Thirty years ago there was excitement and renewed hope for the revitalization of City of Harriman. 1990 was the Centennial Anniversary of the Great Land Auction and founding of the City. The Harriman Downtown Historic District and Cornstalk Heights Historic District were added to the National Register of Historic Places by the US Department of Interior. The City of Harriman began their Tennessee Main Street Program, from which the "Hooray for Harriman" Labor Day Festival started and still continues to this day. The Harriman Historic Zoning Commission and CHHCO also trace their roots back to that time.
We are again in a period of renewed excitement towards economic, cultural and quality of life progress within the City of Harriman. Downtown buildings have been bought and renovated, businesses started, and the Princess Theater is once again a destination for downtown entertainment. Civic pride is on the rise. Constantly changing themed decorations on Roane Street provide a festive atmosphere. People feel better about the community they live in, and are encouraged by the improvements to the place we call home.
As if by divine proclamation "for such a time as this," CHHCO has received the generous donation to the Organization of the Historic Christian Church at the corner of Morgan and Cumberland. This structure is the first permanent church built in Harriman, as well as the only remaining church structure from the early days of Harriman. This opportunity to save this important historic structure is symbolic of the core values shared in Harriman then and now - Religion, Community, and Culture. This is significant, and we are applying to add this Historic structure to the US Historic National Register in recognition of these facts.
CHHCO's Vision is to renovate this structure to be used as the principal location for the Historical Community activities, but also to be available for special functions such as weddings, class reunions, educational seminars, and drama/story telling/musical entertainment. CHHCO understands the challenges ahead to bring the structure to the condition it can be used again. It is for that reason we are asking for you to become a part of this. Several of you are have already participated or intend to participate in physical work at the facility. We thank you for all you do! We invite more to help, and we are developing a list of activities that need to be done by different skill sets and levels of effort. This is a place for everyone!
As important as the physical work is, we need renovation funds. It is important that we establish the revenue necessary to repair, upgrade, and augment the structure in order to meet our goals and objectives. CHHCO is very fortunate to have accumulated its own renovation seed money from the numerous past tours, which is now being used to initiate the renovation process. We encourage you to consider pledging your donations up to a 5 year duration so we can schedule the work consistent with the funds to complete the task at hand. You may also consider providing designated gifts, such as a completely renovated window in memory or honor of an individual(s) of your choice. Designated gifts can be arranged by contacting me directly (865-621-1274 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your wishes.
All donors contributing towards the cost of renovation and equipment will be recognized according to their cumulative level of giving, on a permanent plaque to be placed at the completion of the facility renovations. Those who contribute physically towards the renovation will also be recognized. Would you please consider responding with your pledge, one time gift, or designated gift now? We do need your help!
Bruce A Knobloch
President, Cornstalk Heights Historical Community Organization
Monetary contributions aren't the only way to support this project. CHHCO hosts recurring workdays. If you would like to donate your time and labor, check out the community calendar for the next "Renovation Workday" event.