Huge, 2-Story House At Cameron Hill's 517 W. 7th Street Functioned As An Oversized Duplex

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - by John Wilson
517 West Seventh St. was at the corner of Cypress on Cameron Hill
517 West Seventh St. was at the corner of Cypress on Cameron Hill

A huge two-story house at the corner of West Seventh Street and Cypress on the side of Cameron Hill functioned throughout its short life as an over-sized duplex.

Many of the fine homes on Cameron Hill, including some that were much smaller, were eventually divided into multiple homes.

This house had a downstairs resident and an upstairs one from when it was built in the early 1920s until it was demolished by Urban Renewal about 40 years later. Each side had plenty of space to spread out.

The frame house featured an interesting tower at the street corner with three windows for each floor.

There were also large front porches for both the A and B (or 1/2) sides.

There were some interesting triangular designs above the upper porch as well as a bonus room perched above the pair of triangles at the very top.

Clement L. Donehue and his wife, Nannie Adams Donehue, were the sole occupants of 517 W. Seventh St. just after it was finished. Their son, George Donehue, was affiliated with the Tennessee Electric Power Co.

The next year, the Donehues had taken on D.H. Smith as an upstairs renter.

C.L. Donehue was the proprietor of the Southern Art Co. He was also athletic director for the Centenary Methodist Church. When he died in 1931 at the age of 68, the family was living on McCallie Avenue. 

The big house passed to many other occupants. In 1927, G.S. Masters and his wife, Minnie, had the run of the ground floor. Masters was an enameler for Crane Enameling. Upstairs was D.G. McCollum, a building contractor.

Then McCollum occupied the main floor. Woolf L. Shinbaum, who would stay along with his wife, Beatrice C. for several years, was upstairs. He was a department manager for Effron's. 

Another occupant was James I. Hollahan and his wife, Jessie J. 

Linus F. Yount, who was a sheet metal worker, had the main address at 517 W. Seventh for a few years. Hubert V. Abercrombie, secretary for the Southern Blow Pipe & Refrigeration Co. and his wife, Edith C., were upstairs.

At the time of the start of World War I, Mrs. Z.T. Quinn was downstairs and Roland B. Granert, an employee of Miller Bros., had the other unit that was now referred to as 1/2. Granert was a son of the early Chattanooga photographer Louis Granert, who had also lived on Cameron Hill. Louis Granert died in April of 1925 and his wife, Tillie, died six months later. There were three Granert daughters. The other sons, Louis A. and Harry W, were also photographers.

Some of the final occupants of this roomy old house included S.F. Vinson (downstairs) and F.C. Holland (up).

Then everyone had to leave.

 

 

 


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