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Lake Barkley & Kentucky Lake Community - Houston County, TN

Houston County was established in 1871, in the northwest region of Tennessee, 30 miles south of the Kentucky border, and is in the central time zone. The County's population in 2000 was 8,088 in a land area of 206.9 square miles, which 200.21 square miles is land and 6.71 square miles is water. Its county seat is Erin, but aside from Erin, other major communities include the community of Tennessee Ridge, which the whole county is rich in Irish heritage.

Houston County is one of the state's most Democratic counties. Although traditionally Democratic, the county is somewhat conservative on social issues. As such it is part of Tennessee's 8th congressional district, which is represented by Blue Dog Democrat John S. Tanner.

The county is among the most consistently Democratic in the state on presidential elections. Only twice have Democratic candidates failed to carry Houston County at the presidential level. In 1928, Herbert Hoover became the first and only Republican presidential candidate to ever carry Houston County. The second non-Democrat who carried Houston County was George Wallace of the American Independent Party during the 1968 presidential election.

In the 2008 presidential election, when most other traditionally Democratic counties in the state voted for John McCain, Houston County supported Barack Obama. That said the county's vote has been shifting Republican as reflected by Barack Obama's win of barely more than 2%, the lowest margin among all Democratic presidential candidates who have carried Houston County since its inception.


The population was 1,490 at the 2000 census with its' elevation is 480 feet above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.6 km²), all of it land.

Irish Day History
Cradled in the heart of Tennessee’s natural wonder and magical charm, 200 jewel-like acres of Houston County are nestled quietly in a range of hills and valleys, unequalled in beauty by any part of the highland rim portion of the state. According to legend, Irish railroad workers who were reminded of the valleys, hills, hollows, and meadows of their homeland, Ireland, gave the name Erin to this small community. One night, the workers took a “wee drip too much” and let out the ancient rallying cry, “Erin Go Braugh.” The name stuck and a celebration of Irish heritage and blessings takes place annually during the third week in March when everyone is “Irish in Erin.”

The Houston County Area Chamber of Commerce, other local leaders, and interested citizens conceived the idea of an Irish Celebration for Erin in 1963. The focus of this annual event was to be the welfare, progress and promotion of the town and county. The local population went in the venture rather slowly. They liked the idea, but some felt it may be a bit too big for such a small body of citizens. However, the “Wearing of the Green” was a successful event that year and has continued each year to grow in interest and attendance. From the Grand Parade, Leprechauns and banquets to carnival rides, pageants and arts & craft booths, there is something for everyone. Relive the spirit of St. Patrick at one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations south of Chicago!


  • Tennessee Ridge

Lake Locations in this County
Cumberland River
Lake Barkley
Kentucky Lake

County/ City Parks
Houston County Park
Magnolia Park
Rotary Park
Hensley-Midway Park
Betsy-Ligon Park

Golf Courses

View the Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake Communities.

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