In The Beginning
Welcome to Roane County. Created by an act in 1801, the county is located in the Tennessee Valley, at the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau. The county seat of Kingston also served as the capital of Tennessee for one day back in 1807. The land that is now Roane County was opened up to westward expansion by such forts as Fort Southwest Point in 1790 at Kingston. This brought the first settlers to the area in 1794.
The Roane County Heritage Commission was established in 1974 and was deeded the old historic Roane County courthouse in Kingston at the same time. This antebellum courthouse was built in the 1853-1854 time period and is one of six remaining courthouses in the state to have been built before the civil war. The building is under going major renovation now.
New To The Site: The Roane County Heritage Commission On Facebook
The goal of the RCHC is to preserve
our past for all future generations. One major task we have is to
preserve and protect the large collection of court documents from over
the years. Many researchers and genealogist have visited
The Roane County Archives Library
in search of data. The Archives Library is overseen by county historian
Robert Bailey and assisted by Darleen Trent.
Monday - Friay: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM EST.
Closed 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST for Lunch.
Closed Saturday & Sunday.
The RCHC is a fully tax exempt corporation and governed by our board. Our activities are paid with grants and membership dues. We invite you to join by calling (865)376-9211 or write us at:
The Roane County Heritage Commission
Some Historic Sites In Roane County
1820's or 1830's. Home of THOMAS N. CLARK, JR., one of the oldest surviving buildings in the county. Thomas Junior was the son of THOMAS NORRIS CLARK who came to this area about the time Fort Southwest Point was being built, and was one of Kingston's founding fathers. Thomas Junior was born at Southwest Point in 1803 and was the first Clerk and Master of the Roane County Chancery Court. The home was once called "Prospect Hill." Several members of the Clark family are buried there.
Listed on the National Historic Register, it is the oldest house in Oliver Springs. The original part of the house was a 2-story log structure built by LEWIS RECTOR. It was remodeled over the years. It has been associated with many prominent people. JOSEPH ESTABROOK, the fifth president of the University of TN, bought the house in 1852. In 1882 it was bought by ELIZA GERDING HANNAH MCFERRIN, widow of Major JOHN HARVEY HANNAH. Mrs. McFerrin was the daughter of GEORGE FREDERICK GERDING who, in 1844, founded Wartburg, TN, as a Swiss Colony. Mrs. McFerrin's two prominent sons, Gen. HARVEY H. HANNAH and GERALD GERDING HANNAH, and a daughter, BERNICE MCFERRIN were reared in the old house. Located on the corner of Main and Springs Streets, not open to the public.
Gideon Morgan House:
Roane's oldest house. Built by Col. GIDEON MORGAN, a Rev. War veteran. In 1815, he turned his house into an "Ordinary." National Register of Historic Places, not open to the public, except for special tours.
Fort Southwest Point
General history Listed on National Register for Historic Places in the 1970's.
The original house was a log building constructed sometime before the Civil War. Latter owned by CRUMBLISS, then the EBLEN family. It was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. BRONCE JOHNSON and was redesigned, later gutted by fire, but lovingly reconstructed by the
Johnsons. Magnificent example of Colonial style architecture.
Old Courthouse in Kingston:
Standing As One of Six Pre - Civil War Court Houses in the State of
Tennessee, It Was Built in 1853/54. It Houses The Roane County Archives Library Archives, the Heritage Commission Office, and the Roane County Museum of History and Art.
Oliver Springs Banking Company:
First directors were HENRY SIENKNECHT, SAM TUNNELL, H.
C. THOMPSON, D. C. RICHARDS, and J. F. TAYLOR. National Register of Historic Places. Main Street.
Southern R.R. Depot Built in 1896, it was acquired by the Oliver Springs Historical Society, restored, and opened to the public as a Museum and Library. An old caboose and hose wagon have been added.
1850's Built by Capt. BENJAMIN WELCKER. (1821-1884) Several riverboat captains and bankers have owned the property, including JOHN SHARPLEY PARKER, father of the late J. C. (Babe)
PARKER, long-time Roane County Historian and banker. The house has been meticulously restored, inside and out.
1880's Built by JAMES K. BUTLER, later sold to W. S. GEERS, and was bought by the CHRIS LADD family. A daughter was DORA LADD who married HOWARD H. BAKER, SR.--parents of Senator HOWARD H. BAKER , Jr.
Late 1800's JAMES F. TARWATER (b. Dandridge, TN 1847) came to Roane County after the Civil War, and soon became one of the most influential men in Roane County. He was a director of the Roane Iron Company and an organizer of both the Rockwood and Harriman Hosiery Mills. His wife was REBECCA KENDRICK. Rockwood.
Completed shortly after the founding of Harriman, it was built to house the general offices of the East TN Land Company. Today it houses the Harriman City Council Chambers, city offices, and the Harriman Heritage Museum. Public facility.
Wheat Community African-American Burial Ground-
One of and perhaps the largest slave cemetery in East Tennessee it stands as a monument to the four million human beings who lived and died in bondage in the South, as well as a remainder of the rich contributions to our heritage made by the largely forgotten, often ignored descendants of Africans who literally built much of Roane County. Located on the south side of Hwy. 58N about a quarter of a mile.
Colonial style, built by Civil War soldier, WILLIAM B. WILEY. During the 1920's, the house was acquired by the HARVEY H. HANNAH family, and did some remodeling. Harvey H. Hannah served as TN Commissioner of Transportation for many years. Currently being remodeled.