Telling Oak Ridge's Story - Preserving Oak Ridge's History

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November 14, 2013

The Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association's November membership and public meeting will be held on Thursday, November 14, 2013, at 7:00 PM in the Midtown Community Center (102 Robertsville Road). Everyone is invited to attend an informative meeting where Karen Doughty, DOE EM, will present a status update of the K-25 Historic Preservation initiative. 

The Request for Proposals have been received and are being evaluated.  There were nine pre-qualified bidders.  Plan now to attend the meeting and learn the progress to date and the planned next steps to implement the K-25 Memorandum of Agreement for historic preservation at the site.  The Manhattan Project National Historical Park will include the marked and preserved footprint of the K-25 Building, a K-25 History Center, a replica of a portion of the original building with authentic equipment as well as a viewing tower.  Dill provide a status update of the K-25 Historic Preservation initiative.


October 14, 2013

The George Jones Memorial Baptist Church

Everyone is invited to the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association’s monthly membership and public meeting on Thursday, September 12, at 6:30 p.m.  This special meeting includes a field trip to Wheat and the George Jones Memorial Baptist Church and cemetery, located at Oak Ridge’s far west end, off Blair Road, near K-25 (now Heritage Center of the East Tennessee Technology Park). 
The meeting will offer a rare look inside the church, officially known as the George Jones Memorial Baptist Church, listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  A program will be offered inside the church that will provide a good overview of the history of the Wheat Community, and the sacrifice made by their residents during the World War II Manhattan Project. 
Bonita Irwin, a former resident of the area will be on hand to share her documents, photos, and memories of growing up in Wheat, a community rich in history.  Bonita is renowned for her historical knowledge of the details about Wheat.
ORHPA members and visitors may want to come early and visit the cemetery before the meeting.  The program will begin at 6:30 p.m., earlier than normal.  Those that wish to carpool can meet at the ORHPA’s building, the Midtown Community Center (Wildcat Den), located on the Oak Ridge Turnpike at the corner of Robertsville Road, and travel to the Wheat Church.  Suggested carpools leave no later than 6:00 p. m. 
The ORHPA hopes to spread understanding of Wheat and other early communities of the area, and encourage attendance to the Wheat Homecoming held on the first Sunday of October, hosted by the Wheat Alumni Association.
Annual reunion/homecoming events are held for the New Bethel Community and Robertsville Community as well. The New Bethel reunion is normally held at 10:00 a. m. on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and the Robertsville reunion is also held in the spring, I believe.  Does anyone know the date?


The August 8, 2013, meeting of ORHPA was held at the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge.  Margaret Allard was our tour guide and hostess.  She provided excellent tours of the Doll Room, The Rain Forest Room, The Lloydsville model trains, the Girl Scouts exhibit and, of course, the magnificent Ed Westcott photographic exhibit of Manhattan Project era photographs.  This was one of ORHPA's "Traveling Meetings."



July 11, 2013


The Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association's July membership and public meeting will be held on Thursday, July 11, 2013, at 7:00 PM in the Midtown Community Center at 102 Robertsville Road at the corner of Robertsville Road and the Oak Ridge Turnpike. 


Please plan to join us for an update on the status of the Guest House/Alexander Inn renovation project by Rick Dover, General Manager of the Family Pride Corporation and guest of Knox Heritage's Ethiel Garlington, Director of Preservation Field Services for the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance.  Ethiel will also provide a summary of the ETPA Endangered List of those places in East Tennessee that are identified as the top structures of concern in each county for historical preservation.


As you have noticed if you have driven past the site, the Guest House is being stabilized as a result of the Department of Energy's $500K grant for that purpose.  Ethiel and Rick will bring us up to date on the specific plans and projected dates for the next steps in the renovation of the historic Guest House.


Rick has requested photographs of the Guest House so he can gain as much information as possible about the original appearance of the structure.  If you have photographs of the Guest House during the early years, please bring them to the meeting. 


