with the L & N Depot serving as the hub of the new town's business and social activities. Since then, the City of Etowah has ridden the waves of economic downturns and successes, such as the closing of the L & N shops in the 1930's and the recruitment of new industries, to evolve into the city that it is today. Etowah has seen positive growth in industry and retail over the past decade.


The City of Etowah has a council-manager government. The Mayor sits as a Council member-at-large and presides over City Council meetings. In the event that the Mayor cannot preside over a City Council meeting, the Vice-Mayor is the presiding officer of the meeting until such time as the Mayor returns to his/her seat. The City Manager is responsible for the administration and the day-to-day operation of all of the municipal services and city departments. The City Manager also maintains intergovernmental relationships with federal, state, county and other local governments.

The primary law enforcement agency in the city is the City of Etowah Police Department. The city and the rest of the un-incorporated Etowah area are also under the jurisdiction of the McMinn County Sheriff's Office.

City Council

Jimmy Bull – Mayor (Term Expires in 2016)

Matt Goodin – Vice-Mayor (Term Expires in 2014)

Jim Swain – Commissioner (Term Expires in 2016)

Burke Garwood – Commissioner (Term Expires in 2014)

Dennis Morgan – Commissioner (Term Expires in 2014)

City Administration

Matthew Gravley- City Manager

Jamie Davis- Human Resources Director

April Preston- Finance Director

Leah Tavernese- City Court Clerk

City Services

City of Etowah Police Department- Chief Eric Armstrong

City of Etowah Fire Department- Chief Michael Moore

City of Etowah Public Works Department- Director Billy Ingram

City of Etowah Parks and Recreation Department- Director Brian Silber

City of Etowah Code Enforcement/Building Inspector- Dave Mason


The city includes two K-8 elementary schools located within blocks of each other. Which now also include a Headstart and Pre-K. Mountain View Elementary is part of the McMinn County School System. The other, Etowah City School, is administered by the city of Etowah. The Etowah area high school students are able to attend one of the finest high schools in the state. McMinn Central High School offers countless academic and social opportunities to help young men and women become the leaders of our community tomorrow.


Etowah Depot L&N Depot museum in Etowah, Tennessee

The Historic L&N Depot museum in downtown Etowah is considered by many to be the main attraction in this small town. The historically African-American "Parkstown" neighborhood on the south side of Etowah has also seen renewed interest from tourists in recent years. An obvious presence in Etowah is the Gem Theater. Located in a building originally built in 1927 and purchased by the city of Etowah in 1993 and now is the location of local plays, concerts, movies and other events.


The newest plant (Plant number 6) of the ThyssenKrupp Waupaca corporation is located in Etowah. The plant makes quality grey and ductile steel components that are used in the automotive and farming markets. The foundry makes parts (such as control arms, differential covers and cases, and brake calipers) for the new Ford F-series heavy duty trucks, Dodge Caravan, Hummer H2, GMC Envoy, Chrysler 300C/Dodge Charger, and the Toyota Camry. Etowah also claims two other plants, Johns Manville and Huber, even though neither are actually located in the city limits.

Famous Residents

Tom Saffell, Former major league outfielder.

Jake Tullock, member of Flatt & Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Boys.


City Of Etowah Website

Source: Internet