First Official Roane County Historian

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

Marilyn McCluen, age 98, passed away on August 8, 2016. She was appointed the first official Roane County Historian in 1969 when the Tennessee State Legislature authorized counties to appoint county historians. In 1965, she, along with Mrs. Willis Hutcherson, began organizing the County’s loose papers, books, and all kinds of records dating back to 1801, the date Roane County was established. These records had been stored for decades in the attic of the Old Roane County Courthouse and were scattered among dead birds and whiskey bottles. She was involved at the beginning of The Roane County Historical Society and with others was involved in the saving of the Old Courthouse which had been slated to be torn down in 1974. This led to the creation of “The Roane County Heritage Commission” which was given the responsibility of preserving one of the seven antebellum courthouses still standing in Tennessee. Among many other things, she was also involved in the first historical sites survey in Roane County. Roane County was very fortunate to have had Marilyn as she worked tirelessly to help preserve Roane County’s history. Her legacy of work will ensure that future generations will know about their history.

Marilyn McCluen Center

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, October 2016.