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Tuesday, 31 August 2010 15:59:51 GMT

Cleveland tackling ways to preserve Fletcher spring house with little cost

Whilst Bradley County federal government busies itself to preserve the old John Ross Cabin, municipal counterparts in Cleveland Town federal government are doing the same with two of their personal pieces of history — the Cherokee Chieftain along with a hidden icon that has flown below the radar of public attention for many years, the old spring house at Fletcher Playground.

The Chieftain’s restoration is progressing.

A week ago, a Department of Public Functions crew freed the professionally sculpted oak statue from its 24-year resting location at Johnston Park in preparation for moving it to a new house on the front lawn in the Museum Center at Five Points.

Following a chemical remedy, it is expected to be relocated to the museum next week, according to Tommy Myers, director of public works.

Progress about the Fletcher Playground spring home is obtaining below way.

Cleveland City Council has discussed preserving the springtime home for years, dating back to shortly following the sprawling 70-acre playground was donated towards the town by the late Leonard and Agnes Fletcher. The land donation came on the condition that city leaders preserve the land like a passive park (one that's mostly just green space); the Fletchers even placed $350,000 inside a trust fund to aid develop the playground.

More than a period of years beginning within the early 2000s, the town utilized trust fund money, along with a series of matching grants from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, as well as private donations, to continue the park’s improvement.

Progress tailed off the last couple of many years when spending budget crunches hit local, point out and federal governments.

Still, town leaders in no way lost sight of their interest in preserving the springtime house.

More than the past few months, City Council received a spending budget estimate from Linked Architectural Services on projected expenses of restoring the two-story brick framework, as well as building an access walk and sitting area.

Total price is more than $61,000, but Councilman David May for that past couple of weeks has prodded town staff and his peers to a minimum of take action to stabilize the aging framework to avoid further deterioration. Last week, Might reported to the Council he had met with a group interested in helping to restore the structure.

The councilman mentioned he is working with staff for example Urban Forester Dan Hartman and Patti Pettit, parks and recreation director, too as representatives from Middle Tennessee Point out University and also the Southeast Tennessee Improvement District to come up with ideas on what requirements to be done.

May mentioned when the visitors first viewed the springtime home, “ .<br>.. They were shocked when they saw the creating.” He mentioned they're “really excited” about its potential.

Might mentioned the group is obtaining estimates on brickwork which he mentioned should not be what he termed “major money.”

The councilman mentioned local merchants are also being approached and some are showing an interest in donating materials for the restoration. Private donations may also help with the project.

“For minimum money, we can get it done,” May told the Council last week. “They (visiting consultants) created a couple of recommendations.”

The councilman added, “I’m very enthused about this.”

Authentic cost estimates for refurbishing the spring house which all but halted its recent improvement came in at $32,100 for that structure’s restoration and $29,000 for the access walk and sitting region. May’s plan to stabilize the structure is anticipated to cost a fraction of that quantity.

In mid-July, May acknowledged, “I know there is no money now, but we hope there might be some donations to help shore it up until restoration operate (can) be done later.”

The historic springtime home is thought to pre-date the Civil War. Newspaper archives show it could go as far back again as the middle of the 19th century.

According to Wikipedia, a spring home — also spelled springhouse — is a “ ... little creating used for refrigeration once frequently discovered in rural areas prior to the advent of electric refrigeration.”

The Internet-based description adds, “It (springtime home) is usually a one-room creating constructed more than the source of a springtime. The water of the springtime maintains a constant cool temperature inside the spring home throughout the year. In settings exactly where no organic springtime is obtainable, another source of organic running water, such as a small creek or diverted portion of a larger creek, might be used. The main use of a springtime house is for the long-term storage of food that would otherwise spoil, for example meat, fruit or dairy products.”

In the park’s early development, Fletcher Playground Advisory Board members agreed that as soon as restored, the springtime house had the potential for becoming a key attraction to the playground.

The original Fletcher land was utilized like a farm and plant nursery before becoming handed over to the city years ago.

According to the “The Background of Bradley County,” written through the Background Committee of the Bradley County Chapter from the East Tennessee Historical Society, and edited through the late Roy G. Lillard and Dr. William R. Snell, Andrew J. Fletcher Sr. had served within the state senate and was secretary of state for Tennessee from 1865 to 1870 prior to coming to Cleveland.

Cites the book, “He then purchased a farm near Cleveland and settled down for the practice of his profession.” Fletcher Sr. had been born in Carter County on June 21, 1820. According towards the publication, he was “ ...<br> descended from Revolutionary stock, his grandfather having lost his life in the battle of Brandywine.”

Andrew J. Fletcher Jr. was born in Greene County on March 11, 1861, and accompanied his parents — A.J. Fletcher and Emma Hickey Fletcher — to Bradley County. He was elected county court clerk in 1886 and re-elected in 1890. In August 1894, he was elected district attorney general, a position he served in for 16 many years.

Given as a gift towards the city in 1974 by Hungarian refugee Peter “Wolf” Toth to honor Native American heritage, the Cherokee Chieftain will be provided its fourth home in 36 years once its museum pedestal is completed. Its authentic house was a rooted lightning-damaged oak tree along the back again property line from the Parker Street estate of the late Robert Card Sr. from exactly where Toth carved it into the Cherokee image.

Card’s daughter, Amy Card-Lillios, now resides at the Georgian colonial family home. She may be the granddaughter of the late C.C. Card, owner of the authentic Ford dealership in Cleveland. She is the mother of Cleveland businessman Nicholas Lillios, former president and present board member of MainStreet Cleveland and also the museum.

After digging up the sculpted tree, town crews positioned it about the front lawn of what was then the primary branch from the Cleveland Bradley Public Library. It's now the library’s History Branch.

When library officials needed extra parking, the Chieftain was moved once again — but not prior to its rotting interior was hollowed out and restored by nearby woodworker Dwight Jenkins. The statue was dunked inside a wood-preserving treatment at a Conasauga lumber mill and relocated in 1986 to Johnson Park, exactly where it remained till final Monday.

Shortly after its removal towards the downtown playground, the Chieftain’s exterior was carefully restored by Toth, who returned to Cleveland with his wife, Cathy, for a number of days’ worth of statue refurbishment. It was rededicated to the town on Toth’s final day.

The statue is now becoming chemically treated again before its placement at the museum. A brick mason was scheduled to begin work about the new pedestal Monday.

Read more: Cleveland Every day Banner - Cleveland tackling ways to preserve Fletcher spring house with small cost

Source: Cleveland Daily Banner

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