Local Historical Sites of Intere

Local Sites of Historical Interest

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The Henegar House
Charleston, TN

Henry Benton Henegar served as wagon master and secretary under Chief John Ross and accompanied the Cherokee on their removal to the west.  Henegar returned to Charleston and constructed his brick, Federal Style home in 1849.  The home (NR Listed 1976) was constructed on the military barracks of Fort Cass. During the Civil War, the home was used as headquarters for Union and Confederate generals.  

Governor Joseph McMinn's Gravesite
Calhoun, TN

During his three terms as governor, 1815-1821, McMinn played an important role in negotiating treaties with Indian tribes that led to cessions of considerable land to Tennessee. After retiring from office, he purchased a farm near Calhoun. Two years later he was placed in charge of the Cherokee Agency but died the following year. He was buried in the Shiloh Presbyterian Cemetery in McMinn County, which was named for him. 

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Charleston, TN

This National Register-listed Greek Revival-style church served as a Confederate hospital in 1863.  That November, troops of Company C of the 1st Tennessee Cavalry, CSA, whom largely came from neighboring McMinn and Monroe counties, helped to evacuate the town of Charleston. That unit then joined the 38th Tennessee Infantry, led by Col. John C. Carter, in occupying the crucial river town, which lies just south of the Hiwassee River.

   Cemetery Records 

Saulpaw Mansion
Calhoun, TN

This large Victorian mansion was built in 1879 by G.L. Saulpaw.  Situated on Church Street, the home has been the scene of many galas and events throughout its history.  The 16 room mansion features elaborate gingerbread trim, a tower room, two staircases and numerous fireplaces with carved mantels.  The house is still maintained today as a private residence.

The Bryant House
Charleston, TN

Situated west of Charleston, the Bryant House was built in the mid 1860's following the Civil War.  The house has solid brick walls held together by earthquake bolts and sits on a rise overlooking the original plantation farm.  High ceilings and walnut woodwork are found throughout the house.  The house was restored in the 1970's and remains in pristine condition today.
 

Gravesite of Sarah Elizabeth Ross
Calhoun, TN

Near the site of the original Calhoun Methodist Church lies the grave of Sarah Elizabeth Ross.  Sarah was the daughter of Lewis Ross a notable Cherokee businessman, and niece of Cherokee Chief John Ross.   She fell ill and died in 1824 while the family was living near Calhoun.  She was two years old.

Sweetbriar Plantation
Calhoun, TN

Situated East of Calhoun overlooking the Eastanollee Creek and Getty's Mill, this large country home was built in the late 1820's.  This Federal style home features post and beam construction, with several additions throughout its history.  It was restored in the early 1970's and is still maintained as a private residence today.

 

Rattlesnake Springs
Charleston, TN

Located southeast of Charleston lies Rattlesnake Springs.  Rattlesnake Springs served as one of the Cherokee encampments within Fort Cass during the Removal of 1838.  It is the most famous and recognized name associated with this area.  The springs are located off Dry Valley Road on a privately-owned farm.

The Varnell House and Farm
Charleston, TN

The Varnell Family farm, also known as Bend of the River Farm, was once a Cherokee community and has important local ties to the Civil War era.  The large home was built in 1909 and features elaborate woodwork throughout.  The farm was established by Kate Anne Saulpaw Varnell in 1890, and has recently been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm.

 

The Taylor-Bond House
Calhoun, TN

This house was built in the 1800's by I.H. Bond, a prominent early businessman in the town of Calhoun.  It later became the residence of Dr. Henry Taylor, a local physician who had a medical office located just south of the house.  Located on Main Street, the house sits in the oldest part of Calhoun and is still owned by descendants of the Taylor family.  In the mid 1990's, the house was heavily damaged by fire, but restored to its former condition.

 

Lewis Ross House/Barrett Hotel
Charleston, TN

The original home of Lewis and Frances Holt Ross was built in 1820 at the Cherokee Agency (present-day Charleston) south of the Hiwassee River.  Lewis, brother of Chief John Ross, was a successful businessman while his brother was the politician of the family.  After the Removal, the house was owned by S.S. Barrett and served as a hotel for weary travelers.  Fires in the 1880's and many house alterations have significantly changed the original appearance of the house.

 

Aiken House
Charleston, TN

Dating prior to 1870, this home was built by Martha Aiken, following the death of her husband, Samuel, who worked with Cherokee Lewis Ross on Ross' ferry which crossed the Hiwassee River into Calhoun.  The house sits on a rise in the oldest part of Charleston.  The original boxwoods still line the entrance to the house.  The house is privately owned and retails many features original to its construction.

 

Saulpaw Monument
Calhoun, TN

This large ornate monument is located in the Methodist Cemetery.  It was erected by the Saulpaw families in the center of their family burial plot.  The Saulpaws came to Calhoun in the mid 1800's from Pennsylvania and made their fortune in bridge construction, flour milling and as merchants in various businesses.  They were the builders of several elaborate mansions in the area, and had vast land holdings along the Hiwassee River. 

