Columbia, Tennessee: Wikis


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Columbia, Tennessee
—  City  —
Columbia, Tennessee Town Square

Nickname(s): Mule Town, C-Town
Motto: Old South Charm, New South Progress
Location of Columbia, Tennessee
Coordinates: 35°36′54″N 87°2′40″W / 35.615°N 87.04444°W / 35.615; -87.04444
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Maury
 - Total 29.6 sq mi (76.7 km2)
 - Land 29.6 sq mi (76.7 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 643 ft (196 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 33,055
 Density 1,116.8/sq mi (431.2/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 38401-38402
Area code(s) 931
FIPS code 47-16540[1]
GNIS feature ID 1269483[2]

Columbia is a city in Maury County, Tennessee, United States. The 2008 population was 34,402 according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. It is the county seat of Maury County[3].

The town is notable for being the self-proclaimed "Mule capital of the world" and honors this fact with Mule Day, a large celebration held annually every April. Columbia is also the home of the national headquarters for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.



Columbia is located at 35°36′54″N 87°2′40″W / 35.615°N 87.04444°W / 35.615; -87.04444 (35.615022, -87.044464)[4]. It is nestled along the banks of the Duck River at the southern edge of the Nashville Basin with the higher elevated ridges of the Highland Rim located to the south and west of the city. The Duck River is the longest river located entirely within the U.S. State of Tennessee. Free flowing for most of its length, the Duck River is home to over 50 species of freshwater mussels and 151 species of fish, making it the most biologically diverse river in North America. It enters the city of Manchester and meets its confluence with a major tributary, the Little Duck River, at Old Stone Fort State Park, named after an ancient Native American structure between the two rivers believed to be nearly 2,000 years old. The Duck River is sacred to most of the founding Native American tribes east of the Mississippi River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.6 square miles (76.7 km²), of which, 29.6 square miles (76.7 km²) of it is land and 0.03% is water. Incorporated in 1817, the city sits on an elevation of 637 feet (194 m). Downtown Columbia is very hilly, historic, and inviting. Columbia is the trade center for an area that produces cattle, tobacco, and phosphates. In the 1980's, General Motors brought Saturn to nearby Spring Hill. In 2009, as a result of the bankruptcy and federal government bailout of General Motors, Saturn began to be phased out as a GM brand.


The James K. Polk Ancestral Home in Columbia is the only one of President Polk's homes that is still standing

A year after the organization of Maury County in 1807, Columbia was laid out in 1808 and lots were sold. The original town, on the south bank of the Duck River, consisted of only four blocks. The town was incorporated in 1817. For years, it was the county seat of the richest county in agricultural wealth in the state. Today, it is a tourist destination, most of whom are drawn by the numerous historic sites in the area. Attractions include the James K. Polk Home, the Columbia Athenaeum, Mule Day, and nearby plantation homes.

Famous natives of Columbia include James K. Polk, Governor, Congressman, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and eleventh President of the United States; A.O.P. Nicholson, state senator, U.S. Senator, and Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court; Sterling Marlin, NASCAR driver; Dr. Marion Dorsett, inventor of the serum to control hog cholera; Fran McKee, first female line admiral in the U.S. Navy; Lyman T Johnson, civil rights movement;and Raphael Benjamin West former Nashville major, noted Civil Rights ally.


Columbia Race Riot of 1946

In 1946, a race riot dubbed 'The Columbia Race Riot' occurred in Columbia. A fight between James Stephenson, a black Navy veteran, and a white shopkeeper apparently ignited the event, resulting in various incidents of shooting, fighting, and rioting between whites and blacks in a part of Columbia known as "Mink Slide", a name for the black business district. Several people were eventually charged with rioting and attempted murder. The main attorney to defend Stephenson in the case was Thurgood Marshall, who would later become the first black United States Supreme Court justice.[5]

Movies filmed in or near Columbia

  • In 1999, parts of the film The Green Mile were filmed in Williamsport, near Columbia.
  • In 2002, Stuey was filmed in Columbia and Nashville.
  • The film Daltry Calhoun, starring Johnny Knoxville, was filmed in Columbia and Spring Hill in 2004.
  • In 2009, Hannah Montana: The Movie was filmed in downtown Columbia, at Maury County Airport, and a local dairy farm. Other local area film locations included Franklin High School in nearby Franklin and Nashville.[6]
  • In 2009, scenes for Bailey [1] (2010), a Mario Van Peebles film, were shot in downtown Columbia on the square and in other locations. [7]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 33,055 people, 13,059 households, and 8,801 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,116.8 people per square mile (431.2/km²). There were 14,322 housing units at an average density of 483.9/sq mi (186.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.63% White, 30.13% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.06% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.70% of the population.

There were 13,059 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,879, and the median income for a family was $42,822. Males had a median income of $34,898 versus $22,093 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,004. About 10.9% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over.

Notable residents


External links

Coordinates: 35°36′54″N 87°02′40″W / 35.615022°N 87.044464°W / 35.615022; -87.044464

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

COLUMBIA, a city and the county-seat of Maury county, Tennessee, U.S.A., situated on the Duck river, in the central part of the state, 46 m. S. of Nashville. Pop. (1890) 5370; (1900) 6052, of whom 2716 were negroes. Columbia is served by the Louisville & Nashville, and the Nashville, Chattanooga & St Louis railways. It is the seat of the Columbia Institute for girls (under Protestant Episcopal control), founded in 1836, and of the Columbia Military Academy. Columbia is in a fine farming region; is engaged extensively in the mining and shipping of phosphates; has an important trade in live-stock, especially mules; manufactures cotton, lumber, flour, bricks, pumps and woollen goods; and has marble and stone works. Columbia was settled about 1807 and was incorporated in 1822. During the Civil War it was the base from which General N. B. Forrest operated in 1862-1863, and was alternately occupied by Confederate and Federal forces during General Hood's Nashville campaign (November-December 1864).

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