Cumberland Gap, Tennessee
Town of Cumberland Gap
Cumberland Gap, as viewed from the Pinnacle Overlook
Cumberland Gap, as viewed from the Pinnacle Overlook
The Gap[1]
Location of Cumberland Gap in Claiborne County, Tennessee.
Location of Cumberland Gap in Claiborne County, Tennessee.
Coordinates: 36°35′56″N 83°40′2″W / 36.59889°N 83.66722°W / 36.59889; -83.66722Coordinates: 36°35′56″N 83°40′2″W / 36.59889°N 83.66722°W / 36.59889; -83.66722
CountryUnited States
Named forCumberland Gap mountain pass
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorNeal Pucciarelli
 • Town Council
 • Total0.33 sq mi (0.85 km2)
 • Land0.33 sq mi (0.85 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation1,417 ft (432 m)
 • Total494
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,489.36/sq mi (575.34/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
37724, 37752
Area code(s)423
FIPS code47-18880[7]
GNIS feature ID2406347[5]

Cumberland Gap is a town in Claiborne County, Tennessee, United States.[5] Its population was 494 at the 2010 census, and estimated to be 490 in 2019.[6] The town is located below the Cumberland Gap, a historic mountain pass for which is the town's namesake, and inside of the boundaries of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.[1]

The majority of the town's downtown area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Cumberland Gap Historic District.[8]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2021)

The area in which Cumberland Gap would eventually lie was first explored by Thomas Walker, who surveyed much of the southern US. It became a postal town in 1803, and was officially incorporated is a city in 1907.

The town changed hands four times during the Civil War, but no battles actually took place.

In 1888, a work camp was established at Cumberland Gap by Scottish-born entrepreneur Alexander Arthur (1846–1912) to house workers needed to build a tunnel for the Knoxville, Cumberland Gap & Louisville Railroad. Arthur, who was attempting to establish a large-scale iron production operation in the Cumberland Gap region, founded the nearby cities of Middlesboro, Kentucky, and Harrogate, Tennessee, and the nearby community of Arthur.[9]

In 1996, the completion of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel re-routed US 25E, bypassing the town's central business district. This bypassing of the town caused the local economy to decline as annual payrolls for Cumberland Gap dropped 40% in a ten-year span from 1994 (two years before the tunnel's completion) to 2004.[1]


Cumberland Gap is located at 36°35′56″N 83°40′2″W / 36.59889°N 83.66722°W / 36.59889; -83.66722 (36.598976, -83.667318).[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), all land.[11]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)490[6]−0.8%

2020 census

Cumberland Gap racial composition[14]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 265 84.66%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 9 2.88%
Native American 1 0.32%
Asian 22 7.03%
Other/Mixed 10 3.19%
Hispanic or Latino 6 1.92%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 313 people, 115 households, and 48 families residing in the town.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 204 people, 89 households, and 51 families residing in the town. The population density was 629.9 inhabitants per square mile (243.2/km2). There were 111 housing units at an average density of 342.8/sq mi (132.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 99.02% White and 0.98% Native American. Cumberland Gap ranks 289th in city size in Tennessee according to the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau.[15]

There were 89 households, out of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% were nonfamilies. 34.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 21.1% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $36,250, and the median income for a family was $40,625. Males had a median income of $36,250 versus $17,083 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,005. About 9.3% of families and 23.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.7% of those under the age of 18 and 28.6% of those 65 or over.


The major industry sectors employing Cumberland Gap residents are healthcare, education, arts, and service.[1] Food preparation and service-related jobs have become the fastest growing within the town of Cumberland Gap. However, according to the American Community Survey, 10% of Cumberland Gap residents work inside of the town limits, with most commuting to other parts of Claiborne County, Middlesboro, and Campbell County.[1]

Arts and culture


There are several festivals and events held in Cumberland Gap,[1] some of the more notable events include:


music, and Appalachian heritage.[17]

Historic sites


There are no schools in the town limits, but Cumberland Gap High School located southwest of Harrogate, Tennessee, is in Cumberland Gap's 37724 zip code.

Lincoln Memorial University is located in nearby Harrogate.

Notable person


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Cumberland Gap Master Plan and Trailhead Development Plan" (PDF). Town of Cumberland Gap. Community Development Partners. December 1, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Kivett, John (October 8, 2017). "Claiborne County". Tennessee Encyclopedia. Tennessee Historical Society. Archived from the original on 2018-04-18. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Cumberland Gap". Municipal Technical Advisory Service. University of Tennessee. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  4. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Cumberland Gap, Tennessee
  6. ^ a b c "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  7. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  8. ^ "Cumberland Gap National Historic District". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  9. ^ Carolyn Sakowski, Touring the East Tennessee Backroads (Winston-Salem: J.F. Blair, 1993), pp. 178–179.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  11. ^ "Cumberland Gap, Tennessee Population 2022 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs)". Retrieved 2022-02-05.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  13. ^ "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 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  15. ^ "American Community Survey Summary File".
  16. ^ "White Lightning Trail Festival". Claiborne Economic Partnership. 25 May 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  17. ^ "Mountain Heritage Literary Festival". Lincoln Memorial University. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  18. ^ "Mountain Fiesta - CUMBERLAND GAP". Cumberland Gap Region. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  19. ^ "NPGallery Asset Detail". National Park Gallery. National Park Service. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  20. ^ Erlewine, Stephen. "Rodney Atkins". AllMusic. Retrieved January 10, 2021.

Further reading

  • Sweet, Natalie. Harrogate and Cumberland Gap. (Arcadia Publishing, 2014).

External links[edit]