Homes Tour highlights houses, people connected to MC

College Hill tour to feature homes connected to Maryville College

May 23, 2019



In connection with the celebration of Maryville College’s Bicentennial, the Historic College Hill neighborhood in Maryville is hosting a Homes Tour on Sat., June 8 from
1 until 5 p.m.

In addition to featuring a variety of architectural styles and showcasing the history of the neighborhood, the 2019 Homes Tour celebrates the College’s historic milestone by opening to the public homes with strong connections to the 200-year-old institution.

 “We’ve managed to protect, and in many cases, restore these houses to the beauty that we now enjoy,” said Tom Taylor ’70, mayor of Maryville and a College Hill resident. “What makes Maryville unique is that it is truly a college town, and not just any college, but a progressive liberal arts college that has shaped the attitudes and culture of the city of Maryville since the very beginning.”

Chris and Jennifer Hackler are 15-year residents of the College Hill neighborhood and board members of the Historic College Hill Neighborhood Association.

“We are blessed that our girls are able to experience a place with such a rich heritage,” Jennifer said. “That’s something you don’t get everywhere.”

“We really hope this [Homes Tour] builds pride in our community and shares the joy of seeing historic preservation firsthand,” Chris added.

Five homes and one community building are on the tour. They include:

  • “Gray Tower” at 116 Indiana Ave. Built in 1896 and designed by Knoxville Architect George Barber, the Queen Anne Victorian was constructed for Dr. and Mrs. Jasper Barnes. Barnes came to Maryville College in 1892 to head the preparatory department. He retired in 1931 after serving 18 years as dean.
  • “Casablanca,” at 400 Indiana Ave. Dr. Samuel Tyndale Wilson, an 1878 alumnus of Maryville College, bought the house and eight acres in 1886, two years after joining the MC faculty. He became the dean of the College in 1891 and president in 1901, a post he held until his retirement in 1930.
  • 918 Hunter Lane. This brick residence was built in 1940 by Dr. Edwin Hunter, another MC alumnus (1914) who returned to teach and serve in administrative roles. Hunter returned to the College as an English professor in 1918 and went on to shape the curriculum as dean from 1930 until 1957.
  • “The Little House” at 1007 S. Court Street. Built in 1930, two of the earliest occupants were Miss Clemmie Jane Henry, who served as director of student help, administrative secretary and special assistant to the president from 1918 until 1962, and Dr. Elizabeth Jackson, who taught English at the College for 40 years and chaired the English Department for many of those years.
  • “The Wright House” at 723 Court Street. This Cotswold-style cottage was built in 1925 by Elizabeth MacNeal Wright and her daughter, Nathalia. Nathalia graduated from Maryville College in 1933 and became a distinguished literature professor at the University of Tennessee. When she passed away in 2004, she bequeathed the home and grounds to the College for use as a guest house.
  • The Chilhowee Club at 223 Clarion St. This building was constructed in 1939 to serve as the clubhouse for the Chilhowee Club, which dates back to 1891. The land where this building sits was given by Susan Wiley Walker, who built Morningside, which is now known as RT Lodge.

Tickets for the Homes Tour are $15 each or two for $25 and may be purchased at any of the homes on the tour. For more information and a complete list of the featured homes and their addresses, please visit the neighborhood association's website.

Founded as the Southern and Western Theological Seminary by the Synod of Tennessee on Oct. 19, 1819, Maryville College is celebrating its 200th year in 2019.

Written by Caroline Lamar, Bicentennial Events & Projects Assistant

Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”