The city of Chattanooga was founded in 1815 by John Ross. Its
position on a bend in the Tennessee River meant that it became an
important trading post. Its status increased so much that by the
time of the Civil War, the Northern forces viewed it as one of
their main strategic targets. For many years the major industry in
Chattanooga was the railway, which employed thousands of people.
The first station opened in the 1850s, but after the Civil War the
industry truly boomed.
At its peak, the city had three railway stations and 14 rail
companies operating there. This was immortalised in the 1941 Glenn
Miller song "Chattanooga Choo Choo". All rail-use declined
following the Second World War, and by 1971 the city's passenger
services had stopped. However, Chattanooga's first railway station
- called Terminal Station - was placed on the National Register of
Historic Places in 1973, and later that year it was reopened as a
railway-themed hotel. It has been a firm favourite with guests ever