When you are an organization that manages an archival collection, you never know what unexpected donations might come your way; strange Victorian mourning artifacts, any manner of items “used by Andy Jackson,” and maybe even a house!
That is exactly what happened at the Heritage Alliance this summer when a deconstructed, disassembled home that had been in storage for decades had to be relocated. A series of events and contacts orchestrated with the help of Dr. Bill Kennedy led to the building being donated to the Heritage Alliance’s Salvage Warehouse.
A large portion of the donation comes from the Albert Jackson Tipton home. A.J. Tipton was the great grandson of Col. John Tipton, and the house was located on North Riverside Drive in Elizabethton. The exact date of the home’s construction has not been determined. However based on the home’s Greek Revival style and A.J. Tipton’s age (born 1820, died 1882), it was possibly constructed by the 1850s. Info from family indicates that Tipton built the house, although no deed research has been done. If the house was built earlier, it would have had to have been built by Tipton’s father, James Ireland Tipton (1792-1861).
The house was a two story brick structure with a two story frame section. There was a rear porch that was added later, possibly in the 1880s by Tipton’s son John Wright Tipton (1848-1908). Sanborn maps indicate that there were also changes to the front porch, likely completed between 1913 and 1924 by Tipton’s granddaughter-in-law Belle Carter Tipton (1877-1946). The Tipton family sold the property in the late 1970s, and the house was dismantled in the 1980s.
The donation to the Heritage Alliance included:
1. Approximately 7500 site made bricks
2. 16 4’x8 windows
3. Two mantels
4. Several doors
5. Two entryways
6. Radiator covers
We have information about some of the donated items. For example, the brick we received is far less than the full amount needed for the entire house. Also, the steam radiator covers feature Art Deco designs and would have likely been added in the 1930s. There are some mysteries as well, such as the fact that the balancing system used on the donated windows was not invented until the mid 1880s.
For more information about the history of the home, the donated items, and their availability in our Salvage Warehouse, please contact the Heritage Alliance at (423) 753-4580 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!