Ooltewah (About this sound hear it (help·info)) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hamilton County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 687 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Chattanooga metropolitan area.
Ooltewah was once the county seat of James County, a former Tennessee county which went bankrupt in 1919 and was subsequently incorporated into Hamilton County. The former James County Courthouse located in the square in downtown Ooltewah is the community's major landmark. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On November 24, 1863, the 4th Michigan Cavalry entered Ooltewah and captured seventeen Confederates, including two officers, and destroyed a train of four wagons. On the next day, the 4th Michigan Cavalry destroyed the Ooltewah railroad bridge, burned 4,000 pounds of flour, and captured a Confederate Lieutenant Colonel before moving on to Cleveland before nightfall.
Ooltewah is a is believed to be a Cherokee Indian word meaning "owls nest". Owls is also the nickname for the local high school and middle schools that are in this area.
Ooltewah is the site of Ooltewah High School, Ooltewah Middle and Ooltewah Elementary. Also, there is Snow Hill Elementary, Wallace A. Smith Elementary, and Hunter Middle School located in Ooltewah.
The Ooltewah High School Marching Band performed in the 2007 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.