The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has purchased property in Meigs County to expand the Chattanooga National Cemetery.
The 270-acre property at Blythes Ferry was purchased from Greg Vital for over $11 million. It is over twice the size of the current National Cemetery, which has 121 acres, and is running out of room for more burials.
It is located on the main channel of the Tennessee River with over three-fourth mile of frontage. There is 4,000 feet of road frontage along Highway 60 at the bridge.
The site was earlier eyed as a golf course and exclusive riverfront community, then it was purchased by Mr. Vital and his family through a farm partnership over 10 years ago.
The Blythe Ferry area is both historically significant and a tranquil environment.
Mr. Vital said, "The use as a national cemetery preserves this property and protects it forever, while paying tribute to America's veterans and heroes.
"This site will be a spectacularly beautiful location for a national cemetery with the views to the west of the river and of Walden's Ridge and the Cumberland Mountain."
He also said, "This property was purchased by me as a conservation and preservation buyer because of its beauty and was only sold because of the significant need to provide more burial space and a new national cemetery for Tennessee." The search for a site included locations in other states.
The VA had been looking at several sites since the historic National Cemetery on Holtzclaw Avenue in Chattanooga has little room remaining for burials.
It was chosen through a competitive analysis by the national cemetery administration over several other sites with multiple layers of decision making, it was stated.