 

The Hill-Albritton House
Charleston, TN

This more than 100 year old home sits in one of the most historic sections of Charleston.  Facing the railroad, the house is near the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Henegar House.  This area was a hub of activity during the Civil War.  Currently maintained as a private residence, the home was opened to the public for the 2008 Christmas tour.

 

The Haskins-Cord House
Charleston, TN

Located on Market St. near the Ross House,  John and Catherine Haskins bought the house from a Knox family, lived and raised their family there.  Later their daughter and husband, Ella Haskins Cord purchased the home and lived there until Ella's death.

 

Getty's Mill
Calhoun, TN

Located 3 miles northeast of Calhoun, Getty's Mill sits on the banks of Eastanollee Creek.  The large brick structure was built in the 1870's and a small community grew up around it.  At one time it was operated by Knoxville Woolen Mills.  Near the mill lies an old store building and the historic Sweetbriar Plantation House.  Getty's Mill lies abandoned.

 

The Henry House
Charleston, TN

Located on Wool Lane, this Federal Style house dates prior to the Civil War.  Currently research is being done to determine if this house could have been part of the Fort Cass headquarters.  The Henry family has passed down through the generations an antique piano which bears the scars of a Civil War bullet which resulted from a skirmish fought near the house.  The home has undergone few renovations since its construction. 

 

Charleston First Baptist Church
Charleston, TN

The Charleston First Baptist Church was organized in 1901.  The current building sits on the site of the original building which burned in 1923.  The present building was completed in September of 1924.  The sanctuary features original stained glass windows, ornate woodwork and tin ceilings. 

 

McMurray and Saulpaw Building
Calhoun, TN

This building has served as various businesses on Main St. since the early 1900's.  Built originally for B.A. McMurray and T.B. Saulpaw, it was one of the best known and most substantial general merchandise stores in the county.  Throughout its 100 year old history it has also been used for a town theater, restaurant and manufacturing facility.  The building boasts impressive brickwork and is one of the few surviving structures in the old part of Calhoun.

 

The Ruins of Millwood
Calhoun, TN

These large limestone walls once surrounded the magnificent mansion "Millwood", built in 1869 by G.W. Saulpaw.  Mr. Saulpaw, a bridge builder by trade, had these gigantic stones quarried from the ridges upriver from his home, and transported down river to the site of his home on Eastanollee Creek.  These stones were used to elevate the home site and carriage path from the flooding of the creek.  Barns on the estate were also built on these limestone walls to create cool underground areas for cattle.  Hundreds of these ivy covered stones are still visible today at the site of the original mansion, which burned in the 1970's.

 

Saulpaw Mill Dam
Calhoun, TN

This site is located where the Eastanollee Creek empties into the Hiwassee River.  There was also a mill at this site when Saulpaw's purchased the property.  This could have been the mill of John Walker, founder of Calhoun.  The Saulpaw mill located here produced a brand of flour known as "Silver Queen".  The mill was owned and operated by the Saulpaw family which lived in a magnificent mansion on a hill overlooking the mill site.  The mill was torn down by TVA in the 1940's, but the original mill dam remains today.

 

The Wilson Home
Charleston, TN

This impressive home was built by Harvey Wilson in 1826, prior to the Removal of the Cherokees. It sits on a site associated with the Cherokee Indians, and may be located on the road the Bell group of Cherokees traveled during the Removal of 1838.  During the Civil War, General Sherman occupied the house on his way to burn Atlanta.  Quilts he took upon leaving were returned to the family several years later.  The house features American Chestnut hardwood floors and original handmade brick in the fireplaces.  The house serves as a private residence today.

 

Quisenberry House
Charleston, TN

This home, located on Market Street, was the home of the James Elmer Quisenberry family.  Quisenberry was the first cashier of the Hiwassee Bank, and was elected president of the bank in 1931.  He helped start the Hiwassee Light & Power Company and was active in the Masonic Lodge.  The house is currently being restored.

 

The Lyle House
Charleston TN

This large Victorian house is located on the west ridge of Charleston.  It has elaborate gingerbread trim, porches and woodwork.  The house was built in the late 1800's and is maintained today as a private residence.

 

Shiloh Presbyterian Cemetery-Cherokee Mission Site
Calhoun, TN

The Shiloh Cemetery is the location of the Cherokee Indian Mission, established in 1804 by Presbyterian minister Gideon Blackburn.   The purpose of the mission was to instill Christian religious precepts and "civilized" standards of behavior. The curriculum emphasized lessons in dress and comportment as well as instruction in reading, math, music, and the catechism.  The mission was non-existent by 1809, but the Presbyterians built a large framed church building on the site.  The church was destroyed by the Union Army during the Civil War.