It is Rick's stated intent to return the original exterior appearance of the Guest House as nearly as possible.  As he has done this type of work before he fully understands the requirements for historic preservation standards of the Department of the Interior.  The Guest House will add immeasurably to the historic Townsite/Jackson Square.



MAY 9, 2013

Lee Curtis

Lee Curtis

Lee Curtis was the speaker at the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association’s membership and public meeting at 7:00 PM on Thursday, May 9, 2013, at the Midtown Community Center’s Wildcat Den at 102 Robertsville Road.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Lee has been in State Government for 35 years and in the Department of Tourist Development since 1990.  As the Director of Program Development, with her extensive background in cultural and heritage tourism, heading up the first heritage division in the department, Lee’s responsibilities include overseeing and developing the Tennessee Civil War Trails program and serving as the department’s Heritage Tourism contact.  She works with counties and communities statewide to assist them with the department’s programs and initiatives.  

As a board member of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, and the department’s strong role with the Sesquicentennial, she helps plan and launch the Tennessee Sesquicentennial Signature Events and other projects including getting community involvement in programs related to Civil War and Heritage.   

In addition, she represents the department on several national and statewide organizations.

Lee is a member of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission which was created to lead the state's efforts in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  Former Governor Phil Bredesen appointed the 24 members of the Commission including Civil War scholars, professors, state historian, state legislators, and tourism professionals.  

The goal of the Commission is to educate the public, promote the commemoration, and preserve the lands and legacies of the Civil War, by engaging individuals and communities in an accurate and inclusive portrayal of Tennessee's contributions to the Civil War. During the multi-year commemoration, the Commission's goal is to bring about an understanding of the past to improve relations in the present and leave a lasting legacy for the future.



APRIL 11, 2013

The Last Eight Days of World War II: What Really Ended the War - Bill Wilcox, Oak Ridge City Historian 

Most Oak Ridgers know the story of Oak Ridge's founding in 1942 as part of the Manhattan Project and about how the uranium 235 for the world's first atomic bomb used in warfare, Little Boy, helped end World War II. Helped is correct.   The two atomic bombs really did help, but even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was no agreement in Japan's ruling circle on surrender.  

What Bill Wilcox, our City Historian, told about at ORHPA's public meeting on April 11, 2013, at 7:00 PM in the Wildcat Den, was amazing and added to our knowledge of that very special time in history.  Bill described the agonizing and tortuous days for the Japanese Supreme Council and their Emperor between Monday, August 6, 1945, and the Tuesday of the following week, August 14, 1945, when the PEACE finally came.  While Oak Ridgers welcomed the peace, they were astounded by the details of their own personal role in helping bring that peace about.

This story of the Japanese struggle to a decision of surrender is often missed, like those that miss the potential deaths from an invasion of the Japanese mainland. The Allied forces were attempting anything they could think of to end the awful killing of World War II.  

It was thought that Russia would soon declare war on Japan. The Potsdam Conference, just ended, resulted in a demand for "Unconditional Surrender."  The situation was complicated to say the least. 

Bill told us the details of this situation as the Japanese leadership struggled with the decision to surrender or to remain true to their militarist's commitment to fight to the death!

March 28, 2013

SPECIAL EVENT: An Evening with PRESIDENT TRUMAN's GRANDSON - Clifton Truman Daniel

Clifton Truman Daniel spoke at the New Hope Center (602 Scarboro Road, Oak Ridge, TN.) on Thursday, March 28, 2013.  

Tickets were $20 and could be purchased (beginning Monday, February 18) online by clicking the underlined link that follows: Purchase tickets online to Clifton Truman Daniel event  (online purchased tickets were available for pick up at the door).

Tickets were also available to be purchased at The Ferrell Shop at 235 Jackson Square (beginning Monday, February 25). 

