Did you know that besides being famous for The Coke Ovens Park, Dunlap is the Hang Gliding Capital of the East? Dunlap is the past site of the East Coast Hang Gliding Championships and home of the Tennessee Tree Toppers. The Sequatchie Valley offers some of the best soaring conditions in the United States. Top pilots from all over the world come to Dunlap to marvel at the beautiful valley and fly the wonderful winds.
Here are some facts about Dunlap
This community now known as Dunlap was originally called Coops Creek. The name was changed to Dunlap in 1858, just one year after Sequatchie County was organized. The city was originally incorporated in 1927 and is now governed by a charter that was adopted in 1941.
Current Dunlap population is approximately 4,500 with a total for Sequatchie County about 10,000. Most of the residents are right friendly.
The climate is characterized by warm humid summers and moderate winters broken by short cold spells. Yes, it will snow here, but don’t bring your skis.
Natural Resources Approximately 85% of the total county land is in forest. It wasn’t this way in the early 1900’s. The principal natural resources other than the forest are coal and the rich soil of the Sequatchie Valley.
Sequatchie County is served by highway 127, State Highway 8 and State Highway 28. Dunlap is approximately 28 miles from Interstate 24 and 59, 35 miles from Interstate 75 and 50 miles from Interstate 40. The trains don’t run here anymore, but you can fly to Chattanooga which is serviced by two commercial carriers. For adventurous types, one could hang glide into Dunlap from on top of Walden’s Ridge.
Sequatchie County’s History
Located in the heart of the beautiful Sequatchie Valley, Sequatchie County was created in December, 1857 by an Act of the State Legislature of Tennessee from two districts of Marion County and one district from Bledsoe County. These two districts had been temporarily attached to Hamilton County, in order to circumvent the constitution.
The County Court met for the first time on the first Monday of January, 1858. G.W. Cain was elected Chairman. The Court proceeded to appoint officials for the county government. The commissioners voted to locate the county seat on the farm of William Rankin, on Coops Creek. They then purchased forty acres for the town of Dunlap. Today, the county continues to be directed by nineteen commissioners and an elected County Mayor.
Farming was the main occupation in the early days. Past coal mining has also played a big part in the economic development of the county. There are several local industries which provide local employment for many of the areas citizens.
Sequatchie County has consolidated school systems, which is in Dunlap. Students who wish to go to college and live at home can easily drive 30 miles to Chattanooga where the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and other academic opportunities are located.