Historic Trust honors keepers of Blount’s past

Members of the Blount County Historic Trust gathered recently at St. Andrews Episcopal Church for their annual meeting and to recognize individuals who are preserving the county’s historical structures.

“We have a historically rich culture in Blount County and the need to gather together and understand our past helps us understand our future” says Ken Brown, Alcoa High teacher and Blount County Historic Trust board member.

Photographer Jon Pike was one of those attending the meeting. Blount County has many historical structures, he said. “We can’t forget that Cades Cove is in Blount County and that offers additional structures that are to be considered,” said Pike.

Pike has been taking pictures of the homes in Blount County that are on the National Register of Historic Places. “We have 36 pictures so far and are about one-third of the way done. Pictures are essential because they preserve a historic image of places when the actual place ceases to exist,” said Pike. “We have (a photograph of) one structure already that has burnt and no longer exists.”

According to the National Register of Historic Places website, Blount County has more than 75 registered structures. The register uses the term “structure” because not only homes are considered, but such structures as Calderwood Dam and Alcoa South Plant Office are also on the registry. To be considered eligible, a property must meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. This involves examining the property’s age, integrity, and significance.

Board member Ken Brown says board members and officers were elected by the membership and newly-elected Historic Trust president, Geneva Williams Harrison, made announcements and salutations. Additional new officers are Bill Cabage, vice president, and Kari Duggan, treasurer.

Brown says the group needs an executive director, “someone to spearhead this historic movement.”

Awards were also given to noteworthy associates of the trust:

n The Oak Shingle Award was given to Walter Wise, a Knox County developer. This award is given to someone who has improved a historic structure. Wise was honored for his work with the Charles M. Hall School, which was a segregated school in Alcoa.

n Eric Kaiser was given the Heritage Design Award. Eric restored two homes on East Harper in Maryville. The theme for this award is “helping to improve the historic community.”

n The Nisus Corporation of Rockford, a pesticide and fungicide company, won the Van Guard award for their support of the Blount Historical Trust and the Heritage Museum for treatments of the structures.

n The Champion Award, which is presented to the individual who has contributed substantially to the oral preservation of historical Blount County, went to George B. Henry and Dean Stone.

For more information on the Blount County Historic Trust, visit www.blountcountyhistorictrust.org.

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