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Oak Ridge, Tennessee Historical Markers

 
1942 Marker image, Touch for more information
By Tom Bosse, December 30, 2017
1942 Marker
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1942
The war years during the first part of the year was dreadful. German submarines were wreaking havoc with our shipping in the Atlantic; the Japanese were winning in the Pacific, and the Germans were driving across North Africa. In late May, a . . . — Map (db m112276) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1943
The year opened with fierce fighting on battlefronts all over the world – Stalingrad, North Africa, the South Pacific. Here, February saw groundbreaking for Oak Ridge’s Y-12 Plant and the X-10 Graphite Reactor. Starting April 1, armed guards . . . — Map (db m112277) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1944
New arrivals to this fenced in area called the Clinton Engineer Works were amazed at the extensive construction at every turn – more Cemestos “alphabet” homes were going up on Black Oak Ridge, as were more “flattops” in . . . — Map (db m112278) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1945
The new city was crowded – all 90 dorms of singles, housing for families at a premium. In May the population peaked at 75,000. Y-12 had 22,400 workers; K-25, 11,000; X-10, 1,500. People at the plants were urged to work harder than ever at . . . — Map (db m112548) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1946
This was the world’s first fully peacetime year since 1938. Cities everywhere began struggling to change things back to normal; Oak Ridge was different – we had never been normal. Things here were also in a state of flux because the success of . . . — Map (db m112280) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1947
Although many residents still felt Oak Ridge was a wartime town, they were now encouraged to view their city as possibly becoming a permanent community. This transition was kicked off January 1 when the Manhattan Engineering District handed off . . . — Map (db m112281) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1948
Union Carbide agreed to manage X-10 as well as the Y-12 plant with their new defense mission, and the K-25 uranium enrichment plant. Carbide named Nelson Rucker as X-10 executive director who with Alvin Weinberg instilling a sense of stability as . . . — Map (db m112282) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1949
On January 20 “The Oak Ridger” published its first edition. It told the city’s stories for decades, like a favorite talk about colorful, hard-driving General Leslie Groves, Manhattan Engineering District commandant. When he had needed . . . — Map (db m112283) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 28 — Castle on the Hill
The Administration Building for the Clinton Engineering Works opened March 15, 1943. Dubbed "The Castle", it became headquarters for the Manhattan Engineering District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, from which all Manhattan Project construction was . . . — Map (db m112099) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Construction Workers
Starting with farmland in November 1942, 110,000 construction workers in two-and-a-half years built two huge uranium-235 production plants, Y-12 and K-25, at a cost of $759 million; X-10 and S-50, at a cost of $23 million; and the town for those who . . . — Map (db m112348) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Dedicated to the Memory of Those from Oak Ridge Who Gave Their Lives That Freedom Might Live
1942 - 1992 Samuel Karl Asher • Michael Roger Baker • James Edward Barlow • Jeff Thomas Barnett, Jr. • Martin Owen Boone • Joseph Keith Bradley • Gerald Wayne Davidson • Luther E. Davis • Ronald Edward Hibbard • David William . . . — Map (db m112461) WM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 24 — Elza GateThe Elza Gate
From April 1, 1943, until March 19, 1949, this was the site of Elza Gate. Elza Gate was the primary entrance to the secret community of Oak Ridge and along with six other entry points, it was manned by armed guards. Elza Gate took its name from a . . . — Map (db m88625) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Erected in Memory of New Bethel Baptist Church
Opened 1851 - Closed 1942 Church building Stood 47 feet in front of this stone In Memory of our Dead And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be . . . — Map (db m70485) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — K-25 – The Gaseous Diffusion Plant
In 1940 Columbia University scientists led by John Dunning began their research to beat Germany to the atomic bomb. But it took four years before they learned how to make the key to the gaseous diffusion process – a very porous, strong . . . — Map (db m112350) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Manhattan Engineer District – USAEC
In 1943, General Leslie R. Groves, commander of the Manhattan Project, delegated to Colonel Kenneth D. Nichols the responsibility for administering what was to become a $2.2 billion effort. The Colonel had his headquarters here in a rambling, . . . — Map (db m112345) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 23 — Oak Ridge
In 1943, Oak Ridge was created as the residential center for the Clinton Engineering Works. Located on the northeast corner of a 59,000-acre reservation acquired by the government in 1942, the community was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, . . . — Map (db m81358) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Oak Ridge – Secret City
In November 1942, Army Engineers were ordered to build a town for 13,000 people. A year later their target grew to 42,000, and the actual population reached 75,000 in September 1945 – almost three times the city’s 2005 population. Shown on no . . . — Map (db m112549) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project
In August 1945, citizens of this Secret City learned, most of them for the first time, that their hard work had made possible a weapon that was instrumental in bringing peace to a world anguished by the brutal, six-year war in which 54 million . . . — Map (db m112346) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Oak Ridge Hospital
