Rural Life in Cumberland County Tennessee

Cumberland County Tennessee: the fourth in a series on the best sections of North America in which to pursue rural life, including population, jobs and crime, real estate and taxes, and education and health.

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    Map of Cumberland County, Tennessee.
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    The Cumberland Plateau is rich in rural beauty. Postcard-peaceful scenes invite the eye and tease the would-be landowner's imagination.

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Cream of the country: Cumberland County, Tennessee. The fourth in the continuing series of the best sections of America to live a rural lifestyle. 

Rural Life in Cumberland County Tennessee

When Ohio-born Mike Moser moved—via Minnesota and Alabama—to Crossville, Tennessee, to become editor of the 101-year-old Crossville Chronicle, he was impressed by the friendliness of the people.

"I was told," Mike says, "that when folks say 'good morning' to you, they really mean it-and it's true! About a year later, I was truly amazed at their generosity. You see, I met another 'outsider'—a girl from Georgia, who worked for the city—and, since we had no family here, we planned a quiet wedding. However, some local women with whom I was barely acquainted decided to give us a big beautiful wedding at the state park, with the mayor officiating. That's the kind of people you'll find on the Cumberland Plateau."

The natives here refer to it as living "up on the mountain," and, indeed, the roads leading up the escarpments of the immense Cumberland Plateau do appear to be headed for the top of the world. Once there, the traveler is greeted by a green, undulating landscape rich with streams, waterfalls, wild gorges, and hillsides covered with hardwood forests that have long been a source of income for the region.

The Cumberland Plateau, the largest timbered plateau in America, is a segment of a great upland that extends from western New York to central Alabama. In Tennessee, it is made up of 14 beautiful counties which sit at an average of 2,000 feet above sea level, but our pick—gently rolling to hilly Cumberland County (pop. 33,200)—is the most prosperous. Crossville (pop. 7,000), the county seat and largest urban area, is centrally located in eastern Tennessee just off Interstate 40, about 75 miles from Knoxville and 120 miles from Nashville.

Cumberland County Tennessee: Rich Resources

So attractive is this 679-square-mile county that a number of large residential resort developments have invested heavily here, and it was chosen as the fourth best place in the United States to retire by Rand McNally's Places Rated Retirement Guide.  

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