Christmas Tour of Homes
December 6, 2003
The Buamgartner House
800 Elm Avenue
Chris Baumgartner, born in 1856, immigrated with his parents from Switzerland to Pennsylvania in 1868. The family moved south to Grundy County, Tennessee in 1873. Baumgartner came to South Pittsburg, Tennessee in Marion County about 1877 and became a furniture maker and undertaker in 1891. He served as the city's mayor from 1908 to 1910. He and his second wife, Viola Jane Deakins, built this house shortly after they purchased the land from Asbury Vick in 1920. Their home remained in the Baumgartner family until 1997. In 2003, Royce and Stephen Vickery purchased the home with intent of opening a bed and breakfast.
Below are the following structures featured in the South Pittsburg (Tennessee) Historic Preservation Society, Inc.'s - 2003 Christmas Tour of Homes:
The Hunt Keith House
614 Laurel Avenue
Hunt Keith purchased land for his home from Roy Woodfin in 1921. W. M. Cameron, in 1931, described the Tudor Revival style home as "possibly the most modern home of this community." Keith, manager of the Coca-Cola Bottling Works, moved away in 1934. James Matison Barker bought the home. Later, his daughter, Eula Barker Thompson, lived here with her husband, E. K. Thompson, who was disabled after being gassed in France during World War I. She taught at South Pittsburg High School for many years. In 1981, Wilson and Jody Loyd bought the home from the Barker family.
The Coffelt-Hampton House
500 Oak Avenue
The Coffelt sisters, Estelle and Margaret, lived in this 1930s Colonial Revival home where they did fine sewing in addition to managing Coffelt's, "a leading fashion center of South Pittsburg" established in 1926. In 1960, Scott and Peggy Hampton moved here with their sons from 518 Oak Avenue down the block where they had lived for thirteen years. When Scott and Peggy moved to Sweeden's Cove twenty-five years later, George and Janet Hampton and their children moved into the family home and continue the Hampton family tradition of living on Oak Avenue.
The Joseph Lodge House
217 Magnolia Avenue
When he moved to Tennessee, Joseph Lodge first worked for the Southern States Coal, Iron & Railroad Company. He built a four-room home to which he brought his bride, Elizabeth Harvey, in 1877. They enlarged the home to its current size about 1890, adding such features as indoor plumbing and a greenhouse for plants for their vegetable garden. The Lodge house has remained in the family; his great granddaughter, Carolyn, and her husband, Bill Millhiser, now reside there.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Corner of Elm Avenue & 4th Street
The original white frame Cumberland Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Holly Avenue and 6th Street, burned during a morning service in December 1929. The parish members, who were told of the fire by a choir member, rescued several pews, piano, and the pulpit Bible, but lost their 1891 Gothic-style church. The congregation decided to relocate the church to the corner of Elm Avenue and 4th Street, and Mrs. A. A. Cook assisted with the exchange of lots. In 1930, the church was rebuilt at the cost of about $17,500. In 1952, a church school wing was added at the cost of $25,000.
The Chapel on the Hill
Corner of Elm Avenue & 8th Street
In 1886, Owen Russell Beene engaged Angus McRae, a Sewanee contractor, to build the Primitive Baptist Church in South Pittsburg. The stones for the structure were quarried in Sewanee, Tennessee. After a 1954 fire, the members repaired the church, omitting a bell tower. With declining membership, the building stood unused for twenty years. In July 2001, the building was added to South Pittsburg Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places. The Society is restoring the structure. O. R. Beene's great great grandchildren include Bebe Fuque and Neil Kirkpatrick. Last surviving local church member is Helen Clay.