Elizabethton Walking Tour: Continuing down the path of local history in downtown

Published 9:03 am Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BY Mo Wilson & Andrew Alley


EDITOR’S NOTE: During the month of June two students from the Upward Bound program at ETSU are joining the Elizabethton Star for their Career Work Study. Mo Wilson is a rising senior at Science Hill High School and Andrew Alley is a rising senior at Tennessee High School. During the month they will be learning about Carter County and sharing their adventures with our readers.

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Elizabethton continues to reveal an abundance of surprises pertaining to its local history. Proceeding on the walking tour, one will see more monuments that add to the history of Elizabethton, along with the previous locations mentioned.

The address 126 South Main Street is the location of a small, Gothic Style home. There is a minimal amount of background information about the century-old house, so only is appearance can be admired.

Right around the corner is the Folsom House and the Alfred Moore Carter Home. Henderson Folsom built the Folsom House in 1861, while the latter was built in 1819. Both houses express elements of Greek Revival Style with their usage of pillars and pointed pediments.

On the property of the Folsom house stands the Fraser Fir. The 78-foot tall tree is tallest of its kind in Tennessee. The tree was decorated for the first time with lights in 1988 and is now the community’s Christmas tree.

At the intersection of South Main Street and East Elk Avenue is the Carter County Courthouse and Soldiers’ Monument. The courthouse was built in the 1850s and survived the great flood in May 1901. The Soldiers’ Monument was constructed in 1912. It stands at a height of 60 feet, and its base is 20 feet. The monument, made of river rock and hand-mixed concrete, is dedicated to Carter County soldiers serving in all wars.

Just behind the courthouse, 2nd Street is the home of St. Thomas Episcopal Church and the Wedding Chapel, which was once the Presbyterian Church.

The Saint Thomas Episcopal Church’s building process began in 1861, but it wasn’t completed until 1867 because of the Civil War. The Wedding Chapel is the oldest church in Elizabethton, dating back to 1836 when it was founded by the Presbyterian congregation. Just like the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church faced problems due to the Civil War. The church members, however, were determined to keep the church open.

Located on Academy Street are the Duffield Academy and the Shepherd house.

George Duffield established the Duffield Academy in 1806, and the original brick building was erected around 1809 and it was the first school in Elizabethton. A new building was erected in 1838. The building is now home to the administrative office of the Carter County School System.

The Sheperd House was built sometime before 1894, and people who owned an overall factory built it. The house is now home to a bed and breakfast, the Doe River Inn.

While these landmarks might be appealing to one’s eye, one should learn from these homes and churches. These buildings can teach a younger generation that they should not take what they have for granted and should appreciate all that has been done to get to the present day.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part two of a three-part series on the Elizabethton Walking Tour through the historic downtown area. Part One was published in the Elizabethton Star’s Weekend Edition for June 17 & 18.