The approximately 140 people who attended the event heard President Truman's  grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, tell about his life including his memories of his famous grandfather, his impressions of how President Truman felt regarding his decision to use the Atomic bomb to end World War II and what his life has been like living in the shadow of all that comes with being President Harry S. Truman's grandson!

FEATURE PRESENTATION: 7:00 PM at the New Hope Center in the Zach Wamp Auditorium

RECEPTION: Following the Feature Presentation in the New Hope Center lobby (personally met President Truman's grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel!)

This event was highly successful! To view photos of the evening, go to: Photos of Clifton Truman Daniel event on 3-28-13


NOTE: Presentation visuals available from previous meetings may be viewed online at the "Meetings" page.


A 90th BIRTHDAY celebration planned for Bill Wilcox on Friday, January 25, at 3 - 5 PM, at the American Museum of Science and Energy HAS BEEN POSTPONED.  The event will be rescheduled and plan to help us celebrate. 

NOTICE: There is no membership meeting in February, enjoy Valentines day with family and/or friends.


March 19, 2013

Denise Kiernan's book, "The Girls of Secret City" has just hit the New York Times Bestseller List at #33!!!


On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, a joint event with Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association and the Friends of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory was held at the American Museum of Science and Energy at 6 PM.  There were over 300 people in attendance.

Denise Kiernan told about the excitement she holds for the women of Oak Ridge who are "THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY."  You will never look at our local women the same again.  We now better appreciate the GIANT roles they played in the most significant technological event of the 20th Century...and maybe even the history of the world.   Right here in our local stores, you walk beside heroes daily. 

Denise is a gifted storyteller and she has developed a close and dear affection for the ladies she interviewed for the book.  She has grown to be so close to some of them that they now look forward to her visits like she is family.

A wondrous transformation has taken place over the past few years that she and her husband Joseph D'Agnese have become regular visitors and come to count Oak Ridge a second home.  Fanny and I are proud to call them close friends. 

So, if you were there on March 19, 2913, at the American Museum of Science and Energy, you saw history in the making! 

January 10, 2013

Larry Kelly

Larry Kelly, Manager of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge office, spoke on "Managing Resources on the Oak Ridge Reservation in a changing environment" to a joint meeting of the Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association and the Advocates for the Oak Ridge Reservation.  The meeting was held at 7:00 PM on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at the Midtown Community Center.

Mr Kelly holds a chemical engineering degree from the University of Mississippi and a masters degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee.  He has worked at DOE's Oak Ridge office for the past 21 years. Before that Kelly was with the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

A DOE News Release from July 2012 states: Kelly will be held will also be responsible for management of the 32,000 acre Oak Ridge Reservation, which will include addressing cross-cutting issues and activities among major organizations such as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the East Tennessee Technology Park, and the National Nuclear Security Administration Production Office.

Some additional information can be found at the following web sites: - From July 2012, an announcement of his selection for the Oak Ridge manager position.


December 13, 2012

Annual Meeting and Election of 2013 ORHPA Officers.

The Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association helt its annual elections on
Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 6 PM.  

The ORHPA nominating committee, chaired by Bill Wilcox with members Donna Bennett, Gordon Fee, Rick Lusk, and Ray Smith, recommended 10 candidates for election to the Board.

The candidates include: Donna Bennett, Wendy Bishop, Ellen Boatner, David Bradshaw, Mike Bradshaw, Don Forester, Tim Gawne, Rick Lusk, Bobbie Martin, and D. Ray Smith. 

Five other Board members will continue to serve out their elected terms.  Continuing on the Board will be: Margaret Allard, Betty Stokes, Mick Wiest, Amy Seiber, and Tara Voit.

A Pot-Luck dinner was held as well as the election.

