UT Extension Office to hold Open House Thursday

The University of Tennessee’s Extension Office will be hosting an Open House this Thursday, March 7, showcasing the rich history and culture of both the extension office itself as well as the house in which it resides.

Vickie Clark, an extension agent at the office, said the open house is a chance to explore both what they do as an extension office and the history of the Folsom House in which they reside.

“Carter County purchased the house in 1976 from the Folsom family,” Clark said. “This was where the highest ranking Confederate officer in Carter County was stationed, and the highest ranking Union officer from Carter County lived right across the street.”

Originally, the plan was to demolish the home upon purchasing the land, but, as former extension leader Keith Hart described it, the family changed their mind upon learning the extension office wanted to move into the home.

“[Mr. and Mrs. Folsom] were afraid of the house falling into disrepair,” Hart said.

He said Frank Williams, who then served on the Buildings and Grounds Committee, did not want the house destroyed, so he worked to convince the family to keep the house intact.

“Williams thought the building was too important,” Hart said.

Now, roughly 50 years later, the house has served as the hub of Carter County’s UT Extension Office, after its original location under the Carter County Public Library.

“This is over 100 years of cooperation with the county,’ Clark said. “We are a product of history, and we are carrying on the heritage.”

During the Open House, the office will showcase the various services they offer to the community and the knowledge and education they can provide to the community. Clark said they will also showcase their various summer programs and how to apply for them.

She said this will also be a chance to look into the past: the house was first built in 1861.

“This is different to how homes are built today,” she said.

She said the history the home provides adds to the office’s ability to serve its community.

“We are continuing a tradition of research-based information for this county,” Clark said.

The Open House will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, and the office is located at 824 E Elk Ave.

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