Tag Archives: Harriman Industrial Supplement

The East Tennessee Normal and Industrial Institute

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

The East Tennessee Normal and Industrial Institute was organized in August 1898 in Harriman, under the name of Harriman Industrial School. It was created “for the training of Colored… Young Men and Women.” Started by John W. Ovletrea, a graduate of Tuskegee Institute, he had hoped to establish a school in Harriman along the lines of Tuskegee. In the 1902 Harriman Industrial Supplement, its mission was described as “to prepare colored young men and women for practical usefulness by giving each one who enters and remains a sufficient time a knowledge of some useful trade, in connection with a thorough English education thereby teaching the dignity of labor and enabling each to help himself by becoming a useful citizen; to so correlate industrial with literary education that the student cannot get the one without the other. The demand for intelligent and competent education is far greater than the supply. The man who can do something is the man sought after. It is the aim of the school to send young men and women out into the world who can produce as well as consume.” A farm was purchased for $1,000, $500 of which was due up front while the remainder was to be paid over time. On this farm was the home of William Barnett, a former slave owner, and this home became the first main building. It was used as the boys’ dormitory and for industrial development. Later a domestic science building was constructed along with an assembly hall called the Jamieson Central Assembly Hall. The entrance fee was $1.50 while the board per month (which included furnished room, laundry, lights, fuel, etc.) was $8.00. Students were given an opportunity to work out $2 or $3 of the expenses per month, leaving only $5 or $6 to be paid in cash. With a good outfit of clothing, $45 or $50 was sufficient cash to carry an industrious student through the nine-month school year. All students were required to work one day a week and every other Saturday. Unfortunately, the school ended up in debt and was closed about 1911 or 1912.

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

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.