November 8, 2012

William Cramer, Program Services Coordinator, American Red Cross

 “Historically Speaking – Oak Ridge and The Red Cross”


William Cramer was born in Richland, Washington, and his family moved to Anderson County, Tennessee, when he was six months old.  He attended Oak Ridge Schools from pre-school (Chapel On The Hill) through elementary school (Glenwood), middle school (Jefferson) and high school (ORHS) where he graduated in 2007.


William attends the University of Tennessee – Knoxville and is still working on finishing his degree in Business.  William has worked with the Red Cross since 2009 starting out as an Administrative Assistant (May 2009 through September 2011), then working as Health and Safety Services Coordinator (October 2011 through July 2012), and his current title is Program Services Coordinator. 


William has held this title since August 2012.  He currently lives in Oak Ridge and has since April 2012.

October 11, 2012

Barbara Stagg presented a program on Historic Rugby, the restored utopian settlement that survives today to commemorate a spectatular social experiment. The below two paragraphs and photo are taken from the Rugby web site:

TimeThomas Hughes founder of Rugby stands still at Rugby, Tennessee - the restored Victorian village founded in 1880 by British author and social reformer, Thomas Hughes. It was to be a cooperative, class-free, agricultural community for younger sons of English gentry and others wishing to start life anew in America. At its peak in the mid-1880s, some 300 people lived in the colony. More than 65 buildings of Victorian design graced the townscape on East Tennessee's beautiful Cumberland Plateau.

This would-be Utopia survives today as both a living community and a fascinating public historic site, unspoiled by modern development. Twenty original buildings still stand, nestled between the Big South Fork National Recreation Area and the Rugby State Natural Area, surrounded by rugged river gorges and historic trails. Historic Rugby has been open to the public since 1966 and is nationally recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and many others as one of the most authentically restored and preserved communities in America.

Barbara's talk  featured a DVD: Rugby, Tennessee: The Power of a Dream

She followed up with Q & A and handouts.

Barbara Stagg served as Executive Director of Historic Rugby from 1977-2009. She still lives in Rugby in 1886 Roslyn, one of the original homes. Barbara was born in St. Louis, but moved to Deer Lodge, Tennessee, near Rugby, at age 7 and has been a Tennessee "native" since.

September 13, 2012

FIRST: National_Archives_Logo At 7:00 PM on Thursday, 9/13/12, Jim Campbell presented a preview of his portion of the: Secret City in the Tennessee Hills: From Dogpatch to Nuclear Power - A Symposium at the National Archives at Atlanta.


A native of Maryville now living in Oak Ridge, Campbell received his bachelor's and master's degrees in history from Maryville College and the University of Oregon.  He worked for The Oak Ridger as editor from 1988-1994, assuming his present position with ETEC in 1995.


Jim has been interested in the history of the birth of the city of Oak Ridge for a number of years.  He has developed a particularly strong interest in the individuals who influenced our city in its early years.  He has researched the history of Waldo Cohn, Alvin Weinberg, Don Trauger, Eugene Joyce and others.


At the ORHPA meeting Jim brought to life these influential individuals by revealing the interesting details of their contributions to our city's history. Additionally he gave the audience a brief glimpse into the presentation he planned to deliver to the Secret City in the Tennessee Hills: From Dogpatch to Nuclear Power symposium being presented at the National Archives in Atlanta.


SECOND: The Historic Properties Committee of the ORHPA has recently visited several early Oak Ridge buildings as they prepare to select this years winner of the ORHPA Historic Preservation Award.  Mick Wiest, committee chair, discussed the selection process and announced the winner of this year's award during the ORHPA monthly meeting on Thursday, September 13.  Past award winners were also described as part of the presentation.

The purpose of the preservation award is to honor Oak Ridge's unique history, and to recognize property owners and managers that have done a good job of maintaining the historic integrity of their structure.  The actual presentation of the award to the property owner occured on Oak Ridge's birthday, September 19th.  

