Smyrna, Tennessee

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Smyrna is a town in Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. Smyrna's population was 25,569 people at the 2000 census. The Census estimate of the 2009 population is 39,724.[3]

Contents

Geography

Smyrna is located at 35°58′46″N 86°31′16″W / 35.97944°N 86.52111°W / 35.97944; -86.52111 (35.979574, -86.521108)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 23.0 square miles (59.5 km²), of which, 22.8 square miles (59.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (0.61%) is water.

History

The town of Smyrna has its roots in the early 19th century and began as an agrarian community. The American Civil War played an important role in the area due to its railroad station which lies between Nashville and Chattanooga. One of the major events of the war for the town involved the Confederate States hero Sam Davis who after being charged with spying gave up his life instead of giving any information to the Union Army. He was captured Nov. 20, 1863 and was hanged by Union forces Nov. 27.[5] The Sam Davis Plantation, located on 160 acres (0.65 km2) of well-maintained farmland,[6] is the town's most important historical site.[7]

Smyrna was originally incorporated in 1869 but its charter was rescinded by the state several years later. In 1915 the town re-incorporated and adopted a commission form of government and mayor.

In 1941 Sewart Air Force Base was established and served as a B-24 advanced training facility. During the 1950s and 60s the military personnel and dependents totaled more than 10,000 persons stationed at the base. The base was scheduled for closing in 1971. Most of the property was divided among the State of Tennessee, Rutherford County and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. The property the state received was developed in a Tennessee Army National Guard base and the site for the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center. Much of the additional land was turned into the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority in 1990.[8]

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