Red Clay State Park, the site of the last Cherokee council before the tribe's removal via Trail of Tears, is located in Bradley County.
Like many East Tennessee counties, Bradley County was largely opposed to secession on the eve of the Civil War. In Tennessee's Ordinance of Secession referendum on June 8, 1861, the county's residents voted against secession by a margin of 1,382 to 507. The bridge over the Hiwassee River was burned on November 8, 1861, by members of the East Tennessee bridge-burning conspiracy led by Alfred Cate.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 331 square miles (860 km2), of which 329 square miles (850 km2) is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) (0.8%) is water.Meigs County (northwest)
McMinn County (north)
Polk County (east)
Murray County, Georgia (southeast)
Whitfield County, Georgia (south)
Hamilton County (west)
Chickamauga Wildlife Management Area (part)
Charlotte Anne Finnel Neal Wildlife Management Area
Red Clay State Park
As of the census of 2000, there were 87,965 people, 34,281 households, and 24,648 families residing in the county. The population density was 268 people per square mile (103/km²). There were 36,820 housing units at an average density of 112 per square mile (43/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.98% White, 3.99% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.89% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. 2.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 34,281 households out of which 32.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 10.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 23.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.70% under the age of 18, 11.30% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 95.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,034, and the median income for a family was $41,779. Males had a median income of $30,654 versus $21,407 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,108. About 9.00% of families and 12.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.40% of those under age 18 and 11.60% of those age 65 or over.
Bradley County has a 14-member county commission, with two commissioners from each of seven districts. The county executive (or "County Mayor"), separately elected, is Republican D. Gary Davis.
Bradley County is considered one of the most heavily Republican counties in traditionally Republican East Tennessee. Virtually all local and state office holders in and from Bradley County are Republicans. On the federal level Bradley County has not voted for a Democratic President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the landslide 1936 Presidential election.
Tennova Medical Center, formed from the buyout of Skyridge that was formed from the buyout of Bradley Memorial Hospital and Cleveland Community Hospital, has two hospitals in Bradley County.
Cleveland State Community College and Lee University are located in Bradley County. Public schools in the county are managed by the Bradley County Schools school district or the Cleveland City Schools school district. The county district has four public high schools: Bradley Central High School, Walker Valley High School, GOAL Academy,REACH Adult High school . Cleveland High School is operated by the city school district. There is one State-accredited private Christian college preparatory school: Tennessee Christian Preparatory School.
High schoolsBradley Central High School
Walker Valley High School
REACH Adult High School
Middle schoolsLake Forest Middle School
Ocoee Middle School
Elementary schoolsBlack Fox Elementary School
Charleston Elementary School
Hopewell Elementary School
Michigan Avenue Elementary School
North Lee Elementary School
Oak Grove Elementary School
Park View Elementary School
Prospect Elementary School
Taylor Elementary School
Valley View Elementary School
Waterville Community Elementary School
High schoolsCleveland High School
Teen Learning Center
Middle schoolCleveland Middle School
Elementary schoolsArnold Memorial Elementary School
Ernest L. Ross Elementary School
Donald P. Yates Primary School
Mayfield Elementary School
Blythe Bower Elementary School
George R. Stuart Elementary School
Tennessee Christian Preparatory School
Cleveland Christian School
Bowman Hills Adventist School
Shenandoah Baptist Academy
United Christian Academy
Vanguard Christian Academy
La Petite Academy
Cleveland State Community College
Interstate 75 traverses the county from the southwest to the north, passing through the western edge of Cleveland. There are four exits on I-75 in Bradley County: three in Cleveland and one in Charleston. U.S. Route 11 and U.S. Route 64 intersect in downtown Cleveland. U.S. 11 connects to Chattanooga to the southwest and Athens to the north. U.S. 64 connects to Murphy, North Carolina to the east. S.R. 60 connects Cleveland to Dayton to the northwest and Dalton, Georgia to the south. APD-40, made up of the U.S. 64 Bypass and a section of S.R. 60 forms a beltway and bypass route around the business district of Cleveland. The U.S. 11 Bypass bypasses downtown Cleveland to the west. Interstate 75
U.S. Route 11
U.S. Route 64
U.S. Route 64 Bypass
U.S. Route 74
Sgt. Paul B. Huff Parkway/Stuart Road
Blue Springs Road
Spring Place Road
Lauderdale Memorial Highway
Dry Valley Road/Michigan Avenue Road
Mouse Creek Road
Weatherly Switch Road
Ladd Springs Road
Cleveland (county seat)