August 9, 2012

Steve Bennett

A native of Knoxville, Bennett received his bachelor degree in Forestry and minor in Wildlife Management from the University of Tennessee.  He has worked for TWRA 36 years starting as biologist assistant relocating ruffed grouse in Tennessee.  Steve worked in law enforcement and wildlife management as a Wildlife Officer in Union county and was the Wildlife Officer Supervisor over several East Tennessee counties.  In addition to elk, he also has been involved in the restoration of ruffed grouse, whitetail deer, wild turkey and river otter.

When elk restoration began in 2000, Steve was selected to be the program coordinator responsible for importing elk and building a self-sustaining herd in Tennessee.  Fifty elk were captured at Elk Island National Park in Alberta, Canada and released in the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.  That effort is continuing today. Five releases have taken place with 201 elk being released. 

A black bear survey also is under way in and around the Big South Fork National River Recreation Area. Since the 1970’s, the number of bears significantly has increased in Tennessee. Prior to 1980, the annual harvest in the state was usually less than 20 bears. Today, the picture could not be more astounding. Since 2004, Tennessee’s annual bear harvest has exceeded 300 animals. In 2009, a harvest of 571 bears in Tennessee set a new state record.


July 12, 2012


The above image is a famous Ed Westcott photograph of the July 6, 1944 Troop Train Wreck at High Cliff near Jellico, TN. This tragedy that killed 34 and injuried approximately 100 resulted in the military police (Bill Sergeant led the effort) at Oak Ridge taking charge of the scene.  That happened because Oak Ridge was the nearest military installation, nevermind that it was a secret installation.  This accident also resulted in the Oak Ridge Hospital being put to use treating the wounded and school buses being used as ambulances with drivers like Leon Hatcher carrying "dead and alive" in his bus in a hurried run from the scene to Oak Ridge. All area funeral homes were pressed into service as well.   
This story and others were featured in the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association membership and public meeting at 7:00 PM, on Thursday, July 12, 2012 in the Midtown Community Center.  Everyone was invited!
Allen R. Coggins, author of the ever popular Place Names of the Smokies, has recently published Tennessee Tragedies: Grim Reapings of Our Past, the first compilation of historical disasters for any state.  The tragedies across Tennessee range from floods, earthquakes, heat waves, and tornadoes to mining accidents, fire, labor strikes, transportation crashes, epidemics, Ku Klux Klan violence and race riots.
Tennessee Tragedies chronicles some 900 tragic incidents that have occurred in Tennessee over the past two and a half centuries. It delves into the concept of disasters in general and provides details of the worst 150 such incidents.  
Coggins will speak to the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association's membership and public meeting at 7:00 PM, on Thursday, July 12, 2012, at the Midtown Community Center.  His presentation will include a historical overview of some of the most significant tragedies, a close look at some of the more compelling stories and will also note some past responses to human tragedy.  Everyone is invited.
Coggins recently received an “Award of Research Excellence” from the East Tennessee Historical Society. His book is obviously well researched and already recognized as a valuable reference tool. 

June 14, 2012

 NO Meeting - Seciret City Festival

May 10, 2012


Historic Freels Bend Cabin
Did you ever see the Freels Bend Cabin?  It is THE OLDEST historical structure in Oak Ridge! Built in 1844, the cabin has stood the test of time and remains strong and well preserved today.  It is one of our most precious historic preservation structures.  It is on DOE restricted access land, but we are being allowed to visit.
Louise Freels lived there and is coming to speak to the people who attend the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association’s May 10, 2012, 7:00 PM, meeting to be held AT the Freels Bend Cabin. The public is invited!  Louise will enthrall you with the stories of her youth at the wonderful old cabin. You will be envious of her experiences there.
To get to the historic cabin, just take Scarboro Road south across Bethel Valley Road and go exactly one mile on the road to Clark Center Park (Pumphouse Road and Bull Bluff Road) and turn left on the well maintained gravel road (Freels Bend Road.) The cabin is just over the hill on the left past the pond. The Public is invited to this normally restricted area on this special occasion. 
Jim Evans, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Officer responsible for this area will provide a driving tour of the Freels Bend area.  Please plan to drive there and join our traveling meeting.
The Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association is a non-profit organization formed for the purposes of preventing further demolition of our historic structures and the loss of our unique history. The mission of ORHPA is to preserve Oak Ridge's history and its built environment and develop economic, education, and cultural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. For more information, please call
865-481-0542 or visit
NOTE: THE May Monthly meeting IS AT FREELS BEND CABIN, NOT at the Wildcat Den, the normal meeting place…DON’T GO THERE!…go to Scarboro Road and continue across Bethel Valley Road to Pumphouse Road to Bulls Bluff Road to Freels Bend Road (left turn onto gravel road).

