Bedford County, Tennessee is located in the south central part of the state and is bordered by six other counties. To the north lies Moore County and Lincoln County; to the south, Marshall County and Franklin County; to the east, Coffee County; and to the west, Rutherford County. See Countryaah – Counties in Tennessee.
Bedford County covers an area of approximately 569 square miles and has a population of over 47,000 people as of 2019. It was established in 1807 from portions of Rutherford and Lincoln Counties and was named for Thomas Bedford Jr., a Revolutionary War soldier from Virginia who fought at Kings Mountain.
The county seat is Shelbyville which sits on the banks of Duck River, one of Tennessee’s most scenic rivers. This bustling town serves as a hub for commerce in Bedford County with many shops, restaurants, and businesses located here. The town also hosts numerous festivals throughout the year such as Mule Day Festival which celebrates its mule-trading history with parades, live music, food vendors, craft booths and more.
In addition to Shelbyville, Bedford County also features several other small towns including Normandy, Wartrace, Bell Buckle and Unionville which are all popular tourist destinations due to their picturesque settings. The county also features several nature reserves such as Tims Ford State Park which offer activities such as fishing, camping and hiking for visitors to enjoy.
Overall, Bedford County offers something for everyone. With its diverse geography ranging from rolling hills to rugged mountainsides combined with its quaint towns full of friendly people; it’s no wonder why this region has become so popular with tourists over the years.
Demographics of Bedford County, Tennessee
Bedford County, Tennessee is a rural county located in the south central part of the state. As of 2019, the population was estimated to be 47,451 people with a median age of 40.7 years old. The racial makeup of Bedford County was 94.5% White, 3.1% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American and 0.9% Asian as reported by the US Census Bureau in 2018. The Hispanic or Latino population made up 2% of the population during that same year.
The median household income in Bedford County is $44,647 and 17% of families live below the poverty line according to census data. The unemployment rate for Bedford County is 6%, which is lower than both the national and state averages of 7%.
The majority of people living in Bedford County are employed in sales and office occupations (20%), management occupations (14%), and production occupations (15%). Other popular industries include construction (7%) transportation (6%) and healthcare (5%).
In terms of education, 26% have a high school diploma or equivalent while 15% have a bachelor’s degree or higher according to census data from 2018. There are several public schools located throughout Bedford County including Shelbyville Central High School which serves grades 9-12 with an enrollment of over 1,200 students as well as Cascade Elementary School which serves grades K-8 with an enrollment of over 800 students.
Overall, Bedford County has a diverse population that offers something for everyone. With its scenic landscapes combined with its friendly residents; it’s no wonder why this region has become so popular with tourists over the years.
Places of Interest in Bedford County, Tennessee
Bedford County, Tennessee is home to a variety of places of interest for tourists and locals alike. One of the most popular attractions in the area is the Normandy Lake. The lake is a great spot for fishing, swimming, boating and camping. There are also several hiking trails around the lake that offer spectacular views.
Another popular attraction in Bedford County is the Shelbyville Historic District. This area features several historical buildings including a Civil War museum, a courthouse and an opera house. Visitors can explore these sites as well as take part in guided tours which provide insight into the history of Shelbyville.
The Beech River Wildlife Management Area is a great place to explore nature and wildlife in Bedford County. This area features over 8,000 acres of wetlands, forests and open fields that are home to an abundant amount of wildlife such as deer, wild turkey, quail and waterfowl. There are also over 30 miles of trails available for hiking or biking through this beautiful landscape.
For those looking for something more adventurous there is Adventureworks at Edgar Evins State Park which offers zip-lining courses as well as rock climbing walls and ropes courses for visitors to enjoy.
The town of Wartrace is also worth visiting while in Bedford County as it has maintained its small-town charm with its historic buildings including several homes from the 19th century that have been preserved by the local community. The town also offers unique shopping experiences with antiques stores and art galleries for visitors to explore.
No matter what you’re looking for there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Bedford County. From outdoor activities like fishing or hiking to exploring historical sites; this area has it all.
Notable People of Bedford County, Tennessee
Bedford County, Tennessee is home to a number of notable individuals. Some of the most famous names include country singer Loretta Lynn, former U.S. Senator and Vice President Al Gore Jr., and former U.S. Representative Harold Ford Jr.
Loretta Lynn was born in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky but moved to Bedford County as a young girl where she would eventually launch her career as one of the greatest female country singers of all time. Her hits including “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough” have become classics that are still played today. In addition to her music career, she is also an author, having penned several autobiographical works including Coal Miner’s Daughter and Still Woman Enough: A Memoir, which was released in 2020.
Al Gore Jr., a native of nearby Carthage, Tennessee, served in the United States Senate from 1985-1993 before becoming the 45th Vice President of the United States under President Bill Clinton from 1993-2001. He has since become an environmental activist and author, as well as a Nobel Peace Prize recipient for his work on climate change awareness and activism with his 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
Harold Ford Jr., another native of nearby Carthage, served in the United States House of Representatives from 1997-2007 representing Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District which included portions of Bedford County at the time. Ford went on to become a political commentator for MSNBC before joining Morgan Stanley in 2011 as Senior Policy Adviser to Chairman John J Mack where he remains today.