A $259,446 grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program will preserve historic Browns Tavern in Lookout Valley.
The cabin on Brown's Ferry Road, which dates to 1803, is to be preserved along with nine acres of the original 640-acre farm of John Brown. Brown was a pioneer innkeeper who operated Brown's Ferry on the Tennessee River.
The two-story log cabin was built of heavy logs by Caspar Vaught, a talented carpenter from Blount County. It features a "dog trot" in the middle and a porch facing toward the nearby Tennessee River.
The Brown place at one time had a smokehouse, a separate log kitchen, log stables, a log barn, and other outbuildings as well as orchards and gardens.
Several Cherokee Indian detachments were removed West from Ross's Landing on the old road by the tavern.
Cherokee Chief John Ross and his wife, Quatie, are said to have spent their honeymoon at Brown's Tavern.
The Battlefield Protection group is mostly interested in the site because it was one of the focuses of the Civil War Battle of Wauhatchie.
The place remained in the Brown family until 1847 when it was sold to William Cummings. This included the tavern and 308 acres. It was sold by Elizabeth Brown, administrator of the estate of John Brown. She was apparently his second wife.
William Cummings, in 1857, sold the Brown place to Jeremiah Fryar, Jr., and the Fryars were occupying it at the time of the Civil War.
Edgar Boydston purchased the Brown place from Sevier Fryar in 1903, and the tavern and 130 acres were sold to the West Chattanooga Land Company in 1911. The property was bought in 1952 by Dr. and Mrs. S. S. Marchbanks and they began its restoration. It was later owned and occupied by Joan L. Franks, who maintained the historic home much as it was in the pioneer days. Several years ago it was sold out of the Franks family and remains privately owned. It is now referred to as the Chapin tract.