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White County Buying Land To Preserve Historic Landmark

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White County Buying Land To Preserve Historic Landmark

White County will consider purchasing land surrounding the Rock House and holding it for the state to help preserve the historic landmark.

County Executive Denny Wayne Robinson said a parcel of some 100 acres was purchased by an investor looking to sell it quickly. He said after having the parcel surveyed, the owner learned that the Rock House parking lot is actually on the property he now owns. Robinson said the Rock House is an old stagecoach stop that presidents and major historical figures have stopped at, so the state wants the landmark preserved.

“He’s wanting to move it now and has threatened to auction it and threatened to sell it to other individuals,” Robinson said. “I feel like he’s being a little bit aggressive with this, but the state is concerned. They would like to secure this land.”

Robinson said the state has procedures that make land acquisition a long process compared to the county. He said state representatives reached out to him and asked that the county act as a liaison because it could take up to two years for the state to purchase the land. He said the White County Steering Committees have agreed to purchase 20 acres at $12,000 per acre and the White County Commissioners will make a final decision at their April 15 meeting.

“The state is interested in purchasing it, number one, to protect the history,” Robinson said. “And then number two, to kind of get this to coordinate, maybe, into the state park that we’ve got budgeted and are receiving up there a little farther east.”

He said the White County Daughters of the American Revolution own and operate the Rock House, holding meetings there and providing tours to visitors. He said the state originally wanted to purchase some 80 acres, but the county does not have money for that amount of land budgeted and would rather not borrow. He said he was honored to have been entrusted with this acquisition.

“For right now, we want to lock down the most critical point, and that is the part right around the Rock House itself,” Robinson said. “And yeah, it’s a good working relationship with the state, and we’re doing what we can to help them because they do what they can to help us.”


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