April 12, 2012



"Yak" and "Stitch"

Barbara "Stitch" was born in Oak Ridge and is the daughter of Ruth and the late John Reeve. She is a Veterinarian and owner of Jackson Square Animal Clinic here in Oak Ridge.

Paul "Yak" was also born and raised in Oak Ridge, son of Jane and Lawrence Akers who currently live in Chattanooga. Paul is a retired machinist having retired from Y-12 last Feb, one month before their AT hike began in March.

They consider their hike from Georgia to Maine a Wander of Wonders with the ultimate goal of completing the AT in one season to become "thru-hikers".

The trip was 2,181 miles and took them 6 &1/2 months, proving that everywhere is walking distance if you have enough time.

Come and experience their thru hike in photos at the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation's Midtown Community Center at 7:00 PM on April 12, 2012. You will be glad you did. Not only is their hiking experience enviable, their photographs of wildflowers will make you envy them thier time and patience.

March 9, 2012

The Oak Ridge Public Library brings books and history to the cyber world

Susan stooksbury, assistant director of the Oak Ridge Public Library, will be the featured speaker this Thursday, March 8, at the Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association (ORHPA) monthly meeting. She will discuss the library's new service, downloadable eBooks and Audiobooks. Stooksbury will demonstrate new features of the library's web page and how to navigate around the digital media page. The meeting will begain at 7 p.m. at the Midtown Community Center, also known as the AWildcat Den, located at 102 Robertsville Road.

Stuooksbury will also include updates on teh Oak Ridge Room and the continuing oral history projects at the library. The Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association and the local chapter of the American Association of University Women each have undertaken orah history projects, as well as the city's oral history project. Each of thes project's interview tapes are available for listening in the Oak Ridge Room. These tapes offer a wealth of information about life in this area nda are a valuable part of the library's historical collection.

Susan Stooksbury came to Oak Ridge in 1955 as a child with her family. In addition to being the library’s assistant director, she writes the Reader’s Guide column, which appears weekly in the Oak Ridger. Stooksbury and her husband have five Golden Retrievers, all adopted from Heartland Golden Retriever Rescue of which she is a founding member. She also works with HABIT (Human and Animal Bond in Tennessee), a program established at the University of Tennessee Veterinary school that certifies volunteers to take their dogs to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and schools.

ORHPA is a non-profit organization formed for the purposes of preventing further demolition of our historic structures and the loss of our unique history. The mission of ORHPA is to preserve Oak Ridge's history and its built environment and develop economic, education, and cultural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. For more information, please call 865- 481-0542 or visit

February 9, 2012

A National Park in Oak Ridge?

Come hear the latest about the coming-closer Manhattan Project National Historical Park from the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Operation’s local "point person" to the National Park Service and others working on the national park legislation and eventual implementation. Colin D. Colversonis an attorney in the DOE-ORO's Office of the Chief Counsel where in addition to serving DOE as their Champion on the Park, focuses on environmental, real estate, safety and health, and cultural resource issues.

His undergraduate work was completed at the University of Florida in environmental policy. After several years in that field he earned his Law degree from the University of South Carolina. He moved to Oak Ridge in 2009 where he recently purchased an original Cemestos "B" house.

