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

Restoration of Sabine Hill

Sabine Hill State Historic Site

 
 
Restoration of Sabine Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2021
1. Restoration of Sabine Hill Marker
Inscription.  
Bringing Sabine Hill Back to Life
Sabine Hill remained in the Taylor family through the latter 1940s. In August 1936, W. Jeter Eason with the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) visited Sabine Hill and took detailed photographs of the structure. This proved an invaluable asset during restoration. Sabine Hill was one of only four structures in Carter County to be recorded by HABS. At that time, the house was vacant and the surrounding property was rented to local farmers. In 1949, James L. Reynolds purchased the house in hopes of restoring it to its former grandeur. Throughout the Reynolds' occupations of the home for several decades, renovations and stabilization efforts ensured the structural integrity of Sabine Hill. In his 1981 book Architecture in Tennessee 1768-1897, author James Patrick referred to the home as a "spectacular design of Federal Architecture."

In 2007 Sabine Hill was threatened by demolition for an apartment complex. This plan would have required a rezoning of the property, and citizen action groups, as well as descendants of the Taylor family, raised awareness of the home's historical

Marker detail: Sabine Hill, 1949 image. Click for full size.
Source: James L. Reynolds Family
2. Marker detail: Sabine Hill, 1949
A view showing the original kitchen house and an addition, taken when the Reynolds family purchased the Sabine Hill property from the Taylor family in 1949.
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significance to prevent its destruction. The Tennessee Historical Commission weighed in, and the Tennessee Preservation Trust placed the home on its "Ten in Tennessee" list of the state's most endangered properties. The rezoning request was ultimately denied by the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission. To ensure the home's preservation, private citizens purchased the house from the owners who had sought to demolish it. This generous act allowed much-needed time until it could be acquired by the Tennessee Historical Commission, using state monies from the State Lands Acquisition Fund. Sycamore Shoals Historic Park and the Tennessee Historical Commission partnered with a plan to save the property and develop it as a heritage tourism asset for the region. Sycamore Shoals agreed to operate the property as a unit of the park. Fundraising and stewardship efforts were undertaken by both community members and Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park for some years before restoration funding could be obtained.

In 2012 the Tennessee Historical Commission received capital funding to restore Sabine Hill. The preservation project included historic paint analysis, dendrochronology, and archaeology along with in-depth examination of the original architecture. This ensured that the restoration of the home would be historically accurate. The combined efforts of local residents, descendants,

Marker detail: Sabine Hill Restoration image. Click for full size.
Collection of Sycamore Shoals State Park
3. Marker detail: Sabine Hill Restoration
During the restoration, workers removed siding on the buildings and a porch on the kitchen. Experts made many important discoveries, including covered windows.
historical enthusiasts, and state agencies guaranteed that Sabine Hill would be preserved and enjoyed by future generations.

[photo captions]
• (marker background photo) The Historic American Building Survey took this photo of Sabine Hill in 1936. The house was in poor condition and vacant. (Source: Library of Congress)
• (right center photo) Dr. Henri Grissino-Mayer extracts a core in the west parlor with a student looking on. The core was used to determine the construction date of the house (Source: Collection of Sycamore Shoals State Park)
 
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureCharity & Public WorkParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Historical Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 2012.
 
Location. 36° 19.619′ N, 82° 16.138′ W. Marker is in Elizabethton, Tennessee, in Carter County. Marker can be reached from West G Street (Tennessee Route 67) 0.1 miles west of Sabine Street, on the left when traveling west. Marker is located at the Sabine Hill State Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2328 West G Street, Elizabethton TN 37643, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker

Restoration of Sabine Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2021
4. Restoration of Sabine Hill Marker
(Sabine Hill / General Nathaniel Taylor House in background)
, measured as the crow flies. The Taylor Family (here, next to this marker); Uncovering the Past (a few steps from this marker); Sabine Hill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Sabine Hill (about 300 feet away); Fort Watauga Monument (approx. 0.6 miles away); Powder Branch (approx. 0.9 miles away); Cedar Grove Cemetery (approx. 1.3 miles away); Valentine Sevier, "The Immigrant" (approx. 1˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elizabethton.
 
Regarding Restoration of Sabine Hill. National Register of Historic Places #73001755.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Sabine Hill State Historic Site
 
Also see . . .
1. Sabine Hill Dedication. This beautiful early 19th century home was constructed c. 1818 by the family of Brigadier General Nathaniel Taylor. Architectural historians consider the home to be one of the finest examples of Federal style architecture in the State of Tennessee. The property was restored as a capital project of the Tennessee Historical Commission and will be operated as a unit of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. (Submitted on June 4, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Sabine Hill State Historic Site Restoration. (before and after photos; some interior
Sabine Hill (<i>northeast elevation • detached kitchen and house</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2021
5. Sabine Hill (northeast elevation • detached kitchen and house)
photos
) (Submitted on June 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Sabine Hill Historic Structure Assessment. (Submitted on June 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
 
Sabine Hill (<i>northwest elevation</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2021
6. Sabine Hill (northwest elevation)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 4, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 65 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on June 4, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 5, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jun. 18, 2021