Early Photo Shows Area Of City's First Settlement And Bluff View

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An 1895 photo shows the area of the city's first settlement as well as Bluff View.

The picture was taken from the top of the Chattanooga Brewery at the same time as one recently featured on Chattanoogan.com of downtown. This one is in the collection of a local attorney.

Chattanoogan.com will give away three framed 8x10 copies of this historic picture in a contest. Enter by emailing news@chattanoogan.com.

The first Chattanooga residents settled on the hill just above Ross's Landing near First, Second, Third and Fourth streets.

This photo centers on Second Street up to Bluff View. The city's first frame home, that of the early trader Daniel Henderson, was standing then on First Street just out of the view of this picture.

One building still remaining is at the bottom of the photo - the old Shelton Flour Mill at Second and Market. It is now in use by Cheeburger Cheeburger, Ghengis Khan and the Vaudeville Cafe. It was built by Clement Clay Shelton, who came to Chattanooga in 1871. The mill turned out about 150 barrels of flour per day for sale in the tri-state region. Shelton, who was in the grocery business until building the mill in 1876, was a pioneer in introducing the roller process of making flour. At the time, there was a brick chimney at the rear of the mill.

C.C. Shelton at first lived in the brick home behind his mill at the corner of Second and Cherry. He later built a more stately brick home at Second and Walnut. Some of those who were millers at the flour mill later lived in the Second and Cherry home.

The Sheltons also owned the house at 116 Cherry - third from the left of Second Street. W.O. Shelton was living there when this photo was made.

Another Shelton lived across Second Street on Walnut from C.C. Shelton. This was Azariah Shelton, who was first a blacksmith and later a teacher. He was the county school superintendent, then the trustee and tax collector.

J.W. Crist was living in the old house with steps leading up to it at 202 Market Street. Nearby was the Columbian Drug Store in a two-story brick building.

The Cherry Street Methodist Church was then at 207 Cherry. This church was torn down a few years later. Kimble P. Jones had a grocery at 213 Cherry, and he lived across the street at the home of Dr. N.C. Steele, who later moved to Missionary Ridge. Two of the large homes on the east side of Cherry have similar architectural features and were apparently built at the same time.

Charles T. Mayer, who was a clerk at the Chattanooga Medicine Company, was living on Second Street near Walnut as was Will Brooks of Brooks & Company Grocery.

Living near C.C. Shelton on Walnut Street were John Stagmaier and George Edmiston. Stagmaier later built a fine home on Cherry Street in place of the Kimble Jones grocery. George Mattice, the president of the Gem Furniture Company, lived at First and Walnut by the river. A city alderman, he was the great-grandfather of current Federal Judge Sandy Mattice.

Across the street from C.C. Shelton at Second and Walnut was a two-story building in use as a grocery, meat market and saloon.

At the northeast corner of Third and High streets at the upper right of the photo can be seen the palatial home that was built for M.M. Hedges. It was a large frame house with a circular tower. There were four bedrooms upstairs, plus a large master bedroom on the main floor. A bathroom with marble fixtures was adjacent to the master bedroom. The library featured cherry woodwork. There was also a carriage house. Riverfront Parkway was built where the Hedges mansion stood.

Second Street at that time ran up to the river's edge at Spring Street. A number of stately homes had been rising up at Bluff View off to the left. The large home at the top left was built about the site of the newest portion of the Hunter Museum.

Only G.M. Bradt and C.H. Coolidge had built at Bluff View by 1886. But when this photo was taken, its residents included (1) C.S. Leach, (3) Robert Pritchard (5) J.H. Allison (11) Mrs. M.P. Hooper, (13) Isaac Simpson (16) C.H. Coolidge (17) W.D. Roberts (18) T.P. Wells, (19) W.M. Allen, (20) F.M. Stafford, (22) Samuel Schwartz, (23) G.G. Lilly, (24) Mrs. Elia Banks and (26) Linus W. Llewellyn.


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