Chattanooga History County Courthouse
County Courthouse
SOURCE: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division - Orig. Detroit Publishing Co.
From 8"x10" Dry plate glass negative. LINK
2014 Photo by Sam Hall

CC-BY License  Creative Commons License chattanoogahistory.COM

Toggle view of 1907 vs. 2014

Courthouses were apparently very flamable in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Hamilton Country Courthouse shown above was struck by lightning and burned on the evening of May 7, 1910. Newspaper reports stated it was valued at $180,000 and damage 'at least' $75,000. The new and current court house was dedicated on November 22nd in 1913, built in the Classical tradition of Tennessee Marble, and no doubt less flammable.

It was designed by Reuben Harrison Hunt (1862-1937). Hunt was one of the most outstanding architects of the South. His efforts were focused primarily upon his home of Chattanooga. R. H. Hunt designed every major public building constructed in Chattanooga between 1895 and 1935. He was also the architect of local churches, hospitals, and private office buildings.

Some of the many remaining buildings that he designed:

  • Chattanooga Bank Building
  • Chattanooga Car Barns
  • James Building
  • Federal Building and United States Courthouse
  • Maclellan Building
  • Miller Brothers Department Store
  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium
  • Tivoli Theater

Photo and information retrieved from:  LINK

Newspaper article: May 8, 1910

The memorial fountain at Fountain Square stands today as a tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of fallen Chattanooga area firefighters. It was originally erected as a tribute to firefighters Henry Iler and W.M. Peak, who were burned to death in the 'Bee Hive' fire at Fourth and Market streets on June 9, 1887

The original cast zinc figure of a fireman at the top of the fountain was 'smashed' in 1961 and replaced with a polychromed aluminum copy in 1962. This is according to ' Zinc Sculpture in America, 1850-1950 -Grissom

The memorial plaque on the cannon reads:
This cannon was captured by the United States Troops at Santiage de Cuba on the 16th day of July 1898. It was one of the guns which commanded the bay and harbor of Santiago at the time of the sinking of the Merrimac by Lieut. Hobson and his brave party, and was employed by the Spanish Garrison in their effort to destroy them, and is now loaned to the city of Chattanooga by the U.S. Government.

I noticed the term 'loaned'. After 110+ years, perhaps we can keep it?

Chattanooga firemans fountain

Captured Spanish-American War Cannon

Image Gallery