At the end of July, the Tennessee Historical Commission announced the addition of seven sites to the National Register of Historic Places, four of which are in Appalachian counties.
The Higginbotham Turnpike, a 4.7-mile segment of the Northern Removal Route of the 1838 Trail of Tears, is located in Van Buren and Warren counties. About 10,000 Native Americans in nine detachments passed through this area. Following the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the federal United States government expelled Native Americans from their homes and sent them on a forced march west.
The Dixie Mercerizing Company in Hamilton County opened in the late 1920s, where workers employed a process called mercerization to strengthen cotton fibers for textiles.The site is made up of six historic buildings that were built between 1920 and 1951 and updated over time to process synthetic fibers. Nearby, the Downtown Chattanooga Historic District, which previously had 13 features listed, expanded to 71 in recognition of the city’s architectural and commercial history. The district was a hub for banking, retail and government functions from the late-19th to mid-20th century.
In neighboring Marion County, the Ebenezer Cumberland Presbyterian Church was added to the national register. Constructed in 1914, the church is distinguished by its stained glass windows, weatherboard siding, exposed rafters and other historic elements of the Gothic Revival Style.
Sites on the register are given access to tax provisions as well as federal grants for historic preservation. Federal agencies are also required to consider these sites’ historic value when making surface mining permit decisions and when planning federal projects. — By Emerson Wells