156 157 M urfreesboro,Tennessee,a cityof 132,000,and the county seat of Rutherford County,sits in the geo- graphic center of the state.Located 34miles southeast of Nashville,it is Tennessee’s fastest-growing cityand, according to the U.S.Census Bureau, the 10th fastest-growing city in the nationwith a population over 50,000. Established in 1811,Murfreesboro was originallynamed Cannonsburgh, but was subsequently renamed after RevolutionaryWar hero,Colonel Hardy Murfree. In its earlyyears,Murfreesborowas mainlyan agricultural community,but bymid-19th century,it was also home to three colleges and several acad- emies,earning themoniker: “Athens of Tennessee.”The citywas host to amajor battlefield during the Civil War–America’s rival armies suffered a combined total of 23,515 casualties, making the Battle of Stones River,one of thewar’s bloodiest.Fortress Rose- crans,built byUnion forces in 1863, MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE Murfreesboro, Tennessee DESIGN BY TOWNMAPS USA AT A GLANCE MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE WHAT: A city of 132,000 WHERE: In the geographic center of the state, 34 miles southeast of Nashville WEBSITE: www.murfreesborotn. gov FASTEST-GROWING AND MOST LIVABLE