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Signal Mountain Historic District Newsletters and Events
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published on 01/17/2003

Old Towne Pays Tribute to Street Sign Donors

By Marian Riggar

Just a few short months ago, who would have thought that the fundraising efforts by the Old Towne Association could have been so successful! The response for assistance in the beautification of Signal's own Historic District has been outstanding. And it all started with the glorious evening at Marrcrest, the centerpiece of the Historic District and the home of Robert and Charlotte White.

What Robert and Charlotte did not know was that the fundraising campaign was to be dedicated to them for all of their time and efforts in working with the "Friends of the Historic District." Also, of course, their having Marrcrest placed on the National Historic Register was the very beginning of Old Towne's Signal Mountain Historic District. Robert and Charlotte did not seek thanks and/or recognition for the Old Towne's efforts that enabled the Signal Mountain Historic District to provide street signs of style and distinction...something that reflects our pride in this new designation. However...

The "Friends of the Historic District" donors will be designated on plaques placed in the Trolley Stop at James Blvd. and Mississippi Ave., one of the District's important contributing structures and landmarks. Robert and Charlotte will be presented with paper copies of the plaques and donor list in an attractive folder, along with a small watercolor painting of the Trolley Stop.

Linda McGann, Director of Mountainwood since its inception in 1983, purchased the street sign at the Texas and Tennessee triangle. In a letter sent to me with her donation said "Thank you to our wonderful neighbors for their tolerance when Mountainwood was the cause of an inconvenience. Thank you for all of the times when you gave a cheery wave to the children. Thank you for helping to create an atmosphere where children feel safe and happy as they travel to Old Towne from their homes. Thank you for patiently negotiating the carpool lines when we are late getting out of the building and traffic backs up. I have been told many times by children who have attended Mountainwood that this is not just a special school but a special place and I know they mean our neighborhood. We at Mountainwood presently and those who have gone before are fortunate to have been a small part in the history of Old Towne." The children who have attended Mountainwood since 1983 gave the sign. Their street sign is the only traffic sign topped with the picture of a trolley.

Alexian Village of Tennessee purchased two street signs, one to be placed at the corner of James and Signal Mountain Blvd., and the second one at the corner of James and Signal Point Road. Alexian CEO Seneca Foote stated: "Alexian Village of Tennessee is pleased to be able to offer assistance to the Old Towne community by purchasing street signs for this historic area. The Signal Mountain Inn, and subsequently the Alexian Brothers have been a part of the Old Towne community since 1936, and we feel that we benefit greatly by being located in an historic and beautiful setting such as this."

Two street signs were also purchased by the Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, one of the signs can be seen at the intersection of James and Oak, and the other one is at the intersection of James and Maryland. The present location of the Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church dates back to 1932; before that they met for a few years at the old Signal Mountain Elementary School, now the Mountain Arts Community Center. Signal Mountain Presbyterian has been and is very involved with the entire mountain, and specifically with the Old Towne District. The history of Old Towne, Marrcrest, and Signal Mountain Presbyterian is indelibly connected.

A street sign was given by the Grant and Glenda Huntzinger family who are residents of the New Bluff Area. This sign, which is located at Close Family Road and Mathes Lane is very important in that the Old Towne Association desires to highlight both old and new areas within the specific district boundaries.

Mountain City Realtors purchased the street sign at the intersection of Carolina and Tennessee Avenues. Pem and Mo Guerry have purchased two signs in the names of their children Sean and Colleen Guerry. And the list goes on and on. The Trolley Logo shown on all signs reflect the history of the mountain for all of us.

The street sign that most pleases me is the one at St. Charles and James Blvd. It reads "For Philip Tabb from his Childhood Friends." I contacted those children who have such wonderful memories of their years growing up in the fifties and playing together near Marrcrest. Their gift really touched the Tabb family, and I also knew Philip, and am very happy in having a part of making "his sign" possible.

Our campaign took on life at the historic evening at Marrcrest, spread to the Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church and Alexian Village, and then to all of the businesses in the nearby areas. We have since welcomed residents on Marr Drive and the Ballard Bluff areas, as well as all other residents who will join us in the association to support the historic area. Our hope is that the funds necessary for the sign at Texas and James will be provided by mountain residents, and that the town will also contribute to the association for a sign. I have tried to be and will continue to be a responsible Stewart of the associations funds and the trust given to me by the donors.

Many people enjoy walking in the neighborhood and I hope they will enjoy the street signs and plaques displayed throughout the area. The signs are being installed by Creative Lawn and Lighting in Hixson. The special gift to the Whites will be made in January at our Trolley Stop at James and Mississippi.

Fundraising efforts for the beautification of the Old Towne District will continue, and our hope is that mountain residents will join us in our efforts that will benefit all of the mountain. For further information, please contact me (Marian Riggar) at .

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