This is an unusual chance to hear someone address questions about the potential national park that is right up to date on where things stand on this important possibility. Plan to be there. Hear someone who knows better than most of us the challenges that we face to preserve and “show and tell” our very unique heritage for the benefit of our City’s Heritage Tourism. His talk is titled A National Park in Oak Ridge? The Possibility of a Manhattan Project National Historical Park and the Potential Outcomes for Oak Ridge.

Do come and bring a friend to hear Atty. Colverson next Thursday night at 7 PM, February 9th, in the Wildcat Den of the Midtown Community Center/ORHPA Building, Oak Ridge Turnpike at Robertsville Road. The public is most welcome.


November 10, 2011

Jackson Square: A piece of the Bigger Picture

Kathryn Baldwin, Oak Ridge City Community Development Director, has more than 25 years
of experience in community planning. She oversees both the code and planning
divisions within the Community Development Department. Kathryn has served as
the Chair of the Local Government Planning Advisory Committee for eight years
and also heads the Knoxville chapter of the American Planning Association
(APA). She has many years of dedicated service to the planning community
through her leadership roles in the Tennessee Chapter of the American Planning

Ms. Baldwin received her undergraduate degree in Geography in 1978 and a M.A. in Geography
in 1985 from East TN State University. 

Her presentation to the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association will focus
on broad based redevelopment in the Jackson Square District, from Roane State
to Broadway Avenue. Revitalization of Jackson Square is expected to improve the connectivity of the Square
to the larger Oak Ridge Historic District, increase mobility and provide better
access to local small businesses and cultural activities.

Enhancements to Jackson Square will benefit the community, but also commuters who are
employed by major employers in the area, such as Methodist Medical Center,
Bectel Jacobs, Appalachian Underwriters, and Roane State.

Ms. Baldwin’s presentation will be held in the Midtown Community Center at 102 Robertsville
Road at 7:00 PM on Thursday, November 10, 2011.

The public is encouraged to attend and learn more about the short term
and long range plans for Oak Ridge’s original townsite, Jackson Square, and the
area surrounding this historic site.

October 13, 2011

History of Coal Creek (Lake City) to be Featured at ORHPA October Meeting

Lake City wasn’t always Lake City. In fact, it was originally known as Coal Creek, Tennessee. On Thursday, October 13, Barry Thacker and Carol Moore will present a talk during the Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation monthly meeting to discuss the history of Coal Creek and why that history is so important to our country. The meeting will begin at 7 pm at the Midtown Community Center, also known as the Wildcat Den, located at 102 Robertsville Road.

Thacker is a professional engineer and the President of Geo/Environmental Associates ( in Knoxville. He is the founder and President of the non-profit Coal Creek Watershed Foundation, Inc. (CCWF), a group that is working to improve the quality of life in the Coal Creek watershed of Anderson County (

Moore is the Administrative Manager for Geo/Environmental Associates, and she is on the board of the CCWF as well as the Anderson County Tourism Council.

Thacker and Moore will discuss the history of the CCWF, as well as the many events that the foundation organizes throughout the year to highlight the area’s history and help assist families in that community. Some of those events include the installation of historical markers in Briceville, the annual Coal Creek Health Day, preservation and restoration of the Briceville Church, the upcoming Cross Mountain Mine Disaster 100th Anniversary, and funding over $200,000 in college scholarships to former Briceville School students.

ORHPA is a non-profit organization formed for the purposes of preventing further demolition of our historic structures and the loss of our unique history. The mission of ORHPA is to preserve Oak Ridge's history and its built environment and develop economic, education, and cultural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. For more information, please call 865- 481-0542 or visit


Helpful links:

September 8, 2011

We had a special three part event scheduled. 

