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Preservationist Concerned About Future Of Rock House

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Preservationist Concerned About Future Of Rock House

A local preservationist and member of the Daughters of the American Revolution has concerns about the future of the White County Rock House.

White County is in the process of purchasing land surrounding the building to secure it for the state. The state plans to renovate the facility, returning it, according state officials, to the way it appeared in the 1800s. Connie Farris said throughout the process, she has been worried about where the Daughters of the American Revolution fit in. She said the group has been the steward of the building since 1930.

“My interpretation of what they’re doing, is they’re going to put a petition back up,” Farris said. “They’re going to put a front porch on it, but those were nonexistent when the DAR took it over.”

Farris said those features are also not mentioned in the building’s application for the National Registry of Historic Places. She said the building was constructed in the early 1800s as part of the Sparta Turnpike. She said President Andrew Jackson stayed at the Rock House on trips between Washington D.C. and his home, the Hermitage.

“I’m confused as to what their purpose is and I’m confused as to where the DAR fits in, if at all,” Farris said. “And the historical significance on my part for that building is how the DAR has taken care of it all these years, and they’re not even included in the planning.”

She said the building has been used as a school, a store, and a residence, and she is not sure when the petition and porch were installed and removed originally. She said the building needs renovations to fix foundational issues, but she is concerned about the lack of a voice being given to the group that has taken care of the structure for almost a century.

“If we don’t know where we’ve been, we can’t know where we’re going,” Farris said. “And as stewards of historic buildings and properties, we are to preserve that past for future generations.”


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