Nine Tennessee Sites Added to the National Register of Historic Places
Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | 11:08am
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Historical Commission has announced nine Tennessee sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. It is part of a nationwide program that coordinates and supports efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic resources. The Tennessee Historical Commission administers the program in Tennessee.
"The National Register honors places that help Tennesseans understand our heritage and make our communities unique and enjoyable,” said Patrick McIntyre, executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission. “This recognition will certainly help retain these unique sites for future generations to know and appreciate."
Sites recently added to the National Register of Historic Places include:
- Adam Alexander Broyles House – The circa 1840 brick house is located in Broylesville, a small community in Washington County. The son of one of Broylesville’s founders, Adam Alexander Broyles, is believed to have acquired the house from his father, Adam Broyles, Jr. The house combines elements of the Federal architecture style and the later Greek Revival style. Characteristic features include the symmetrical design, raised basement, and central door with sidelights and transom. Inside, there are finely crafted wood fireplace mantels, doors and trim. The front porch is a feature added later in the 19th century. All of the design aspects combine to make the house an important example of architectural styles in the county.
- Allen-Birdwell Farm – A circa 1861 farmhouse serves as the center of the 176-acre Allen-Birdwell Farm in the Nolichucky Valley of Greene County. The historic buildings, structures and sites at the farm date from 1840 to 1960. The changes in these buildings and their uses also reflect the changes in agriculture and settlement patterns in Greene County. Composed of the farmhouse, well house and a smokehouse – the domestic complex is separated from the larger farm by South Allen’s Bridge Road. Still owned by the same family, the farm continues to produce tobacco and cattle as it has in the past – later adding corn and fresh-water prawns to the farm’s production. The Allen-Birdwell Farm also relies on “agritourism,” encouraging non-farmers and community visitors. A granary now serves as a gift shop and events such as receptions or weddings are held at the farm.
- Douglass-Clark House – Just outside Gallatin in Sumner County, the Douglass-Clark House was constructed for Reuben and Elizabeth Douglass around 1795-1800 and remained in the family until 1959. The oldest part of the house is a two-story log section. Between 1830 and 1850 additions were made to the house, including sheathing it in weatherboard. The changes to the house reflect transformation in the county’s settlement patterns, as the Douglass and Clark families expanded and modernized the house. In addition, family members were influential members of the county and helped establish the first county government. Sumner County now owns the Douglass-Clark House, which has plans to rehabilitate it, incorporate a historical interpretation of the area and to eventually use it as a tourist information center.
- East Hill Cemetery – The East Hill Cemetery is a unique property located in the Bristol community – situated on land in both Tennessee and Virginia. Established around 1857, the state line divides the 16.7-acre cemetery roughly in half. No collection of historic buildings in the area represents the settlement of Bristol as well as the East Hill Cemetery – so the site is a significant representation for the two cities. It contains graves of city founders, important civic leaders and businessmen and veterans from several wars. Gravestones in the cemetery range from simple concrete slabs to larger monuments with elaborate details. While the majority of the cemetery contains historic burials and markers, it is still an active cemetery and is operated by the East Hill Cemetery Memorial Association.
- Hamilton-Lay Store – Located on Walkers Ford Road just outside of the Union County seat of Maynardville, the Hamilton-Lay Store is an example of a traditional, country store. Once found throughout the state, this type of property is rarely seen today. The Hamilton-Lay Store represents the social history, commercial history and patterns of settlement in Union County during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From its construction circa 1875 to its closing in the mid-1940s, the building operated as a general store and was the center of the rural community known as Hamilton’s Crossroads. The two-story store was constructed by Alexander Lafayette “Fate” Hamilton and facilitated the growth and development of this rural area of Union County. Sometime before 1920, the business expanded and a one-story addition was built on the south elevation. The first- and second-story interior spaces are characterized by wall-mounted shelves and tongue-and-groove ceilings. Known as Hamilton’s Store before 1900 and then as Lay’s Store, the families that ran the store were historically linked throughout most of the store’s operation.
- John H. Leming House – Located in Manchester (Coffee County), the John H. Leming House is important for its architectural style and for Leming’s accomplishments in educational reform. The two-story house was built around the turn of the 20th century and is a good example of the Folk Victorian style, characterized by its minimal use of milled woodwork that was seen in more detail in Queen Anne houses. The Leming house is unusual for its use of cedar siding. Leming was the Coffee County Superintendent of Schools from 1917-1920 and 1925-1927 and served on the county’s Board of Education. His work in educational reform is representative of a local example of the national trend to reform schools in the early 20th century. Today the house is used as a bed and breakfast.
- John’s Place – While John’s Place looks unimposing, its personal history far surpasses the building itself. Located in Cookeville outside the main commercial area of town, the concrete block building was built in 1949 by Ed McClellan – an African-American businessman – and then later operated by Ed’s brother John Lee, followed by Ed’s son, Shakey. The building is important because of the role John’s Place played in the integration of Cookeville and Putnam County at a time when most of the county was segregated. John Lee McClellan served as a liaison between the different races in the community and was the first African-American elected to public office in the county. Beginning as a restaurant for his African-American clientele, John’s Place became a meeting place, bar and restaurant for all community members. Known for its “John Dog” and relaxed atmosphere, John’s Place is still run by the McClellan family.
- Tennessee Highway Patrol Buildings – In 2001, the 1936 Highway Patrol Building was listed in the National Register and four years later it opened as the Tennessee Highway Patrol Museum – a project initiated by Rockwood 2000, a local nonprofit organization in Roane County. When an adjacent highway patrol building became vacant, the organization again began the process of listing the building in the National Register, with the goal of rehabilitating it for community use. This second building consists of a 1936 section made of Permastone and a 1954 section made of Crab Orchard sandstone. When the main highway was changed from Kingston Avenue, a primarily residential street in the center of Rockwood to what is now U.S. 70 just outside the city, the second highway patrol building was added and reoriented toward the new road. The reoriented building represents the post-World War II era when automobile travel and the state’s highway patrol were expanding.
- WSM Tower Transmission Complex – WSM’s diamond-shaped, 808-foot radio tower is a landmark that most people know for its association with country music. Located in Brentwood (Williamson County), the tower was erected in 1932 and is the focal point of a broadcasting center that is significant locally, statewide and nationally for many reasons. As an engineering structure designed by the Blaw-Knox Steel Company, the tower has national significance for its unique design. The diamond shape allows for a relatively small tower to broadcast to forty states. In addition to the tower, there is a Colonial Revival-style broadcasting station building, a tower tuning house, an emergency tower and tuning house, and several smaller buildings or structures on the site. WSM was a leader in clear channel broadcasting, providing a variety of music, news and public service programs. After World War II, the station became one of the original parts of the military’s civil defense system.
Links to each of the completed nomination forms can be found in the site descriptions listed above. For more information about the National Register of Historic Places or the Tennessee Historical Commission, please visit the Web site at www.tn.gov/environment/hist.