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Maynardville, Tennessee

Coordinates: 36°14′45″N 83°48′26″W / 36.24583°N 83.80722°W / 36.24583; -83.80722
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Maynardville, Tennessee
City of Maynardville
Maynardville as seen from Hinds Ridge
Maynardville as seen from Hinds Ridge
Official logo of Maynardville, Tennessee
The Cradle of Country Music
"A Friendly Town with an Eye on the Future.",[1] "My Maynardville, My Home."
Location of Maynardville in Union County, Tennessee.
Location of Maynardville in Union County, Tennessee.
Coordinates: 36°14′45″N 83°48′26″W / 36.24583°N 83.80722°W / 36.24583; -83.80722
CountryUnited States
Named forHorace Maynard[4]
 • TypeCommission-Manager
 • MayorTy Blakely
 • City ManagerThomas McCormick
 • Total5.39 sq mi (13.97 km2)
 • Land5.39 sq mi (13.97 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation1,197 ft (365 m)
 • Total2,456
 • Density455.32/sq mi (175.80/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code865
FIPS code47-46700[10]
GNIS feature ID2405042[8]

Maynardville (originally named Liberty) is a city in and the county seat of Union County, Tennessee, United States.[11] The city was named to honor Horace Maynard, who successfully defended the creation of Union County from a challenge from Knox County.[4] Its population was 2,413 at the 2010 census, up from 1,782 at the 2000 census. It is included in the Knoxville metropolitan statistical area.[12]


Maynardville began in the early 19th century as a small community known as Liberty. When Union County was created in the 1850s, Liberty, being nearest the center of the county, was chosen as the county seat. The land for the courthouse square was donated by Marcus Monroe (1793–1870), a local minister.[13]

Shortly after the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation authorizing the creation of Union County, Knox County secured an injunction blocking the creation of the new county, which would take some of its area from Knox County. To defend the new county, its supporters retained the services of Horace Maynard (1814–1882), a Knoxville-area attorney and later U.S. Postmaster General. After Maynard successfully defended the new county in litigation proceedings, Liberty was renamed "Maynardville" in his honor.[14][15] Union County was formally recognized in 1856.[16]

Country music singer Roy Acuff was born in Maynardville in 1903. The Acuff family had been well-established in Union County since the mid-19th century. When Goodspeed published its History of Tennessee in 1887, the Union County section included a brief biography of Roy's grandfather, Coram Acuff (1846–1931), who represented Union County in the state legislature.[17][18]

Throughout the early to mid-20th century, State Route 33 through Maynardville was part of the infamous Thunder Road, which was used by bootleggers to illegally transport and trade moonshine.[19] This story was later fictionally adapted into a 1958 crime-drama film and song of the same name.[20]

Since the dawn of the 21st century, Maynardville has become increasingly suburban with the widening projects of SR 33 (Maynardville Highway) providing quicker access to Knoxville.[21] Plans to redevelop and revitalize Maynardville have been proposed since the 2010s.[22][21]


Maynardville is situated near the center of Raccoon Valley, a narrow valley stretching for roughly 15 miles (24 km) between Copper Ridge on the south and Hinds Ridge on the north. Like most mountains in the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians, these two ridges are long and narrow, and often fractured into smaller hills and knobs. The Norris Lake impoundment of the Clinch River is located about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Maynardville.

Maynardville is concentrated around a stretch of State Route 33, which connects the city to Knoxville 15 miles (24 km) to the southwest and Tazewell 22 miles (35 km) to the northeast.[23] State Route 61 connects Maynardville with Luttrell 8 miles (13 km) and Blaine 13 miles (21 km) to the south, and State Route 144 connects Maynardville with Plainview 8 miles (13 km) to the southwest.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.4 square miles (14 km2), all land.


Historical population
The old Dr. Carr office building, now an art gallery, in Maynardville

2020 census[edit]

Maynardville racial composition[26]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 2,247 91.49%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 5 0.2%
Native American 3 0.12%
Asian 8 0.33%
Other/Mixed 114 4.64%
Hispanic or Latino 79 3.22%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,456 people, 896 households, and 528 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[10] of 2000, 1,782 people, 683 households, and 463 families were residing in the city. The population density was 330.1 inhabitants per square mile (127.5/km2). The 769 housing units averaged 142.4 per sq mi (55.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.37% White, 0.17% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.11% Asian, and 1.29% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.34% of the population.

