Chattanooga History - Explore our City's Past

Chattanooga History

The Most Accessible Collection of Chattanooga Images and Resources

Launched in 2014 as ‘Deep Zoom Chattanooga’, this site is a free public portal to rarely accessible historic resources.

Many individuals and organizations have generously shared privately owned photos, documents, and maps so they may be viewable here.

Certificate of Merit Award

The Tennessee Historical Commission for digital preservation.

Learn More >


Search by keywords across the entire website.

map of photos

Photo Locations

Hundreds of historic photos are now geo-tagged in the gallery. When you see the green map locator, click to view the map.

Chattanooga Videos

Visit a collection with old films and new videos of the local area.

Photos, documents, maps, and other unique resources of information about our city's past


New views of the women who founded Girls Preparatory School in 1906

Chattanooga Bar Association

Local lawyers of the not so distant past.

Yesterday and Today

A pictorial history of Chattanooga in 4 volumes

Street Scenes

Cline Photo Postcard Negatives

W. M. Cline Collection

W. M. Cline Company - A Photographic Legacy

Old Chattanooga Photos

Our city's history comes alive with images from the past. Start exploring the collections here.

Open 24/7 365

No appointment necessary. This is where history truly becomes accessible to all and searchable today.

Legacies Preserved

Whether photos are donated or loaned to digitize, full credit is given to those who share.

History with Context

People and places are identified. Lost information and stories are re-told.


"Sam's ability to bring Chattanooga’s history alive in print and digitally and then to deliver that history to local news outlets and to community events, has generated support from families and businesses who now share their Chattanooga histories and stories with a global internet audience."

TN Historical Commission

via Facebook, May 2021

Chattanooga:  Founded in 1839

In 1816, brothers John and Lewis Ross established the settlement of Ross’s Landing with a trading post, warehouse, and ferry landing. December 20, 1839, the Tennessee General Assembly incorporated the Town of Chattanooga.


About Chattanooga

Where's our History Museum?

Chattanooga Tennessee and surrounding areas share a rich history; from settlement, war, boom times, decline, and renaissance. In a tragic irony, it’s also one of the largest cities in the United States without a local history museum*. The reasons are complicated but are not for a lack of public interest. Curated collections and donated photos remain mostly inaccessible and out of reach by the public. Our heritage is 'on hold'.

*Based on 2017 Census Bureau MSAs populations between 500K-1M. Defined as a publicly accessible venue featuring local area history without a niche focus on ethnicity, age, industry, or art. VIEW CHART OF MARKETS HERE

newspaper digitization

Free Searchable Newspapers

30,000+ pages of Chattanooga newspapers have been digitized for public access.

Other Resources (PAID) now has over 700,000 pages of historic Chattanooga papers!

Fulton History: Search over 51,685,714 historical newspaper pages from the USA & Canada at: (an unusual design but an incredible resource.)

Walker County (GA) Messenger: is part of the The Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive, a project of the Digital Library of Georgia.

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