The medical director responsible for the nationwide Manhattan Project, Colonel Stafford L. Warren, M.D., had his headquarters in Oak ridge. A professor of radiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, Warren was recruited specifically . . . — Map (db m112352) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Oak Ridge Schools
The need for good schools here posed special problems. The large transplanted population wanted schools at least as good as those they left behind, and the school population was destined to skyrocket from 830 in October 1943 to 8,223 in October 1945 . . . — Map (db m112550) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — ORINS / ORAUOak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies / Oak Ridge Associated Universities
In 1946, 14 southern universities formed the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (ORINS) – the first peacetime institution of this Secret City – to help faculty and students benefit from the outstanding research staff and facilities . . . — Map (db m112344) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — The Birth of the City of Oak Ridge, TennesseeTransformation of the Citizenry
In wartime 1943, realizing that unhappiness with living conditions would imperil the already fragile prognosis for producing uranium-235, the Army overseers of Oak Ridge strove to make life as pleasant as possible for the uprooted professionals sent . . . — Map (db m112457) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — The Birth of the City of Oak Ridge, TennesseeTransformation of the Housing
What most branded Oak Ridge as a temporary wartime community was its housing, almost half of which was added in a great rush during 1944-1945 as the town grew to five times the originally planned population of 13,000. Many thousands of the later . . . — Map (db m112458) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — The Birth of the City of Oak Ridge, TennesseeTransformation of Education and Health
At the same time the Government was starting large construction programs in 1948 to build permanent housing, work started to replace the hurriedly built wartime schools. The first permanent school finished was Willowbrook Elementary in September . . . — Map (db m112459) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — The Birth of the City of Oak Ridge, TennesseeTransformation of Municipal Services
In 1948, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) assigned the task of transforming the “Secret City” into an incorporated city to Frederick W. “Fred” Ford, the AEC’s new Community Affairs Director. In addition to managing the . . . — Map (db m112460) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 33 — The Chapel-on-the-Hill
Built in 1943 near the main business district (Jackson Square), this standard Army chapel was soon known with the Manhattan Project as "The Chapel-on-the-Hill". On 30 September 1943 it was dedicated for Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant worship. The . . . — Map (db m112102) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 34 — The Emery Road
On a route that was first authorized to be "cut and cleared" in 1787, the Rock Pillar Bridge 60 yards to the north-northeast was built in the early 1900's. This road became known as the Emery Road and was one of the earliest routes used in the . . . — Map (db m89677) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 25 — The Guest House
The Guest House provided accommodations for visitors to the Clinton Engineering Works (Oak Ridge) during the time of the Manhattan Project, which led to the development of the atomic bomb. The Guest House hosted such dignitaries as physicists J. . . . — Map (db m114613) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 27 — The Robertsville Community
The Robertsville Community was settled in 1804 by Collins Roberts, who had received a 4,000-acre land grant in this region. Robertsville was one of four communities in the area that predated Oak Ridge. The community was dispersed in 1942 when the . . . — Map (db m95701) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — 1D 29 — The Scarboro Community
The Scarboro Community was founded by three brothers in the early 1790s. Jonathan, David and James Scarborough traveled from Virginia and settled here. Scarboro was one of four area communities that predated Oak Ridge. The community remained largely . . . — Map (db m32575) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Violent Clashes"Flying...in the wildest disorder"
With the threat of war looming, Anderson County residents voted overwhelmingly against secession in 1861. When Confederate forces occupied East Tennessee and established a conscription center at nearby Clinton, Unionists slipped into Kentucky to . . . — Map (db m112103) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — X-10 – The Clinton Laboratories
In December 1942 University of Chicago physicists demonstrated that the newly discovered element plutonium could be made using a “pile” of uranium and graphite blocks. Aware that Germany was seeking to develop a weapon of unprecedented . . . — Map (db m112351) HM
Tennessee (Anderson County), Oak Ridge — Y-12 – The Calutron Plant
The top priority of the secret wartime Oak Ridge project was the Y-12 plant. That was the code name given to the process considered the best bet for separating weapon-grade uranium-235 (U-235) from U-238. This isotope separation process was the . . . — Map (db m112349) HM
Tennessee (Roane County), Oak Ridge — 1F 37 — Oak Ridge
In 1943, Oak Ridge was created as the residential center for the Clinton Engineering Works. Located on the northeast corner of a 59,000-acre reservation acquired by the government in 1942, the community was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, . . . — Map (db m82315) HM
Tennessee (Roane County), Oak Ridge — 1F 45 — Poplar Creek Seminary
Wheat Community Citizens established the Poplar Creek Seminary in 1877 as a center of higher education for area children. The Seminary's name was changed in 1886 to Roane College, chartered by the state of Tennessee as an accredited college. At its . . . — Map (db m88463) HM
Tennessee (Roane County), Oak Ridge — 1F 38 — The Wheat Community
The Wheat Community was settled during the middle of the 19th century and took its name from the first postmaster, Frank Wheat. The area had originally been known as Bald Hill. Roane College, a liberal arts college, operated here from 1886-1908. . . . — Map (db m121332) HM

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