About This Place
Tullahoma is a city in Coffee and Franklin counties in the south-central part of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The population was 18,579 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Tullahoma micropolitan area, which consists of Coffee, Franklin, and Moore counties and is the largest micropolitan area in Tennessee.
Tullahoma was founded in 1852 as a work camp along the new Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. Its name is derived from the Choctaw language, and means "red rock." An alternative explanation (see Sam Davis Elliott's Soldier of Tennessee and sources cited therein) of the name is that Peter Decherd, who donated the land for the railroad right-of-way (and was therefore given the right to name two stations along the line), named one station Decherd, and the other Tulkahoma (later corrupted to Tullahoma). Tulkahoma was the name of Decherd's favorite horse, which was itself named for an Indian chief his grandfather had captured. Tullahoma shared its name with Tullahoma, Mississippi which was later changed to Grenada, MS. Grenada, MS was also founded as a railroad town.
Prior to Tullahoma or the railroad, the area was settled by farmers. These farmers came mostly from Virginia and North Carolina. Early settlers were Moore, Deckerd, Anderson, Ragon, Montgomery, Ferrell, Stephenson, and Gunn. A spring known to the first settlers as Bottle Spring, and later as John Gunn's Spring is today Big Springs. This spring provided water for the steam locomotives[Historical & Biographical Sketches of Coffee County, TN].