The Daily Pulse:

Mead and Ross Quarries on National Register

We're used to seeing actual old buildings placed on the National Register of Historic Places, but sometimes an industrial site--a quarry--makes the cut, too. Mead and Ross Quarries are both of them decades-old quarries on the impressive campus of Ijams Nature Center. One, you may have noticed, is full of water.

We just received the following by way of Susan Knowles, who has been researching the history of the marble industry in the Knoxville area:

"The Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University, working in partnership with Ijams Nature Center, has successfully submitted a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places for Mead and Ross Marble Quarries in Knox County, Tennessee. The nomination was approved by the state review board on January 16, 2014, and sent to Washington, D.C. for final approval through the National Park Service, which listed the properties on the National Register of Historic Places on March 26, 2014.

"The Mead and Ross Marble Quarries, which are now part of the Ijams Nature Center landscape, are listed for their importance in revealing patterns of marble processing and extraction, and rail-related transportation in Knox County, Tennessee. The Multiple Property Submission, 'Marble Industry of East Tennessee, ca. 1838-1963,' was written by Dr. Carroll Van West, Director of the Center for Historic Preservation and Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University, and Dr. Susan W. Knowles, Research Fellow, Center for Historic Preservation. 'The marble industry was once a huge sector of the regional economy,' states West, who is Tennessee's State Historian, 'East Tennessee marble attracted national attention when it was used as a decorative interior marble in the U.S. Capitol  in the mid to late 1850s--the  same exact moment  it was being installed inside Tennessee's State Capitol Building. Almost immediately, there was a demand for East Tennessee marble for public buildings: courthouses, city halls, banks, and railroad terminals, in the United States and Canada. Much of Knoxville's post-Civil War wealth can be attributed to the expansion of railroad transportation, which allowed marble to become one of the city's highest-grossing commodities."

"A survey of the East Tennessee Marble Industry, funded by a grant from the Tennessee Historical Commission, allowed the Center for Historic Preservation to conduct field research and consult public records in East Tennessee. The creation of a Multiple Property Submission, 'Marble Industry of East Tennessee, ca. 1838-1963,' provides  history and context for related historic properties, such as the Mead and Ross Quarries in Knox County, Tennessee. The National Register of Historic Places is the official Federal list of properties and sites that reflect outstanding significance in American history, culture, archaeology, and architecture. Properties can be nominated based on local, state, or national level significance. For more information on the Center for Historic Preservation and its services across the state, see:  HYPERLINK http://www.mtsuhistpres.org. "

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