Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The city is a tourist attraction, owing to the fact that it borders Great Smoky Mountains National Park along U.S. 441, the main highway through the park. The Little Pigeon River begins in the park, and flows through the city, down along 441 through Pigeon Forge.
Gatlinburg is located at 35°43'19" North, 83°29'58" West (35.721925, -83.499334).
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 3,382 people, 1,541 households, and 990 families residing in the city. The population density is 128.8/km² (333.4/mi²). There are 3,993 housing units at an average density of 152.0/km² (393.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 95.71% White, 0.15% African American, 0.56% Native American, 1.71% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.86% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. 1.95% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 1,541 households out of which 17.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% are married couples living together, 9.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 35.7% are non-families. 29.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.16 and the average family size is 2.64.
In the city the population is spread out with 14.9% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 32.8% from 45 to 64, and 20.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 47 years. For every 100 females there are 97.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $37,606, and the median income for a family is $40,813. Males have a median income of $24,283 versus $19,250 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,678. 7.1% of the population and 5.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.4% of those under the age of 18 and 6.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
The Great 1992 Fire
On the night of July 14, 1992, Gatlinburg earned national attention when an entire city block burned to the ground, due to faulty wiring in a light fixture. The "Ripley's Believe It Or Not!" museum was consumed by the fire, along with an arcade, haunted house, and souvenir shop. The blaze was fortunately stopped before it could consume the adjacent 32-story Space Needle, which would have been disastrous. The block, known to locals as "Rebel Corner", was completely rebuilt and reopened to visitors in 1995. Few artifacts from the Ripley's Museum were salvaged. Those that were salvaged are clearly marked with that designation in the new museum. The fire prompted new downtown building codes and a new downtown fire station.
Believe it or not, Ripley's has caught fire twice since its reopening, once in 2000, and again in 2003. Both of those fires, ironically, were caused by faulty light fixtures. The 2000 fire caused no damage. The 2003 fire was contained to the building's exterior and the museum suffered minimal damage, primarily cosmetic.
- Tour Gatlinburg Tennessee - attractions, resorts, museums, shops, recreation and special events.
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