“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Athens, Tennessee

Clickable Map of McMinn County, Tennessee and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> McMinn County, TN (53) Bradley County, TN (43) Loudon County, TN (24) Meigs County, TN (31) Monroe County, TN (35) Polk County, TN (16) Roane County, TN (48)  McMinnCounty(53) McMinn County (53)  BradleyCounty(43) Bradley County (43)  LoudonCounty(24) Loudon County (24)  MeigsCounty(31) Meigs County (31)  MonroeCounty(35) Monroe County (35)  PolkCounty(16) Polk County (16)  RoaneCounty(48) Roane County (48)
Athens is the county seat for McMinn County
Athens is in McMinn County
      McMinn County (53)  
      Bradley County (43)  
      Loudon County (24)  
      Meigs County (31)  
      Monroe County (35)  
      Polk County (16)  
      Roane County (48)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — African American Barbers in Athens — 106 N. White St.
Several African-American barbers operated businesses in Athens in the first half of the 20th century. In 1900, Charles Miller was in business at 10 N. White Street. By 1913, Albert J. Evans was operating at 8 N. White, having bought property on . . . Map (db m180315) HM
2Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Athens Outlet Store — 116 N. White St.
In 1953, M.D. Goodfriend, Jr. (owner M. Goodfriend Store) and Simon Monen (owner Sterling Dress Shop), opened the Athens Outlet Store at this location. The store specialized in selling discount apparel and used the old jail building located . . . Map (db m180317) HM
3Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Athens Water Works Precinct 11 — 115 N. Jackson St
Built by the Ingleside Water Company c. 1920, this building once housed the Athens Water Works and served as Precinct 11 during the election of August 1, 1946. When Thomas Gillespie, a local black man, arrived around 3 p.m. to cast his vote, he was . . . Map (db m177774) HM
4Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — 2A 102 — Battle of Athens — August 1 - 2, 1946
The Battle of Athens was an armed revolt that gained national attention. Attempting to end the control of an entrenched political machine, World War II veterans used force to ensure that on the day of local elections in 1946 every vote “was . . . Map (db m49561) HM
5Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — 2A 90 — Bethsalem Presbyterian Church
In August 1866, the Bethsalem Presbyterian Church was the first African-American church organized in the area of McMinn, Meigs, and Polk counties. The church had its start in a brush arbor until the congregation built a log cabin which served as a . . . Map (db m178009) HM
6Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Boyd House — 18 W. Madison Ave.
In 1833, William H. Cunningham purchased this lot from the Commissioners of Athens for $1,000. Deed records of 1853 indicate that Cunningham's executors sold the property to Francis Boyd for $400. Boyd was appointed postmaster in April of the . . . Map (db m177805) HM
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7Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Bus Station — 2 S. White St.
Bus Station 2 S. White St. William E. Newton was the owner of a cab service and decided to open a bus station across from the Robert E. Lee Hotel. He later moved the bus station to this location during the 1930s. The business was managed by . . . Map (db m177809) HM
8Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Cher-O-Kee Photofinishers — 203 E. Washington Ave.
Cher-O-Kee Photofinishers was established at this location c. 1944 by Fred Wankan, former owner and editor of The Daily Post-Athenian. The business grew and by 1957, moved to a new location on Congress Parkway. Later, the name changed to Fox . . . Map (db m180312) HM
9Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Cleage Corner — 13 E. Madison Ave.
In the late 1820s, a brick building was constructed by contractors Cleage & Crutchfield. Alexander Cleage was the owner of Cleage Hall, and it was used for temporary court proceedings, balls, and other civic activities. The Franklin Association, . . . Map (db m177804) HM
10Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Crawford Corner — 2 N. White St.
This was the site of the home and store of County Court member, John Crawford (1797-1862). It is said that Crawford's building was the oldest brick corner in Athens. In 1907, G.F. Lockmiller and other businessmen purchased the lot and . . . Map (db m177806) HM
11Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Evans Building — 102 N. White St — This Building Has History —
Effron's, a department store chain that started in Chattanooga c. 1923, opened at this location by 1930. They were promoted as a big department store which carried items for the whole family at low prices. Their policy was that of faith in the . . . Map (db m177630) HM
12Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Fire Department — 201 N. White St.
