The Tennessee Historical Commission Monday announced the addition of five properties to the National Register of Historic Places including the Sanda Hosiery Mills in Cleveland. They also include a barbecue restaurant, a hotel and garage, a church and a garden.
“These additions to the National Register of Historic Places are a testament to Tennessee’s diverse heritage,” said Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer Patrick McIntyre. “The historic properties are part of our unique past and are worthy of being recognized on this prestigious list."
The sites recently added to the National Register of Historic Places are:
Sanda Hosiery Mills (Cleveland – Bradley County)
Sanda Hosiery Mills was once of the largest employers in Cleveland, a city that had several hosiery mills and industrial operations in the 20th century. Known for its high quality children’s hosiery, Sanda’s products were marketed under the Humpty Dumpty brand and included the “Famous Baby Bootie Sock.” Sanda Hosiery Mills began circa 1926 with the construction of two brick buildings originally used as warehouses. By 1940, these buildings were part of the Cherokee Knitting Mills and were connected to larger brick industrial buildings. Sanda Hosiery Mills operated in the city in the 1940s and by 1950 it was located in the extant complex. Production at the mill stopped in 2000 and there are plans to reuse the complex using the preservation tax incentives.
Bethel Methodist Church (Morristown – Hamblen County)
Built around 1907-1908, the Bethel Methodist Church is a cross-gable form church building with Gothic Revival details. The tall gable field and tower are sheathed in weatherboard, while the main story of the building is brick veneer. Located in a commercial area of Morristown, the Bethel Methodist Church is notable for its associations with the city’s African American community. The building served as a cornerstone of social and religious activity and was aligned with Morristown College, a prominent African American institution in the region. During the 1940s, the Women’s Society of Christian Service was organized and raising funds and planning events for the church and community. By 1951, the congregation had grown and a rear addition was constructed on the building. The church continues to be key organization in Morristown.
Oaklawn Garden (Germantown – Shelby County)
Oaklawn Garden was started as a commercial nursery by Mamie and Harry L. Cloyes in 1923. Today, owned by the city of Germantown and operated as a park, the 6.46 acres contains the Cloyes circa 1875 house, the nursery office with carport, and a shed associated with the nursery. The site also boasts a historic allee, 1923 daffodil bed, a natural greenhouse and a certified Level One arboretum. All of these represent Oaklawn’s importance as a commercial enterprise in Germantown. The Cloyes moved to the site to help Mamie’s Uncle Fritz Hussy run his farm and by 1923 Mamie Cloyes was growing and selling daffodils. Separated from her husband in the 1930s, Mamie, her uncle Fritz and her son Harry F. Cloyes ran the farm and nursery business until 1968, when Mamie turned the business over to Harry F. and his wife. Harry F. started collecting historic artifacts and putting them on his property that year and continued to do that until 1976 when, realizing the need to conserve this important site, the city of Germantown bought the property. Harry F. Cloyes’ collection includes items such as the old Germantown jail, an assemblage representing the Germantown power plant, railroad artifacts and many other items that represent local history.
Sterick North Garage and Hotel (Memphis – Shelby County)
Constructed in 1963, the Sterick North Garage and Hotel is a three-story hotel with that sits over a seven-story garage. Designed by Memphis architect Merrill G. Ehrman, the Mid-Century Modern building is constructed of concrete, aluminum and glass. Originally part of the Holiday Inn chain, the parking garage was used for the hotel and the adjacent 1929 Sterick Building. The engineer for the Sterick North building is Tung-Yen Lin. He was an internationally known the engineer who was recognized for his creative use of pre-stressed concrete including the “Lin Tee” that was used in the Sterick property. His design allowed for a single tee structural beam that could span longer distances than a double tee. Also used in bridge construction, the Memphis building is one of the earliest known examples of the Lin Tee being used for building construction, giving the building significance in engineering. There are plans to reuse the building using the preservation tax incentives.
Bozo’s Hot Pit Bar-B-Que (Mason – Tipton County)
Located on US79/US70/State Route 1, once a major east-west thoroughfare, Bozo’s Hot Pit Bar-B-Que is a one-story brick veneer building constructed in 1950. Sited close to the highway, historically known as the “Broadway of America” and the “Memphis to Bristol Highway,” the building features a diner-like interior and barbeque pit on the outside. Bozo’s was begun in 1923 by Thomas Jefferson “Bozo” Williams across the street from the current building. After a fire in 1950, the Williams family built the current building to accommodate increasing traffic and customers. When the owners went to trademark the name in 1982, Larry Harmon - who played Bozo the Clown - attempted to stop the trademarking. Since the restaurant was open years before the clown appeared on TV, after several legal challenges, Bozo’s Hot Pit Bar-B-Que prevailed.
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. It is part of a nationwide program that coordinates and supports efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic resources. The Tennessee Historical Commission, as the State Historic Preservation Office, administers the program in Tennessee.
For more information, visit http://tnhistoricalcommission.org.