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Unbounded Partnerships

Community-Based Preservation
Aleia Brown, Ginna Foster Cannon, Pat Cummins, Brad
Miller and Teresa Prober

MTSU’s Center for Historic
• Established 1984
• Center of Excellence
• Dr. Carroll Van West,
Director of CHP &
State Historian

CHP’s Primary Initiatives
• Rural Preservation, Sustainability and Heritage
• Heritage Education
• Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
• Heritage Diversity
• American Democracy Project

Community-Based Preservation
• Grassroots-Generated
• Boots on the Ground
• Heritage Development
• Sustainable Planning

CHP’s Graduate Research Assistants (2014-2015)

Methods in Action
• 3 Case Studies, 1 Community
• Many CHP projects start as class
• CHP focused on building longterm relationships with partners
• Multi-staged, multi-year projects
with partners is the norm

First Case Study

Rose Hill and Rosemount Cemeteries
Columbia, Tennessee

Project Background & Scope
• MTSU class project in conjunction
with CHP
• CHP philosophy
• Cultural landscape approach to
cemetery districts
• Historical assessment
• Preservation considerations
• Heritage development

Fence dividing Rose Hill and Rosemount

• Danny Moser a member of the Board of Trustees for Rose Hill
Cemetery in Columbia, TN contacted MTSU’s Center for
Historic Preservation (CHP) for planning advice and possible
National Register of Historic Places nomination.
• Though Rose Hill has historical value, CHP advocated a joint
project to include Rosemount, the adjacent African American
Cemetery. This demonstrates the significance of the cultural
landscape cemetery district which can only be understood
when both sides of mirror cemeteries are accessed.
• For the first time in 60 years representatives from both
cemeteries are working together for a mutual purpose.

Civil War Trails Program
• Marker program encompasses 5 states.
• TN driving tour map is the most requested and
• Civil War Trails Marker Process.
• Research, historical narrative, images, and captions.

Second Case Study

Marble Springs State Historic Site
Knoxville, TN

History of Marble Springs
• John Sevier, Tennessee’s first governor (1745-1815)
• State-owned since 1941
• Period of significance listed as 1790

Scope of Project
• Request for a preliminary
• Class project
• Focus on site’s 5 historic buildings
• Provide assessments of exterior,
interior and furnishings
• Provide specific and general
recommendations for each area

CHP Recommendations
• Design conservation plan
• Provide new interpretation and
• Create strategic marketing plan and
marketing material
• Amend National Register Nomination
to reflect recent findings

Third Case Study
• The University of Tennessee
at Chattanooga’s Historic
Engel Stadium
• Heritage Assessment Plan

Source: The Engel

The Story

Source: The Engel

The Players
• University of
Tennessee at
• The Engel
• Center for Historic

Setting Goals
• Starting Lineup: Recognizing Engel Stadium as a
heritage asset
• Grounds Crew: Prepare and maintain stadium for
safe human interaction
• Announcing the Game: Public Programming
• Just Like Joe: Marketing the Hidden Gem of
• Post-Game Interview: Gathering Memories

Building Capacity
• Take Advantage of
What Already Exists
• Shared Goals
• Communication
• Where is Engel

Community Partner

Trail of Tears National Historic
Trail Identification
• The Native History Association researched and
verified an approximate 1 ½ mile segment of
the Trail of Tears in northern Rutherford County
at the East Fork Recreation Area (Old Jefferson)
on U.S. Army Corps. Of Engineers property at
the Forks of the Stones River, near Smyrna TN.

• CHP followed up with a tour of the property to
further verify our research, and the discovery
of the Trail of Tears segment. Their findings
were then submitted to National Parks Service
Staff. As a result of our partnership efforts, the
site is now officially marked with National Park
Service Trail of Tears signage, and public tours
of the property are now offered to the general
public by the Native History Association.

The intact federally owned component
of the Trail of Tears at the former
settlement of Old Jefferson, circa 1804,
the original county seat of Rutherford
County, TN

CHP staff visits and writes a preliminary
historic assessment for the circa 1807
Johns-King Home of Smyrna, TN, a Trail of
Tears witness structure, at the request of
the Native History Association in 2014.

Col. Robert Weakley
Benjamin S. &
Mary Neal King

Contact Info
• Aleia Brown –
• Ginna Foster Cannon –
• Pat Cummins –
• Brad Miller –
• Teresa Prober –

• What does community-based preservation mean to you?
• How have you put community-based preservation into
practice? What were the successes and challenges?
What advice can you offer those who are launching
community-based projects?
• How long do partnerships last between public historians
and the communities? Are the projects sustainable on a
long-term basis?

Related Interests