In the early 1940s, the Board of Public Utilities (later Athens Utilities Board) began purchasing this property and that immediately behind it on Jackson for its offices. In the early 1960s, the City of Athens purchased and renovated the . . . Map (db m180313) HM
13Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Fire Hall — 103 N. Jackson St
The history of Athens is marred by many buildings and blocks being destroyed by fire. Athens fought fires with one hose cart until 1910 when this property was purchased for the location of the first Fire Hall and Recorder's office. Later, due . . . Map (db m177775) HM
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14Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — First National Bank — 108 N. Jackson St.
In 1885, the name was changed to First National Bank with J.M. Henderson as president and Robert J. Fisher as cashier. (Fisher received national attention for inventing a typewriter that was able to print downward on a bound ledger.) After being . . . Map (db m177739) HM
15Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — 2A 113 — First United Presbyterian Church
Established in 1889 as a Presbyterian mission, First United Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1892 in the Gothic Revival Style by descendants of former slaves. The church played a major role in the area's educational history, serving as the . . . Map (db m107922) HM
16Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Foster-Rowan House — 202 E. Washington Ave.
In 1907, the M. E. Church (later Trinity United Methodist) negotiated with George W. Foster and his wife for the purchase of his livery stable and two dwelling houses located at the junction of Jackson and College Streets and the sale of this . . . Map (db m177780) HM
17Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — 2A 114 — Free Hill — A Forgotten Community
Established in the 1850s, Free Hill was a community of free, educated African Americans. These men and women were skilled tradespersons who owned property and businesses. By 1854, they advertised In newspapers. St. Mark's AME Zion Church, built in . . . Map (db m177916) HM
18Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — From Furs to Factories — The Tennessee Overhill Experience
McMinn County Courthouse Square The courthouse square traditionally was the social, economic, and political center of county seats across the South. A succession of enterprises—dry goods stores, a laundry and tailor shop, stagecoach . . . Map (db m177734) HM
19Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — GI Headquarters — 106 E. Washington St.
Dr. W.W. Grant, dental surgeon, built his office here c. 1907 having bought the lot from Dr. J.R. Nankivell, physician, who had his office next door. Serving as mayor, Dr. Grant oversaw the building of a splendid system of concrete walks, the . . . Map (db m177777) HM
20Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Hitching Rings
These hitching rings were used by McMinn Countians to secure their horses while trading or attending to business. Accommodations for hitching horses were removed from around the square in 1922 to make way for the automobile.Map (db m177736) HM
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21Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Hotel Magill — 16 E. Washington Ave
Mrs. R. N. Magill opened the Hotel McGill on this site in 1904. It was known for having the best cooks. The amenities provided set the benchmark for a top quality hotel which drew plenty of business. The hotel expanded from twelve to thirty . . . Map (db m177668) HM
22Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — 2A 12 — John Tyler Morgan
300 yards east is the house in which John Tyler Morgan (1824–1907) was born. A brigadier general in the Confederate Army, he later served for 30 years as United States Senator from Alabama. He distinguished himself by promoting legislation in . . . Map (db m49575) HM
23Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Lt. Charles R. Ware, USN — U.S.S. Charles R. Ware (DD-865) 1945-1981
Lt. Charles R. Ware, USN 1911-1942 U.S.S. Charles R. Ware (DD-865) 1945-1981 To honor the memory of Lieutenant Charles Rollins Ware, the former officers and crewmen of the destroyer USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865) dedicate this plaque in . . . Map (db m182313) HM WM
24Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — McGaughey Corner — 100 E. Washington Ave.
This corner was once the location of the home and tin shop of Robert McGaughey, an African-American businessman who was well-known for his skill as a tinsmith. In 1921, the property was sold to First National Bank and a two story structure was . . . Map (db m177738) HM
25Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — McKeldin Block — 11 N. Jackson St.
In 1835, General William Brazelton of New Market purchased part of this block for his daughter Emily and Irish son-in-law Andrew McKeldin who operated a mercantile store here until his death in 1867. In 1878, Emily had a brick building . . . Map (db m180321) HM
26Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — McMinn County Jail — 202 N. White St.
This is the former site of the McMinn County Jail. It was under attack during the night of August 1, 1946 when the GI party believed the deputies held seized ballot boxes there. The event has been labeled The Battle of Athens. There is visible . . . Map (db m180323) HM
27Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Nankivell-Walthall Building — 110 E. Washington Ave.
