The small community of Orme is nestled in the mountains along the Tennessee-Alabama line. What once was a booming coal mining town in the early 1900s is now a serene community with approximately 100 residents.

Russell Cave National Monument is just 4 miles from Orme. It is an archaeological site with one of the most complete records of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast. In the early 1900s, Orme was a base of extensive mining operations. At one point, the operation at Doran’s Cave shipped 1,000 tons of coal per day. However, mining operations closed in 1941 after several mining accidents. At the same time, the coal veins became depleted.

While many of the buildings from the community’s mining days including a schoolhouse, a commissary, and a hotel no longer stand, the wood-framed railroad depot still exists in the center of town. It proudly proclaims, ” You’ve arrived in Orme!”

The post office once operated from the privately owned depot, although residents now receive mail from the South Pittsburg post office. Also, a grocery store once operated from the depot. Now, the monument stands quiet and still as a reminder of Orme’s history.

Today, the community of Orme is still incorporated. However, it is one of Tennessee’s smallest towns. The sleepy town is an intriguing place to visit because of its glorious past. Find it west of South Pittsburg, which is the southernmost town on the Sequatchie Valley National Scenic Byway. Orme sits just above the Tennessee and Alabama state line and offers an interesting stop while venturing through the Sequatchie Valley.

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