big laurel

Carter County, Tennessee

Carter County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2000, the population was 56,742. The 2005 Census Estimate placed the population at 58,865 Its county seat is Elizabethton.

Carter County's boundary with Sullivan County is defined as the ridgeline of Holston Mountain.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles (900 km²), of which, 341 square miles (883 km²) of it is land and 7 square miles (17 km²) of it (1.89%) is water.


  • Watauga Lake
  • Wilbur Reservoir (immediately below the TVA Watauga Dam Lat: 36.3408 Lon: -82.1203]
  • Ripshin Lake (6 km southwest of Roan Mountain Lat: 36.1838646 Lon: -82.1356583)



  • CTF015 Big Laurel Br. Falls 50' lake
  • CTF001 Blue Hole Falls (4) 45' Cherokee National Forest
  • CTF018 Boof Falls? 12' Cherokee National Forest
  • CTF002 Coon Den Falls 50' Cherokee National Forest
  • CTF003 Dennis Cove Falls 25' wilderness
  • CTF005 Firescald Branch Falls wilderness
  • CTF016 Five Eights lake
  • CTF006 Jones Falls 100' Cherokee National Forest
  • CTF007 Laurel Falls 55' wilderness
  • CTF010 Laurel Falls (m) 25' wilderness
  • CTF011 Laurel Falls (u) 25' wilderness
  • CTF014 Mountaineer Falls 20' Cherokee National Forest
  • CTF012 North Fork Stony Creek Falls 30' Cherokee National Forest
  • CTF008 Sally Cove Creek Falls 25'
  • CTF009 Twisting Falls 30' Cherokee National Forest
  • CTF013 Splash Dam Falls? 25' Cherokee National Forest
  • CTF017 Watauga Falls? 18' Cherokee National Forest

Adjacent counties


As of the census of 2000, there were 56,742 people, 23,486 households, and 16,346 families residing in the county. The population density was 166 people per square mile (64/km²). There were 25,920 housing units at an average density of 76 per square mile (29/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.49% White, 1.00% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 0.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 23,486 households out of which 28.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.90% were married couples living together, 11.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.40% were non-families. 26.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county the population was spread out with 21.40% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 25.40% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,371, and the median income for a family was $33,825. Males had a median income of $26,394 versus $19,687 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,678. About 12.80% of families and 16.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.00% of those under age 18 and 16.00% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated places


  • Central Elementary
  • Cloudland Elementary
  • Cloudland High
  • Hampton Elementary
  • Hampton High School
  • Happy Valley Elementary
  • Happy Valley Middle
  • Happy Valley High
  • Hunter Elementary
  • Keenburg Elementary
  • Little Milligan Elementary
  • Range Elementary
  • Unaka Elementary
  • Unaka High
  • Valley Forge Elementary

Early history

As part of North Carolina counties

Watauga Association

Carter County was the first permanent settlement outside the original 13 American colonies. The site of the first majority-rule system of American democracy, known as the Watauga Association, it is named in honor of Landon Carter, son of John Carter, Chairman of the Court as defined by the articles of the Petition. The county seat, Elizabethton, is named for Landon's wife, Elizabeth MacLin Carter.


Carter County was served by the narrow gauge East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (The ET&WNC, nicknamed "Tweetsie") until the line ceased operations in 1950.


External links

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