In 1887, Dr. J.R. Nankivell purchased a wood frame building on this lot from J.B. Cook to house his medical practice. When the frame building was replaced c. 1922 by one of brick, Dr. Nankivell moved his medical practice to the second . . . Map (db m177778) HM
28Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Petty-Manker Hall — 1913 - 2000
Petty-Manker Hall was built in 1913 as a dormitory for men. It was named in honor of the Reverend J.S. Petty and the Reverend J.J. Manker, class of 1873. The four-story brick building was erected at a cost of $25,000, which was contributed by John A . . . Map (db m49574) HM
29Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Planters Bank — 130 E. Washington Ave.
In 1836 contractors Samuel Cleage and Thomas Crutchfield were engaged to construct the Planters Bank on this site. Many skilled craftsmen, including African-American slaves, worked for them. Cleage's son David later served as cashier. When the . . . Map (db m177779) HM
30Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Pushing Toward Knoxville — Union Armies on the Move
This interstate highway parallels the historic line of the East Tennessee & Georgia Railroads. In September 1863, Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside led his army toward Knoxville along the line to take control of the strategically vital city. At . . . Map (db m117807) HM
31Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Rice House — 115 E. Madison Ave.
This house is believed to have been built in 1835 by Cleage and Crutchfield, contractors. It was inherited by Margaretta Senter Rice after her father died without a will in 1846. She was the wife of Charles L. Rice after whom the community of . . . Map (db m177782) HM
32Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Riddle and Wallace Drug Co. — 8 E. Washington Ave.
Pharmacist Miles A. Riddle opened a drug store on the corner of Washington and N. Jackson c. 1914. In the early 1950s, Jack Wallace became a partner in the business. Riddle and Wallace Drug Company moved to the building just west of here c. 1961, . . . Map (db m177639) HM
33Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Road to Chattanooga — The Tide Turns for the Union
This interstate highway parallels the historic line of the East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad. Late in 1863, Union and Confederate armies followed the tracks during a series of battles in the fight for control of Chattanooga, a strategically vital . . . Map (db m97343) HM
34Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — 2A 32 — Samuel Cleage
This was one of the houses built by this itinerant contractor, who left Botetourt Co., Va., in 1823 and made his way south building houses, taking pay in “gold, notes or Negroes”. In 1836 it was the central office for the Hiawassee R.R., . . . Map (db m49571) HM
35Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — St. Mark A.M.E. Zion, “Free Hill” — Southeast Tennessee Religious Heritage Trail
Freedom had been a long time coming for three to four million African American men, women, and children. During a period of turmoil and strife in antebellum America, when racism and discrimination were widely prevalent, enslaved African Americans . . . Map (db m177917) HM
36Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — Strand Theatre — 4 E. Washington Ave.
This was the site of the Foree Hotel in operation 1913 until 1925 when it was destroyed by fire. In 1925, Mrs. J.O. Foree sold the Hotel Foree property to Manning and Wink, a partnership responsible for opening several movie theatres in Georgia . . . Map (db m177638) HM
37Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — 2A 58 — Tennessee Wesleyan College
Organized in 1857 as Athens Female College and sponsored then by the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The name of the college has been changed several times, but it has been related to some branch of the Methodist Church . . . Map (db m82258) HM
38Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — The Daily Post-Athenian — 125 N. Jackson St.
Build c. 1920, this building housed the printing office of The Athenian, a republican newspaper. Later it merged with The Athens Semi-Weekly Post, a democratic paper, to become The Post Athenian. In the early 1930s it became a daily . . . Map (db m177741) HM
39Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — The Nocatula Legend — The Hackberry and The Oak
A wounded English officer from Fort Loudon was befriended by an Indian Chief and nursed back to health by Nocatula, daughter of the Chief. The soldier, given the name of Connestoga, “The Oak,” was accepted into the tribe and married . . . Map (db m82259) HM
40Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — The Tennessee Overhill Experience — From Furs to Factories — Beth Salem: An Historic Farming Community —
This 1920s-era frame building, home to the Beth Salem Cumberland Presbyterian Church, stands as a carefully tended symbol of the freed slaves and their descendants who once were part of an integrated community of subsistence farmers. The Beth Salem . . . Map (db m178010) HM
41Tennessee (McMinn County), Athens — WLAR — 110 N. Jackson St.
In May of 1946, WLAR 1450 opened on the second floor of this building as one of only two radio stations between Knoxville and Chattanooga. On August 1, 1946, announcer C.C. (Chuck) Redfern, took the photo of the two GI poll . . . Map (db m177740) HM
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Oct. 4, 2022