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15 interesting facts about Chattanooga

How well do you know Chattanooga, TN? We’re bringing you some fun facts about the city and its history.

the side of a pyramid-shaped glass roof and a rainbow in the background, with buildings around.

Let’s get down to quiz-ness.

Photo by NOOGAtoday

Did you know that Chattanooga is also known as the Scenic City?

Nah, just kidding. If you know us, you know we’re here for the deep cuts — and there are plenty of interesting factoids to go around. As connoisseurs of the quirky and unconventional, we put together a list of Chattanooga’s history, oddest characteristics, and more. Maybe you’ve lived here your whole life and know some of this, or maybe you’ll learn something new.

Either way, test your local knowledge with these 15 interesting facts.

1. We’ll start with an easy one. The world famous MoonPie was created at the Chattanooga Bakery in 1917. They were perfect for coal miners because they were filling, only cost five cents, and fit in a lunch pail. By 1929, hundreds were being boxed every day.

2. Tow trucks were first created in Chattanooga in the 1910s. A garage worker named Ernest Holmes Sr. was inspired to create the wrecker + lifting jib after he needed the help of six men to pull a car from a creek.

3. In 1899, two Chattanooga lawyers — Benjamin F. Thomas + Joseph B. Whitehead — bought Coca-Cola bottling rights for $1. They opened the first Coca-Cola bottling company right here in town, at 17 Market St.

4. The first patented mini golf course was created in Chattanooga in 1927 by Garnet Carter, a true fore-father. Carter was an inventor and the founder of Rock City Gardens.

5. The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is one of the steepest passenger railway lines in the world with a 72.7% grade.

6. The Hunter Museum has one of the largest collections of American art in the country, and is a national model for how art museums transform their communities.

7. Chickamauga and Chattanooga Military Park is the first + largest National Military Park in America.

8. Chattanooga boasts more than 25 miles of rock climbing — some even claim that we’re the best US city for climbers.

9. March 5, 1867, marks the worst flood in Chattanooga history. It lasted for five days, and when the water stopped rising, it was ~58 feet above normal water levels.

10. In the 1960s, Chattanooga’s air quality was so bad that people were warned not to go outside. In 1969, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare named Chattanooga the “worst city in the nation for particulate air pollution.” Thankfully, those days are long behind us.

11. Chattanooga Whiskey is to thank for changing laws that prohibited the creation of liquor in Tennessee (except for in three counties). After launching in 2011, Chattanooga Whiskey founders lobbied to get the laws changed. In May of 2013, “The Whiskey Bill” was passed and signed into law.

12. One of the largest and highest-rated cat cafés in the world, Naughty Cat Cafe, resides right here in the Scenic City.

13. Chattanooga has ties to two incredibly influential + history-making women — both with the same name. The nation’s oldest student, Mary Hardway Walker, learned to read and write at the age of 116 in Chattanooga, while Dr. Mary Edwards Walker is the nation’s only woman to receive the Medal of Honor after helping injured and dying soldiers during the Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga.

14. Chattanooga has its own font. No, seriously — back in 2012, Chattanooga became the first city in the US to create its very own font, “Chatype.” You may recognize the font on signs hanging downtown, bike lanes, and even the Chattanooga Public Library.

15. Multiple endangered American red wolves live right here in Chattanooga at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center as part of the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan. Reflection Riding is one of 44 wildlife sanctuaries, zoos, and nature centers that assist with the long-term care + planned and captive breeding of American red wolves.

Your turn. Think you can get one over on us? Let us know your favorite local trivia tidbit and you just might make it into the newsletter.

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