At 5:00 PM we participated in the dedication of the four new plaques commemorating the "Birth of Our City."  The ceremony was held at the Oak Ridge City Municipal Building near the north entrance. 

Secondly, we attended a reception at 6:00 PM and the dedication of the conference center at East Tennessee Technology Park's Heritage Center.  John Echenberg, of DOE ORO, dedicated the conference center at 6:30 PM.  

Finally, we held our normal monthly meeting at the conference center at 7:00 PM.  Our speaker at the regular monthly meeting was Patrick McIntyreMcIntyre became the executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission (THC) in 2007.  He also serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer. As director for the Commission, he oversees a nearly $3 million dollar budget for the state agency responsible for the preservation and interpretation of Tennessee’s historical and cultural heritage.  He last spoke to our organization nine years ago. 

McIntyre discussed the Tennessee Historical Commission and noted the numerous historic artifacts that are the responsibility of the commission to track.  He also pointed out the few National Landmark sites and encouraged consideration of others.

Our speaker on July 14, 2011, was Bill Wilcox, Oak Ridge City Historian and retired Technical Director of Y-12 and K-25.  




Over the past few years, the Guest House / Alexander Inn has received a lot of press, a lot of interest, and a lot of questions. On Thursday, July 14, City Historian Bill Wilcox presented a talk during the Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation monthly meeting and discussed why Oak Ridge needs to save this historic site.  

Wilcox gave insights into the history of the Guest House / Alexander Inn, and cited reasons why it is among the most significant historical artifacts in Oak Ridge’s history.  Attendees learned why the building is a keystone element in interpreting the Secret City’s Manhattan Project history as a part of the proposed Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which will be located in Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, NM, and Hanford, WA. 

According to Wilcox, “This is one of our historic City's now rare relics from our Manhattan Project founding days that could be turned from an eyesore to both an appealing tourism destination and a key part of a rejuvenated larger area of our City.”

Attendees were encouraged to contribute their own ideas and to join in the effort to save this icon of Oak Ridge history.



Manhattan Project National Historic Park


UPDATE (7/18/11):  The Manhattan Project National Historical Park Study was submitted to congress on 7/13/11 by Ken Salazar, Department of Interior. This is a major step. Next will be the legislation needed to form the park.  Following that a "management study" will be performed by the National Park Service.

Here is a link to the full press release:

Previous update: The Department of Energy has signed a letter of concurrence with the National Park Service's study!  This is good news and moves us one step closer to having a Manhattan Project National Historical Park with locations in Oak Ridge, TN, Los Alamos, NM, and Hanford, WA.

The National Park Service has completed a Special Resource Study on the feasibility of forming a Manhattan Project National Historical Park. 

The full study document (DRAFT Environmental Assessment) can be viewed here: Full National Park Service DRAFT Special Resource Study Document

Other National Park Service Study related links: Oak Ridger article by Bill Wilcox; Oak Ridger article by Ray Smith; Atomic Heritage Foundation links; Manhattan Project Sites DRAFT Special Resource Study/Environmental Assessment web site 5 and X-10 Clinton Engineer Works project sites in 1943 - 1945 culminating in the winning of the greatest war the world has ever known.  

The city of Oak Ridge has a unique history and the ORHPA is proud to be a key element in its preservation.  Heritage Tourism in Oak Ridge is growing in stature and importance.  We ner inual Secret City Festival and other heritage events.

Favorite Links:
American Museum of Science and Energy
Children's Museum of Oak Ridge
City of Oak Ridge
DOE Sites: K-25(ETTP) X-10(ORNL) Y-12
Oak Ridge Associated Universities
Oak Ridge Convention and Visitor's Bureau
Oak Ridge History
Oak Ridge Historical Markers
Secret City: The Oak Ridge Story Documentary Film
Secret City History
Southern Appalachian Railroad Museum
Wheat Community African American Burial Ground
The Secret City Store (Purchase unique Secret City items - mugs, puzzles, DVD's)

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