Get away from it all in Monterey, a quaint and historic town tucked away at the start of Tennessee’s mountains. Up here the air is cooler, the drives are gorgeous, and nature is plentiful.

Mountain charm and Native American heritage in a historic railroad resort town.

Known as Putnam County’s “mountain town” and often described as “where the hilltops kiss the sky,” Monterey, Tennessee, is located on the Cumberland Plateau between Nashville and Knoxville on Interstate 40, and is an ideal outdoor destination, rich with railroad history, scenic landscapes, and unique eateries, shops and attractions.

Photo Credit: Andrea Kruszka



Here are some of Monterey’s fun facts and accolades.

  • Monterey was featured on The Outdoor Channel’s Fishing University with Charlie Ingram and Ray Brazier. (2017)
  • Monterey Depot Museum – Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) Award Winner
  • Monterey is home to Ed Bruce, beloved Tennessee songwriter, most famous for the song, “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”
  • Harvie June Van, a native of Monterey, was known in the 1950s to be one of the top female singers in country music, a teen at the time.
  • Monterey’s Meadow Creek Park is 1 of only 10 destinations in the U.S. to receive a national rock climbing conservation grant.
  • Monterey (1,883 ft.) is higher in elevation than Pigeon Forge (1,001 ft.) and Gatlinburg (1,2 89 ft.). The highest point in Monterey is on Water Tank Hill (1,966 ft.).
  • Southern Gospel Hall of Famer Glennon “Glen” Allred was raised in Monterey. He was one of the longest singing members of the Florida Boys Quartet. His parents and siblings are buried in Monterey.
  • NBC Radio News reporter Sarah Jo Sherman was born and raised in Monterey. Both music and Hollywood stars such as Tennessee Ernie Ford and Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle) and others would escape to the mountains to her house, on the corner of N. Holly St. and Cleveland Ave.
  • During the Civil War, “Monterey, TN” was in McNairy County. They gave up their post office a few years later. When they wanted to incorporate in 1961, they found that the community of Standing Stone had incorporated as “Monterey,” in 1893. They incorporated as “Michie,” instead.
  • Legendary AP sportswriter Will Grimsley was born in Monterey to a railroad engineer’s family.
  • In the early 1900’s, Monterey had seven hotels in operation at one time.
  • Even though the Standing Stone was within the borders of Tennessee (1796), it was still within Cherokee lands until a treaty in 1805.
  • After a treaty with the Cherokees, what is now within Monterey city limits was in both Overton and White counties. It didn’t fall into Putnam County until 1854.
  • Monterey was once the “Golf stick Capital of the World.” A golf stick factory produced them out of hickory. The also produced wooden spoke for Henry Ford’s Model T automobiles. So, Monterey manufactured parts for Ford way before Memphis.
  • A stave and heading company, located on the corner of current Monterey Depot Museum property, produced 1/3 of the parts for beer barrels in the whole United States.
  • There are Tennessee State Parks within 30 miles (more or less) within nearly every direction of Monterey…but save gas and see what we have!
  • Did you know that you could shave off 15 miles if you are headed to the Big South Fork, coming from the west, by getting off the Interstate and travelling through Monterey and out Highway 62?
  • Robert “Bob” King grew up in Monterey and operated a grocery store on Commercial Ave., with his wife Betty. In his younger days, he played banjo with the Big Jeff Bess and his Radio Playboys from Nashville to New York.
  • Meadow Creek Lake and Park is built on a reclaimed coal mine. Clear Creek Coal Co. operated in that spot for over 40 years, closing in 1979.
  • Monterey’s Standing Stone monument contains remnants of a 16 ft. stone monolith that is believed to be constructed by prehistoric Mound Builders. They were sun worshippers. The railroad blew it up when it came to town, but fortunately a group saved one large rock.
  • Dora Lee Wilder, wife of Union General John T. Wider, who came to Monterey in 1905, was the first female licensed physician in Tennessee. The Wilder’s opened up the Imperial Hotel, next to the Monterey Depot, in 1909.






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