Pelham, located in the valley part of Grundy County, is a farming town and contains several small manufacturing businesses. In addition to these small industrial plants, Grundy County’s economy includes a growing nursery industry and several hundred chicken broiler houses.
Many caves are located in the Pelham valley. Probably the best known is located at the base of Cedar Ridge and is called Wonder Cave. It was open to the public for years while R.M. Payne and later the Jonah Raulston family owned and operated it. Other large caves in Pelham Valley are Trussell Cave, located at the mouth of Trussell Cove, Saltpeter Cave and Big Mouth Cave, both located near the Roberts’ Cemetery in Payne’s Cove. Neither of these caves has been commercialized. Many smaller caves are located throughout the area. Big Spring in Payne’s Cove flows from one such cave. Partin Spring in Bell’s Cove is another. Crystal Cave is a smaller cave just down the road from Wonder Cave. Present day Pelham Valley is served by three major highways. These are Interstate 24, an east/west route linking Chattanooga and Nashville, U.S. Highway 41, a north/south route also linking Chattanooga and Nashville, and Tennessee Highway 50 which links Decherd and Altamont.