Likely taken in the first decade of the 1900s, this is a unique view from the roof of the US Customs House (built in 1893). In the foreground, at the corner of Lindsay and East 10th Streets lies the ‘City Scavenger’. I’ve seen this referenced on Sanborn Maps, but was surprised to find it photographed. Apparently, it was an early version of municipal sanitation services. The property is now home to the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. To the left - maps of the time identify ‘Negro tenements’ and railroad tracks of the Chattanooga Belt RR ‘Rapid Transit Electric’. To the lower right stands the Chattanooga Southern RR Freight Depot.
Organized in 1866, the congregation of Shiloh Baptist Church was made up of former slaves. Services were held in members' homes until a church building was erected near the present property. This first building burned and was replaced by a second one at the same location. Construction on the present building began in 1885 with labor donated by the congregation. The church was completed 10 years later and dedicated on May 10, 1896. One of the earliest black church buildings in Chattanooga, Shiloh Baptist Church is also one of the few remaining Gothic Revival style churches in the city. The building stands as a tribute to the determination and dedication of former slaves who worked for 30 years to raise the tunds to purchase the land and mate- rials and who built this imposing edifice with their own hands. The church has been the religious, cultural, and social center for the descendants of the freed-men who organized the congregation and constructed the building.
1954: Martin Luther King Jr. interviewed for a job as minister; but at age 24 was considered too young by the church.
Chattanooga University was founded September 15, 1886 and remained a private school for 83 years. In 1889 it merged with the Athens-based Grant Memorial University (now Tennessee Wesleyan). In 1907 the name University of Chattanooga was adopted.
University Hall, or “Old Main,” at one time housed the entire university on McCallie Avenue. It contained the classrooms, dorm rooms, library, faculty apartments, offices, kitchen, mess hall, chapel and a one room library. The Old Main was torn down in 1917 to make way for many new buildings.
It wasn’t until 1969, when the University merged with Chattanooga City/Zion College and joined with the University of Tennessee System, that the school became The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.