The Nathanael Green Museum is close to beginning to develop a portion of Fox Park according to discussion Tuesday at a meeting of the Greeneville Historic Zoning Commission.

The museum’s park is located at the corner of South Main and McKee streets at the former site of the burned Bewley No. 2 tobacco warehouse which was destroyed by fire in July 2008.

The museum purchased the property in 2009 through a $200,000 grant from the Mary G. K. Fox Foundation. Architect Dave Wright presented revised plans which show a new location for the Seth Babb log cabin that has been donated to the museum.

The cabin dates from 1787 and originally was located along Babb’s Mill Road in Greene County. The new plans show the Babb cabin to be erected along Richland Creek near College Street. Previously approved plans showed the cabin located closer to Main Street and adjacent Andrew Johnson Homestead.

Earl Fletcher museum executive director , said it was his idea to move the cabin, for two reasons-to move it away from the 1870- era Homestead and to place it near the creek, which would have been a realistic location in the 1780’s.

Fletcher said the cabin will serve as an extension of the museum, which is located on the diagonally-opposite corner of South Main and McKee streets. The cabin will feature a display to represent family life in its era, but no artifacts will be placed in the cabin until it can be secured, he noted.


Commissioner Roger Hankins asked if the National Park Service had any concerns about the cabin’s location. Kendra Hinkle of the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, read a statement from Supt. Lizzie Watts, which said she had no real concerns if the cabin is not placed directly on the property line. Wright said the cabin will be located 35 feet from the border with the Homestead and 80 feet from College Street.

Because of recent delays in development of the park, Hankins asked if the museum could assure the commission that the cabin will be erected. Wright said plans are for the cabin to be erected within a couple of weeks.


Hankins asked if the museum had plans for any other improvements on the site. I don’t see any vision of what this park is going to be Hankins said. Wright said new sidewalks will be placed along McKee Street, but will be developed at a later time. Fletcher said current plans do not include any other structures at the site, contrary to several rumors in the community. One of those rumors, be noted was that the George Jones home at 224 N Main St. would be relocated to the site. Chairman Sarah Webster said any structure that would be relocated to the site should be scrutinized heavily to protect both the Nathanael Greene Museum and the Andrew Johnson Homestead.


In addition to Fletcher the meeting was attended by a number of the museum’s board members, along with Greeneville Alderman Darrell Bryan and Buddy Hawk. Bryan recalled that board member Carla Bewley, who was in attendance brought plans for the site to him when he was mayor from 2002 to 2008. He said Fox Park is a positive development for the town because of the potential it has to increase tourism. On a recommendation of Chairman Webster, Commissioner Ben Brooks and Bill Brown abstained from the vote because they also are members of the museum’s board of directors.

Source: Greeneville Sun News Article Oc.t 26, 2011

Repost: Originally posted on Oct 28, 11

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