Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


December 5, 2013

Mark your calendars for Historic Homesteads Tour of Homes

CROSSVILLE — The Cumberland Homesteads Tower Association will present its Christmas Tour of Historic Homes on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15, from 1 to 4 p.m.  In addition to the Tower Museum, located at the junction of Highways 127 S and 68 in Crossville and the Museum House on Pigeon Ridge Rd., a number of the stone English cottage-style homes will be decorated for the holidays and open for viewing. Take advantage of this opportunity to see firsthand the workmanship that is apparent from the stone exteriors to the wood paneled interiors of the cottages.

When Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933, he proposed a number of projects aimed at lessening the effects of the Depression. Subsistence homesteads were put forth as a project to provide employment, affordable housing and to give hope to those in stranded communities where opportunities did not exist. More than 100 such projects were approved throughout the United States and its territories. A map on display at the Tower Museum shows the locations of all of the projects.

The unique Cumberland Homesteads cottages were built from 13 different floor plans in the style of English cottages. About 250 homes built were constructed using native sandstone and pine, oak and poplar wood harvested from the project properties. The families accepted into the project lived in small barns on the property while the men learned construction trades such as electrical wiring and plumbing, lumbering and mill work, and stone masonry as they built the homes families were to occupy. When a family moved into their home, another family often rented the barn until theirs could be occupied and their home built. Nearly 200 of the homes remain today either as they were originally built or remodeled and updated to meet today’s demands.

It is of interest that the homes were wired for electricity before it was available on the Plateau. Additionally, modern bathrooms were installed in each of the cottages thanks to the efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt to make sure that these homes were modern in every regard. To accomplish the modern bathrooms, the homes were sited on the property so that the well pump serviced the kitchen. A galvanized water tank was located in the attic with gravity feed to the bathroom fixtures.

The original home plans did not include provisions for heating as the architect thought that homes in the South were not subject to cold weather in the winter. Fireplaces were added to supplement the warmth provided by the woodstoves in the kitchens. The homes also lacked insulation and were not weather tight. During the winter months when snow fell, the snowflakes might be seen blowing into the homes where cracks existed. Still, the Homestead cottages were a step up for the homeowners and have survived through the years as the most successful of the housing programs of the New Deal.

The Homesteads House Museum on Pigeon Ridge Rd. suffered extensive tornado damage in 2001; however, this devastation allowed the home to be restored to original condition, eliminating modern materials and changes that had occurred over the years. The house is furnished with artifacts authentic to the 1930s and has been decorated for Christmas reflecting the style of the 1930s and 1940s.

The Tower Museum and gift shop will be open and visitors are encouraged to take some time to look at exhibits, enjoy the short DVD and enjoy a variety of refreshments. The gift shop has copies of novels and publications by local authors that are specific to the Cumberland Plateau and Homestead Community. Visitors will also find many other items appropriate for Christmas giving.

Tickets and a self-guiding map which are good for both days may be purchased at the Homesteads Tower Museum. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults and $6 for ages 6-12 years. For additional information, call the Tower Museum at 456-9663 or visit the website at All proceeds support the mission of the Cumberland Homesteads Tower Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, equal opportunity and employment organization.

Text Only
  • FFG Resident Services Painting.jpg FFG Resident Services presents painting to the Pat Summitt Foundation

    A dramatic portrait of Pat Summitt, painted by Chuck Jensen, was presented to the Pat Summitt Foundation by Fairfield Glade Resident Services at its Community Information Event on memory care.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 127 seniors JosephZarolla-W6.jpg Zarola entertains 127 Seniors

    The members of the 127 South Senior Center met Friday, July 25, for bingo and Mexican Train domino game. Conversation, along with coffee and sweets, was enjoyed by all. Helen Lord called the bingo numbers, and the prizes were furnished by Eye Centers of Tennessee. Life Care Center checked everyone's blood pressures.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses (Published July 30, 2014)

    July 29, 2014

  • Habitat-Group photo-Crisp Dedication .jpg Habitat celebrates 55th home dedication

    Anne Crisp is excited that she and her two daughters have a home to call their own. Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity (CCHFH) dedicated the 55th home to be built in partnership with low-income families. Crisp put more than 500 hours of "sweat equity" into her home and has completed 50 hours of self-improvement, where she attended classes on budgeting, home maintenance and good neighbor among others.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Gypsy Rose to visit Fair Park

    The Cumberland County Playhouse is currently performing the award-winning Broadway play “Gypsy.” A great American story set during the 1920s fading vaudeville circuit, "Gypsy" portrays the rise of famed burlesque performer and stage mother Gypsy Rose Lee as she journeys across the country with her mother and sister during a time when Vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. The complex character of Rose could be described as bold and brassy, as she steamrolls everyone in her way to turn her daughters June and Louise into child stars.

    July 28, 2014

  • plateau gardening-springBlooms4361.jpg Match August garden tasks to plant biology

    During all seasons in temperate climates like ours the greenery around us is changing. New shoots appear and leaves pop out of swollen buds after spring rains.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pleasant Hill Ramblings.jpg Landis reunites with Japanese teacher

    There is a special lady living in Pleasant Hill who spent 42 years of her life in Sendai, Japan, teaching English at a Japanese Christian school and as a missionary with the United Church of Christ Board for World Ministries.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lion of Year.jpg Lions Club recognizes Lion of the Year

    Charles Loveday, charter member of the Crossville Lions Club, was recognized as the Lion of the Year at the annual installation of officers picnic July 8. Loveday earned this award for his service as first vice president, membership chairman, eye glass chairman and his help with fundraisers and other matters where needed. From left are Loveday and President Gary Laura.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-8 counseling center-play with dolls.jpg Christian Counseling Center celebrating 12 years

    Help the Christian Counseling Center of Cumberland County (C5) celebrate 12 years of community service. Dine at Ruby Tuesday of Crossville Aug. 8, 9 or 10. Print the flyer from the center’s website,, and give it to the server.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • A Time 4 Paws collecting shoes to help Soles4Souls in fight against global poverty

    Attention anyone with a closet! Those shoes no longer wanted are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.

    July 24, 2014