Kingsport, Tennessee

Kingsport, Tennessee

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Kingsport, Tennessee (King's Port)
settlement_type = City
nickname = The Model City

imagesize =
image_caption =

flag_link =

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in the state of Tennessee

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = Counties
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = Tennessee
subdivision_name2 = Sullivan, Hawkins
established_title = Chartered;
established_title2 = Rechartered:
established_date = 1822
established_date2 = 1917
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Dennis Phillips
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_total_km2 = 116.6
area_total_sq_mi = 45.0
area_land_km2 = 114.4
area_land_sq_mi = 44.1
area_water_km2 = 2.4
area_water_sq_mi = 0.9
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 44905
population_footnotes = []
population_metro = 480091
population_density_km2 = 393.4
population_density_sq_mi = 1018.9
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 36 |latm = 32 |lats = 13 |latNS = N
longd = 82 |longm = 32 |longs = 32 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 369
elevation_ft = 1211
postal_code_type =
postal_code =
website =
area_code = 423
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 47-39560GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1303478GR|3
footnotes =

Kingsport is a city in Hawkins and Sullivan counties in the U.S. state of Tennessee. The majority of the city lies in Sullivan County. The population was 44,095 at the 2000 census.

The name is a simplification of "King's Port," originally referring to the area around Ross's Landing. The city, along with Bristol, Tennessee, and Johnson City, Tennessee, is part of the Tri-Cities, Tennessee/Virginia Metro Area. It is also commonly included in what is known as the "Mountain Empire," which includes a portion of southwest Virginia and the mountainous counties in Tennessee to the east.


The Long Island of the Holston River, today mostly within the corporate boundaries of Kingsport, was an important site for the Cherokee, colonial pioneers, and early settlers. Early settlements at the site were used as a staging ground for people taking the Wilderness Road leading to Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap. First chartered in 1822, Kingsport became an important shipping port on the Holston River. Goods originating for many miles from the surrounding countryside were loaded onto barges for the journey downriver to the Tennessee River at Knoxville. The young town lost its charter after a downturn its in fortunes precipitated by the Civil War. The name "Tennessee" originated from the old Yuchi Indian word, "Tana-see," meaning "The Meeting Place," which refers to The Long Island of the Holston River.

Re-chartered in 1917, Kingsport was an early example of a "garden city," designed by city planner and landscape architect John Nolen of Cambridge, Massachusetts. It carries the nickname The Model City from this plan, which organized the town into areas for commerce, churches, housing, and industry. The result included some of the earlier uses of traffic circles (roundabouts) in the U.S. Kingsport was among the first municipalities with a city manager form of government and a school system built on a model developed at Columbia University. Most of the land on the river was devoted to industry. Indeed, most of Long Island is now occupied by Eastman Chemical Company.


Kingsport is located at coor dms|36|32|13|N|82|32|32|W|city (36.536851, -82.542123)GR|1, at the intersection of U.S. highways 11 and 23. Kingsport is also the starting or ending point of Interstate 26.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 45.0 square miles (116.6 km²), of which, 44.1 square miles (114.1 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.4 km²) of it (2.07%) is water.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 44,905 people, 19,662 households, and 12,642 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,018.9 people per square mile (393.4/km²). There were 21,796 housing units at an average density of 494.6/sq mi (191.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.32% White, 4.22% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.05% of the population.

There were 19,662 households out of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.7% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 20.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,524, and the median income for a family was $40,183. Males had a median income of $33,075 versus $23,217 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,549. About 14.2% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 13.0% of those age 65 or over.


Residents of Kingsport are serviced by the Kingsport City Schools public school system, which operates seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Kingsport is also home to eight private academies.

While no college or university houses its main campus within the city, Northeast State Technical Community College, East Tennessee State University, and University of Tennessee have branch campuses in Kingsport.

Kingsport Police Department

Infobox Police Department
name = Kingsport Police Department

motto =
established = 1917
jurisdiction = City of Kingsport
sworn = 99
non-sworn = 57
stations =
jails = 1
helicopters =
policeboats =
chief = Gail Osborne
sheriff =
commissioner =
supervisor =

Kingsport Police Department is the municipal law enforcement agency for Kingsport, Tennessee. [ [ Kingsport Police Department, Home Page ] ]

The current chief is Gail Osborne. [ [ Kingsport Police Department, History ] ]



As of 2006, The KPD consists of 104 sworn officers, 44 full-time non-sworn officers, and 17 part-time non sworn officers.. [ [ Kingsport Police Department, Annual Report ] ] The budget for 2005 was $8,602,800. [ [ Kingsport Police Department, Budget ] ]

Patrol Division


The KPD has twelve SWAT members that train regularly. KPD SWAT responded to thirteen emergency calls during 2005. [ [ Kingsport Police Department, Swat Team ] ]

Odd History

where a crowd of over 2,500 people (including most of the town's children) assembled in the Clinchfield railroad yard to watch the hanging.


*Pal's Sudden Service, a regional fast-food restaurant chain, opened its first location in Kingsport.

*Eastman Chemical Company is headquartered in Kingsport.


*The vessel SS Kingsport Victory, which later became USNS "Kingsport", was named in honor of the city.

Notable natives and residents

*Lisa Alther, American author, born and grew up in Kingsport
*Edward L. Ayers, Bancroft Prize-winning historian and ninth president of the University of Richmond, raised in Kingsport
*Amy Dalley, country music artist
*Bobby Dodd, College Football Hall of Fame inductee as both a football player (University of Tennessee) and coach (Georgia Institute of Technology)
*Bobby Eaton, professional wrestler
*Cripple Clarence Lofton, noted boogie-woogie pianist and singer, was born in Kingsport.
*Brownie McGhee and Stick McGhee, brothers and blues musicians, grew up in Kingsport and other East Tennessee towns.
*Ken Mellons, country music artist
*John Palmer, former NBC News correspondent, born in Kingsport and a graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School
*John Shelton Reed, William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of North Carolina and noted expert on Southern culture, raised in Kingsport
*Gerald Sensabaugh, defensive back for the NFL team Jacksonville Jaguars
*LeRoy Sprankle, high school multi-sport coach, author, and general manager of the Canton Independents

Local media

* Kingsport Times-News




The state representative for Kingsport is Nathan Vaughn, and the state senator is Micheal R. Williams.


The Kingsport Mets of the Appalachian League, a rookie-level league, play in the city. An affiliate of the New York Mets, the team has competed in the city since 1969, with the exception of 1983.


Further reading

* Long, Howard. "Kingsport: A Romance of Industry." Overmountain Press (October 1993) ISBN 0932807895
* Moore, J.S. "Understanding Apples." Outskirts Press (October 2006) ISBN 1598007467 or ISBN 1598009753
* Spoden, Muriel Millar Clark. "The Long Island of the Holston: Sacred Island of the Cherokee Nation". ASIN: B0006WOGAM
* Wolfe, Margaret Ripley. "Kingsport Tennessee: A Planned American City." University Press of Kentucky (November 1987) ISBN 0813116244

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ : Historical Research Kingsport TN]
* [ Kingsport City Schools]
* [ Kingsport Times-News]
* [ Kingsport Daily News]
* []
* [ Move To Kingsport Official Relocation Guide]
* [ Kingsport Chamber of Commerce]
* [ The Historic Netherland Inn]

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