Of the 683 households, 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were not families. About 28.8% 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 3.03.

In the city, the age distribution was 26.9% under 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,077, and for a family was $30,398. Males had a median income of $25,278 versus $18,603 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,168. About 20.2% of families and 26.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.8% of those under age 18 and 32.9% of those age 65 or over.


According to 2010 Census report published by the East Tennessee Development District in 2012, the top three industries employing residents of Maynardville were professional services, trade, and manufacturing.[27]

Nearly 62% of the city's population was reported to commute outside of Union County for employment in 2010.[27]



Maynardville uses the Council-manager government system, which was established in 1870 when the city was incorporated. It is governed locally by a five-member board. The citizens elect the board to four-year terms. The board elects a mayor and a vice mayor from among the seated board members.


Maynardville is represented in the 36th District of the Tennessee House of Representatives by Dennis Powers, a Republican.[28]

It is represented in the 8th District of the Tennessee Senate by Frank Niceley, also a Republican.[29]


Maynardville is represented in the United States House of Representatives by Republican Chuck Fleischmann of the 3rd congressional district.[30]

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In the 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, the character of 1 SSF First Lieutenant Aldo Raine, portrayed by Brad Pitt, is said to be a moonshiner from Maynardville.[33]

The song "The Ballad of Thunder Road", references Maynardville.[34]


  1. ^ "Index". City of Maynardville. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  2. ^ Peters, Bonnie (March 1, 2018). "Union County". Tennessee Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 6, 2020. In 1850 a small community called Liberty was near the center of the proposed new county and became the county seat.
  3. ^ Tennessee Blue Book, 2005-2006, pp. 618-625.
  4. ^ a b Miller, Larry (2001). Tennessee Place Names. Indiana University Press. p. 134. ISBN 0-253-33984-7. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  5. ^ "Maynardville". Municipal Technical Advisory Service. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  6. ^ "Elected Officials". City of Maynardville. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  7. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  8. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Maynardville, Tennessee
  9. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  10. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  11. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  12. ^ "Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas" (PDF). Office of Management and Budget. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  13. ^ "Goodspeed's History of Union County, Tennessee Archived July 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine." Originally published in the History of Tennessee (Chicago and Nashville: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1887), 850-853. Retrieved: February 20, 2008.
  14. ^ Kathleen Zebley, "Horace Maynard." The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, 2002. Retrieved: February 20, 2008.
  15. ^ Jim Matheny, Why do they call it that? Maynardville in Union County, WBIR.com, June 4, 2011. Retrieved: June 8, 2011.
  16. ^ Bonnie Heiskell Peters, "Union County." The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, 2002. Retrieved: February 20, 2008.
  17. ^ "Goodspeed's Union County, Tennessee Biographies." Originally published in the History of Tennessee (Chicago and Nashville: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1887), 1146-1152. Retrieved: February 20, 2008.
  18. ^ "Acuff-Ecoff Family Archives." Retrieved: February 20, 2008.
  19. ^ Bowers, Larry (January 3, 2016). "Deciphering fact from fiction of 'Thunder Road'". Cleveland Daily Banner. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  20. ^ Thunder Road (1958) at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  21. ^ a b "Maynardville Highway Corridor Study" (PDF). Tennessee Department of Transportation. Gresham Smith and Partners. August 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 13, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  22. ^ Vasington, Sean (2013). "Downtown Maynardville Revitalization". Plan East Tennessee. e East Tennessee Community Design Center. Archived from the original on September 12, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  23. ^ "Downtown Maynardville Revitalization" (PDF). Plan East Tennessee. 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  24. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  27. ^ a b "2010 Census Summary Report for Union County" (PDF). East Tennessee Development District. 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  28. ^ "Representative Dennis Powers". capitol.tn.gov. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  29. ^ "Senator Frank S. Niceley". capitol.tn.gov. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  30. ^ "Our District". fleischmann.house.gov. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  31. ^ "Roy Acuff". Grand Ole Opry. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  32. ^ Erlewine, Stephen. "Artist Biography - Carl Smith". AllMusic. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  33. ^ Jones, Maggie (July 22, 2019). "Keeping up with Knoxville's Quentin Tarantino: 'Once Upon a Time,' 'Star Trek,' beyond". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  34. ^ Clark, Brooks (April 9, 2014). "Moonshine Myths: So Who Was That 'Mountain Boy' From 'Thunder Road'?". Metro Pulse. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved December 28, 2020.

External links[edit]