“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chattanooga in Hamilton County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Industrial Heritage

Industrial Heritage Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 27, 2021
1. Industrial Heritage Marker
Inscription.  The Civil War marked a watershed in Chattanooga. War accelerated the growth of the town's already thriving commercial and manufacturing economy. During the United States Army's occupation in 1864-1865 the riverfront was covered by a major dock, warehouse, sawmill and ship yard complex from Ross's Landing to the west side of Cameron Hill. When the United States Army ended its occupation in late 1865, much of this infrastructure became property of Chattanooga and helped spur post-war growth.

Shortly after the war ended, many veterans of the United States Army who had served in Chattanooga returned to town and brought much needed capital and manufacturing know-how. Two of the most prominent were John T. Wilder and Hiram Chamberlain. They first opened a pig iron producing operation called Roane Iron Works in Rockwood, Tennessee, in 1867. By the early 1870s, the company operated a large mill facility along the banks of the Tennessee River called Roane Iron Company Iron and Steel Works. Their factory helped lay the foundation for future industrial growth.

Throughout the late 19th and by the middle of the 20th century, a vast industrial
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complex of dozens of firms stretched from the bluffs overlooking Ross's Landing Moccasin Bend and then south along Chattanooga Creek. The industrial economy that developed became one of the nation's largest and most diverse by the mid-20th century. It created wealth and brought good paying jobs for many. However, it also brought conflict as workers and managers clashed over working conditions. The industrial economy also brought such severe air and water pollution that by 1960 it threatened the prosperity the factories had created. The firms that now operate along the river practice clean production and still employs many Chattanoogans.

Captions (Clockwise, from top left):
• View of Ross's Landing from the top of Cameron Hill in the early 20th century.
• The Roane Iron Works, Circa 1890. You are now standing on the site of Roane Iron Works.
• (Map of area)
• Furniture factory and sawmill and the western edge of Ross's Landing.
• Union army supply steamers and warehouses at Ross's Landing in 1864.
• Before the Tennessee River Authority completed the Chickamauga Dam in 1940, Chattanooga was prone to destructive and frequent flooding, visible in this image from 1917.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWar, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1960.
Industrial Heritage Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 27, 2021
2. Industrial Heritage Marker
35° 3.046′ N, 85° 19.462′ W. Marker is in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in Hamilton County. Marker can be reached from West 9th Avenue west of Canal Street. Marker is along Tennessee Riverwalk. It is accessible via the Blue Goose Hollow Trailhead. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 876 West 9th Avenue, Chattanooga TN 37402, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Urban Renewal (within shouting distance of this marker); Carver Memorial Hospital (approx. half a mile away); College Hill Hospital (approx. half a mile away); Re-Opening the Tennessee River (approx. half a mile away); Boynton Park (approx. half a mile away); Negley's and Wilder's Demonstrations Against Chattanooga (approx. half a mile away); Battle of Chattanooga, 1st Day, Nov. 23 (approx. half a mile away); Battle of Chattanooga, 3d Day, Nov. 25. (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chattanooga.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 28, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 224 times since then and 75 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 28, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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May. 23, 2024