McMinnville, Tennessee

McMinnville is the largest city in and the county seat of Warren County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 12,749 at the 2000 census.The 2005 census estimate is 13,242, a change of only +3.9%, making McMinnville one of Tennessee's slowest growing cities. It is the county seat of Warren County. It was named after Joseph McMinn, a governor of Tennessee, in 1810.


McMinnville is located at (35.686708, -85.779309), approximately south of Cookeville and northwest of Chattanooga.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.0 square miles (25.9 km²), all of it land. Elevation is , as it sits near the foot of the Cumberland Plateau and on the Highland Rim.

Nearby cities and towns


As of the census of 2000, there were 12,749 people, 5,419 households, and 3,332 families residing in the city. The 2004 census estimate is 13,108. The population density was 1,273.4 people per square mile (491.7/km²). There were 5,961 housing units at an average density of 595.4/sq mi (229.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.42% White, 4.15% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.93% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 5.00% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.81% of the population.

Reported ancestries include: United States (22.8%), Irish (10.2%), English (7.0%), German (6.5%), Scots-Irish (2.1%), Dutch (1.1%).

There were 5,419 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,810, and the median income for a family was $32,759. Males had a median income of $28,474 versus $20,693 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,074. About 21.0% of families and 24.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.5% of those under age 18 and 19.1% of those age 65 or over.






Local Colleges/Universities




  • Rock Island State Park - Located on the northeastern border with White County. This park includes many hiking trails, is home to TVA's Great Falls Dam, and is world renoun for its white-water rafting.
  • Cumberland Caverns - Cumberland Caverns is Tennessee’s largest show cave. The cave displays some of the largest underground rooms in eastern America, with more than 32 known miles and many more estimated miles of virgin cave. It also features waterfalls, gleaming pools, spectacular formations, and even a ¾ ton chandelier. The historic 1812 saltpeter mine and “God of the Mountain”, an original underground pageant of light and sound, are shown on every tour. Since 1810, Cumberland Caverns has played a major role in events such as the Civil War and the War of 1812. Today, it is a location that families and spelelunkers alike enjoy visiting. Cumberland Caverns offers daily tours from March 1 to October 31. There are also special tours available for large groups.
  • Court Square Park - This park is right in front of the Warren County Courthouse, in downtown McMinnville. This park was a thriving park where all the citizens of McMinnville would come together, let their horses get a drink from the Hebe Statue, which was donated by the Women's League in 1917. Several years later, after the city modernized itself, the park was forgotten. Then in 2006, the State of Tennessee gave each county money to enable them to revitalize their downtown. The city took the money and revitalized downtown and also restored the Hebe Statue, that was rusting, and the Court Square Park. The gazebo that was downtown, was moved to Pepper Branch Park. The city decided to bring back the charm of old McMinnville by adding and restoring the old city fountain, that stood in front of the courthouse, and placing it where the gazebo used to stand.

Places of Interest

  • Falcon Rest - Tour, eat, and shop at the 1896 Victorian mansion called “Tennessee’s Biltmore” by PBS. It was built by Gorilla Pants manufacturer Clay Faulkner, and some say his friendly ghost remains. is open daily from 9-5. Falcon Rest was also called the historic Falcon Manor for many years.
  • McMinnville Opera House - Built in September of 1888, this building was built by black entrepreneur, William Hawchins. The building was built with stores at the first floor, the opera house on the second, and Mr. Hawchins' apartment on the third. This building helped the growth of McMinnville as the town being known as a "Cultural Center". The first silent movie was shown here.
  • Park Theater - This once thriving theater in downtown McMinnville, built in 1932, held 210 people, with one screen. This building was shut down in the late 1980s, due to a contract with the Cumberland Amusment Company. This building is closed, but was bought out by a private group, and is currently being renovated to be a live entertainment center.
  • Blue Building - Former McMinnville City Hall, is located at 211 W. Colville Street. The building was named after former mayor Franklin P. Blue. Through the years, the Blue Building has accommodated several schools and once was the grand home of Col. E.W. Munford. The building housed the city of McMinnville's administrative offices. The McMinnville City Hall is now located atop the Regions' Bank Building downtown.
  • Site of the Southern School of Photography - In 1875, W.S. “Dad” Lively, a McMinnville native, began his photographic career. His studio was located on the 2nd floor in the Lively Building on Main Street. In 1904, where Donnell Street and College Street intersect, Lively opened the Southern School of Photography which closed, due to a fire, in 1928. It was one of the first of its kind in the U.S.
  • McMinnville Civic Center - This multi-use facility is available for daily use and special group events. The Center is also used for conventions, trade shows, and other special events.
  • The Black House - The oldest remaining residence in McMinnville was built in 1825 by Jesse Coffee and was distinct in its time due to its exterior brick construction. The Black House, situated on the southeast corner of Main and High streets in the downtown business district, gained the name by which it is best known through the ownership and occupancy of Dr. Thomas Black and his family.
  • Downtown McMinnville - The Mainstreet McMinnville project has revitalized downtown with the opening of such attractions as the Brady-Hughes-Beasley Photographic Archives and Museum, Southern Museum and Galleries of Photography, Culture and History, and the Warren County Heritage Center and Museum; restaurants Capalano's and New York Grill; Club Manhattan night club; art galleries such as Chole's and The Station Pure Art; and numerous antique shops. During the spring, summer and fall months, visitors are also welcome to attend the Main Street Live events (outdoor concerts) and the Farmer's Market. Be sure to venture to the outskirts of downtown and take a stroll down the Barren Fork Greenway, a wide walkway that connects Riverfront Park and Pepper Branch Park. This is the perfect spot for walking, jogging, bicycling, or leisurely fishing off the piers along the way.


  • Highland Rim Cycling Classic
  • Main Street LIVE! Summer Concert Series
  • Middle Tennessee Nursery Association Trade Show
  • Dottie West Fest
  • Autumn Street Fair
  • Rock Island Sand Bar Arts & Crafts Fair
  • McMinnville Christmas Parade & 5K Reindeer Run
  • Christmas in the Park
  • McMinnville City Triathlon
  • Pork 'N' Bands
  • Farmer's Market

Notable natives and residents


Richard David Martin--businessman & Geologist

External links

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