Dunlap, Tennessee

Coordinates: 35°22′38″N 85°23′18″W / 35.37722°N 85.38833°W / 35.37722; -85.38833
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Dunlap, Tennessee
Location of Dunlap in Sequatchie County, Tennessee.
Location of Dunlap in Sequatchie County, Tennessee.
Coordinates: 35°22′38″N 85°23′18″W / 35.37722°N 85.38833°W / 35.37722; -85.38833
CountryUnited States
Named forWilliam Dunlap, state legislator
 • MayorClint Huth[2]
 • County ExecutiveKeith Cartwright [2]
 • Total10.80 sq mi (27.98 km2)
 • Land10.80 sq mi (27.98 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation712 ft (217 m)
 • Total5,357
 • Density495.88/sq mi (191.46/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code423
FIPS code47-22000[6]
GNIS feature ID1283187[4]

Dunlap is a city in and the county seat[7] of Sequatchie County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 5,357 at the 2020 census and 4,815 at the 2010 census.

Dunlap is part of the Chattanooga metropolitan area.


Dunlap was founded in 1858 as a county seat for Sequatchie County, which had been created the previous year. The city was named for state legislator William Claiborne Dunlap, who played a prominent role in the county's creation. The city's initial 40 acres (16 hectares), which were deeded to the county commissioners by Willam Rankin, were chosen due to their central location within the new county. Dunlap was incorporated as a city in 1941.[8]

Around 1900, the Douglas Coal and Coke Company purchased 14,000 acres (5,700 hectares) of land in the Dunlap vicinity with plans to mine coal and convert the coal into industrial coke. Coke, which is created by heating coal and removing its volatile matter, is used primarily as a deoxidizing agent in the production of pig iron. To convert coal mined on nearby Fredonia Mountain into coke, Douglas built the first of 268 ovens. The company used an incline railway to move the coal from the mountain to the ovens. Although Douglas went bankrupt in 1904, the Chattanooga Iron and Coal Company purchased the ovens, and continued producing coke until 1927.[9] In the 1980s and 1990s, the Sequatchie Valley Historical Association acquired the ruins of the coke ovens and established Dunlap Coke Ovens Park.[10]


Dunlap is located at 35°22′38″N 85°23′18″W / 35.37722°N 85.38833°W / 35.37722; -85.38833 (35.377236, -85.388455).[11] The city is located near the center of Sequatchie Valley, a narrow, 65-mile-long (105 km) valley that slices through the Cumberland Plateau in southeastern Tennessee and northeastern Alabama. The plateau's western Sequatchie Valley escarpment, known locally as "Fredonia Mountain," rises over 1,000 feet (300 m) above the valley just west of Dunlap. The Sequatchie River forms the city's southeastern boundary.

U.S. Route 127 (called "Rankin Avenue" in Dunlap), which traverses much of the Tennessee section of Sequatchie Valley, connects Dunlap to Pikeville and Crossville to the north and Chattanooga opposite Signal Mountain to the southeast. S.R. 28, which intersects with U.S. 127 in Dunlap, connects the city to Jasper to the southwest. S.R. 111, which intersects US 127 a few miles north of Dunlap, connects the city to Chattanooga to the southeast and Spencer atop the plateau to the west.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22 km2), all land.


Historical population

2020 census[edit]

Dunlap racial composition[14]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 4,719 88.09%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 32 0.6%
Native American 17 0.32%
Asian 29 0.54%
Pacific Islander 4 0.07%
Other/Mixed 188 3.51%
Hispanic or Latino 368 6.87%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 5,357 people, 2,007 households, and 1,414 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 4,173 people, 1,642 households, and 1,182 families residing in the city. The population density was 484.2 inhabitants per square mile (187.0/km2). There were 1,767 housing units at an average density of 205.0 per square mile (79.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.87% White, 0.17% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 0.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.81% of the population.

Cherry Street

There were 1,642 households, out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.7% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,647, and the median income for a family was $34,542. Males had a median income of $26,118 versus $19,952 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,567. About 18.1% of families and 20.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.5% of those under age 18 and 27.9% of those age 65 or over.


Sequatchie County has a consolidated school system which is located in Dunlap. The system operates with a superintendent and an elected school board.

The Sequatchie County school system has three schools:

  • Griffith Elementary School (Grades: K–4th)
  • Sequatchie County Middle School (Grades: 5th–8th)
  • Sequatchie County High School (Grades: 9th–12th)


Several annual festivals, including a bluegrass festival, are held at the Dunlap Coke Ovens Park every year. Dunlap is often referred to as the "Hang Gliding Capital of the East" and is home to the East Coast Hang Gliding Championships and a hang gliding organization known as the Tennessee Tree Toppers.[15] The Mount Airy Golf Course is located just north of the city at the Sequatchie-Bledsoe county line. Savage Gulf State Natural Area is located atop the Cumberland Plateau to the west and Prentice Cooper State Forest is located atop the plateau to the east.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006, pp. 618-625.
  2. ^ a b "Board of Directors & Staff". www.cityofdunlap.com. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  3. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  4. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Dunlap, Tennessee
  5. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  7. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  8. ^ Sequatchie County — History. Sequatchie County & Dunlap Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved: 2 December 2008. Accessed at the Internet Archive, 20 June 2016.
  9. ^ Carolyn Sakowski, Touring the East Tennessee Backroads (Winston-Salem, N.C.: J.F. Blair, 1993), 341-344.
  10. ^ Coke Ovens Museum — History. Retrieved: 2 December 2008.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  13. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  14. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  15. ^ Dunlap. Dunlap Coke Ovens Park. Retrieved: 2 December 2008.

External links[edit]