Seven Tennessee Sites Added to the National Register of Historic Places

Friday, December 28, 2012 | 03:51 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Historical Commission has announced seven 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 what makes our communities unique and enjoyable,” said Patrick McIntyre, executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission.  “We are confident this recognition will help retain these unique sites for future generations to know and appreciate.”

Sites recently added to the National Register of Historic Places include:

  • Franklin City Cemetery and Rest Haven Cemetery – These two cemeteries are located across the street from each other on North Margin Street in Franklin in Williamson County. Franklin’s City Cemetery represents the early settlement period of the city and its continuing growth up to the early 19th century. Many of the city’s first settlers and leaders are buried here. In addition to being a prominent representation of the history of Franklin, the cemetery is a good example of early 19th century burial practices, when there was a change from burial in church graveyards to community-based cemeteries. The cemetery contains many artistically interesting monuments that date from 1811 to 1936. Even though it was not formally established until 1855, Rest Haven Cemetery’s first burial was in 1842; the last burial was in 1969. It was at this time that the Franklin City Cemetery was becoming full. Rest Haven Cemetery depicts the later development of the city and contains later examples of funerary art. Unlike the earlier Franklin City Cemetery, the Rest Haven Cemetery contains burials of family groups, often within stone or metal borders.
  • Fruitvale Historic District – The historic district in the community of Fruitvale includes two stores, a blacksmith shop, bunkhouse, two sheds, a barn, barbershop/office, crusher house and crop scale. The historic properties represent an area that was once thriving and that grew due to its closeness to the railroad and surrounding agricultural lands. Located in Crockett County, the Fruitvale Historic District is important in the areas of commerce and architecture, exemplifying a crossroads community of the late 19th and early 20th century. While there was not a depot in Fruitvale, there was a railroad switch that allowed trains to stop in the area. The Memphis & Ohio Railroad came into the area in the 1850s and by the 1870s, the community was called Fruitvale because of the large amount of produce exported from the area.
  • Holston Avenue Neighborhood Historic District – Located in Bristol, this historic residential neighborhood is comprised of 132 principal buildings on 57 acres. Historic residences in this Sullivan County district date from 1900 to 1962, with most houses built by 1955. Bungalows and Colonial Revival styles predominate in the district, although there are examples of other styles, such as Tudor Revival and Queen Anne. The neighborhood is important for its variety of architectural styles and as an example of the residential development of the city. The neighborhood’s pattern of development is associated with the industrial growth and urbanization of Bristol. In the 1920s the Tri-Cities area of Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport was transformed from an agricultural to a commercial/industrial area as new industries moved into the region. Nearly 39 percent of the district’s houses were built during this time.
  • Leipers Fork Historic District (Boundary Increase) – The Leipers Fork Historic District in Williamson County was listed in the National Register in 1998. The original district was residential in nature and this boundary increase added more commercial buildings and more houses. The inclusion of commercial buildings shows how important the commercial core of the community became in the early to mid-20th century. The district increase is important for its variety of architectural styles, including Gothic Revival and Folk Victorian. Leipers Fork reflects the historic architectural trends of smaller, more rural communities in the state.
  • Raus School – Known today as the Raus Community Improvement Club, the former Raus School building was built and expanded between 1888 and 1914 in rural Bedford County. The school is important for its role in education and for its use as a community building. Throughout its history, until it closed in 1954, the building held school classes for all grades and provided space for groups to meet, including the Raus Women’s Group and the Community Improvement Club. Architecturally, the Raus School is a good example of the standardized school plans that were promoted in the late 19th century.
  • Washington Miller House – The Greek Revival core of this house, which is located outside Columbia in Maury County, was constructed in 1851. It is an architecturally important building that is distinguished by its two story pedimented portico, denticulated cornice, front entry with sidelights and transom, and brick chimneys on the exterior. Inside, the house reveals molded woodwork. Washington Miller’s father died in 1848 and left his son the land on which he built this house a few years later. Situated on the highest point of the property, Miller could view his surrounding farmstead from the home. Circa 1975, two large wings were appended to the house but they are set back and do not diminish the historic features of the original house.

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 website at www.tnhistoricalcommission.org.

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