Tag Archives: Cumberland Street

The Controversial Dike in Kingston

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

In 1939 – 1940, the Tennessee Valley Authority drew up plans to create a dike on Highway 70 at Kingston which would keep the waters of Watts Bar Dam from flooding the town of Kingston. This plan was supported by TVA and many of the citizens of Kingston and Roane County. The dike allowed traffic to travel directly on Highway 70 West from Knoxville, instead of the route which had for many decades required drivers to turn right onto Kentucky Street coming from Race Street and then turn left on Cumberland Street. The plan was controversial, in that there were people who were for the dike and those who opposed the building of it. Those for the plan pointed out the amount of land that it would take up and the amount of flooding that still would occur if the dike was not built. Plus the costs would have included Roane County having to replace Roane County High School. Still, there were some citizens who were opposed to it. However, many of these opponents would have ended up with lakefront property. But the plans continued as originally designed.

The following article appeared in The Rockwood Times, July 3, 1941, about the completion and the description of the dike.

“Work on Kingston Dike Against Lake Nears Completion. Roadway On Structure To Make Beautiful View Of Lake Area Available.” The much talk of the dike being erected by the TVA to keep the backwaters of Watts Bar dam from inundating the town of Kingston is now receiving the finishing touches. The main construction has been completed and the roadway on top of the dike has been aided with a temporary rock surface which will be later converted to concrete or asphalt. The main dike is tied into the hill just beyond the home of Hugh E. Wyatt and extends out through what was the Wilkey bottom through the Evans, Muecke and Oran lots coming to grade at the intersection of Cumberland Street and Harriman avenue where the dike and Highway 70 or Broadway of America come together. The highway has been raised too, so as to become a part of the dike on out to the old Clinch River Bridge. Most local travel will now go down Cumberland Street and go on the new highway where the dike and highway come together. The main travel through town will come down Race Street which has been raised to go onto the dike near the M.E. Church property. Highway 58 intersects with Race Street at the junction with Kentucky Street and the travel going over this highway will go into Race Street and on over the dike. The dike itself is approximately 35 feet high, 160 feet wide at the base and is 1550 feet long. The top is 40 feet wide with a roadway and sidewalk on the side. The north side of the dike is being sodded (sic) and the south or lakeside is being rip-rapped with a heavy stone. At the west end of the dike, a boat ramp and parking area is being erected. From the top of the dike is one of the best scenic views in all the TVA territory and thousands will stop and gaze upon the beauties of the lake extending down the Pellissippi (sic) to historic Southwest Point and the main lake of the Tennessee River. The boating and fishing of this immediate lake cannot be surpassed in all the country of the Tennessee Valley.— “Roane County Banner.”

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, February 2017.

What Happened to Second St in Kingston?

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

If you travel east through Kingston on Race Street, you will notice the signs that show a First Street, a Third Street, a Fourth Street and a Fifth Street, but no sign indicating a Second Street. The 1811 plat of Kingston shows all five streets. However, the road that was originally named Second Street became known as Kentucky Street because the road led to Kentucky and through the years the name was changed. Other name changes were King Street to Cumberland Street and Lovely Street too?

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, June 2015.

Burt’s Hair Reviver

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

There are two bottles in the collection of The Roane County Heritage Commission that are embossed “Burt’s Hair Reviver, Harriman, Tenn.” An advertisement in the Harriman Industrial Supplement of “The Harriman Record” in 1902, states that the product “Invigorates the Hair, Restores its Natural Color, Cures Dandruff, Prevents Falling Out, Cures Eczema and all diseases of the scalp.” On the box, it also says that it “contains no poison, not a dye” and “the only non-poisonous, clean, healthy preparation for restoring Gray or Faded Hair to its life-like original color and beauty and promoting the growth of young hair.” The product was sold by Friend H. (F.H.) Burt who had come to Harriman from West Virginia before 1900. He was born in New York, and the 1900 Roane Census lists him as a real estate agent living on Cumberland Street. Like most products of those days, it probably contained alcohol. It is interesting to note that about 10 years earlier, Emma Burt, the wife of F.H. Burt, sent letters to the saloons in stating that they are “not to sell, give, furnish or procure for my said husband, who is a habitual drunkard, any intoxicating liquors, whether spirituous, vinous, malt or mixed liquor or liquors.” So, did F.H. Burt stop drinking or did he find a different way to get alcohol by drinking his hair reviver?

Burt’s Hair Reviver, Harriman, Tenn, U.S.A.

Originally Written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, February 2015.