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Historic Lebanon announces annual Historic Places Tour

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Historic Lebanon's Seventh Annual Historic Places Tour has been scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6 from 5 until 8:30 p.m.

Advance tickets for the annual tour are $8 will be available beginning Monday, Nov. 24 at the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce office on the Public Square. Night-of tickets will be available at the Capitol Theatre box office and all tour sites for $10.

Participants may start their tour at any of the sites. Brochures will be available at each stop and include a tour route map, which will also be available at www.historiclebanontn.org before the event.

The Historic Places tour highlights several of the city's historic homes and structures. By shining a light on these local treasures, Historic Lebanon hopes to increase awareness of Lebanon's history and stress the importance of local preservation efforts.

In light of the recent approval of a historic zoning ordinance by the Lebanon City Council, representatives with Historic Lebanon said they will continue to showcase areas of the city that deserve preservation efforts and historic zoning.

During this year's tour, Historic Lebanon will once again offer a door prize. The drop box for ticket stubs will be at the Mitchell House. Historic Lebanon Executive Director Kim Parks will also be available at the Mitchell House to sign copies of the recently released book, "Images of America, Lebanon."

The stops on this year's tour are:

  • The Capitol Theatre (Lobby and Upstairs Only) - 1949 - 110 West Main Street


Since acquiring the property in 2009, Bob and Pam Black have worked to bring the theatre back to its former glory. A grand re-opening was held in June 2013 to the delight of the community.

Features to notice inside are the Art Deco-style staircase and the original back-painted movie poster displays. The upstairs originally housed a balcony and crying room for patrons. The area is now an event space with great character.

  • The Lebanon Public Square - 1802


The Lebanon Public Square formed in 1802 around and over the Town Spring. If you walk over to the northwestern corner of the Square, you can hear the rushing water of the spring, as strong as ever. The Square has been home to four county courthouses, Sam Houston's law office and monthly mule day sales. It felt Gen. Patton's tanks during World War II maneuvers and has housed countless businesses over the years. Throughout its history, several fires have taken all of the original buildings. The current buildings date from the late 19th century to the 1940s. The one exception is the Bank of America building that dates to the late 1960s. The Square is a vital part of Lebanon's history and is the heart of its historic commercial district. The Square will be featured on the tour as merchants and the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce hold the annual Christmas on the Square event. A live nativity scene, merchant open houses and holiday activities are planned for the evening.

  • The Tinsley House - circa 1909 - 243 East Spring Street

Jonathan and Selene Tinsley purchased this craftsman-style bungalow in 2002. Since then, they have worked to completely remodel the home themselves. Their dedication has paid off, and today the home shows why it was worth saving. It has quite an efficient floor plan, and both the living room and the master bedroom feature large mantels. Coffered ceilings in the living room and dining room add to the charm. The site of the house was part of a four-and-a-half-acre tract purchased in 1904. By 1909, a "house and lot" was sold off from the acreage. This date correlates with the architectural style of the home. Past owners include the First Baptist Church which used the house as a pastorium and Mrs. Reggie Gore-Partlow, a local artist and art instructor who maintained her studio there. The home is included in the area the Lebanon Historic Preservation Commission is discussing as the East Spring Street Historic District, which contains some of the oldest remaining homes in the city.

  • The Shannon House/THW Insurance - circa 1902 - 321 West Main Street


This fine example of late Victorian architecture was built circa 1902 by Laban Lacy Rice, a professor at Cumberland University, co-headmaster (1903-1917) and then sole owner of Castle Heights School (1913-1921) and president of Cumberland University (1941-1946). He sold the home to J.L. Shannon in 1909, the same year Rice oversaw the completion of the president's home on the Castle Heights campus. Shannon established the J.L. Shannon and Sons Drug Store on the east side of the Public Square in 1909. This store would remain an important part of local culture for more than 50 years. After Shannon's death in 1929, his children - Mary, Harry and Homer Shannon - owned and operated the store. Harry and Mary lived in the family home on West Main Street until their deaths in 1962 and 1989, respectively. THW Insurance is proud to house their office in a piece of Lebanon's history. The carved stairway, original pocket doors and fine wood trim are features they most admire about the house.

  • The Draper House/Dr. Oleksandr Osipchuk - circa 1938 - 430 West Main Street


Dr. "Alex" Osipchuk's new office location on West Main Street is located in a house known for years as the Draper home. In 1938, I.W.P. Buchanan sold, for $1,000, a town lot due west of his residence to James Darwin Draper, Sr. and wife, Patty. The Drapers built this fine, colonial-revival-style home soon after. Draper Sr. became a partner in the Draper and Darwin Stores chain and ran the local Draper and Darwin Store, located at 106 East Main Street just off the Public Square. The store served the community until the mid-1980s. Dr. Osipchuk's office is zoned B-6, a relatively new zoning designation designed to keep the residential look to a structure but to allow use as a professional office.

  • The Bone House - 1956 - 116 Greenlawn Drive


Although built in the mid-20th century, Suanne Bone's home is filled with remnants from much earlier structures. Sam Stratton, Sr. and Margaret Talley Bone (Suanne's grandparents) built the home in 1956. They salvaged and reused a walnut banister from the Tarver house on East Main Street for their upstairs stairway, and the stones used for the foundation and window sills are from the Lee Harris home on West Main Street. Outside, the stone slabs now used as a picnic table and benches are originally from Caruthers Hall, Cumberland University's magnificent law school building on West Main Street. New updates to the master bedroom in 2006 and a recent redesign of the kitchen and downstairs of the home have brought the home into the 21st century while still allowing original features, such as the unique built-in kitchen table and telephone nooks, to shine.

  • The Hudson House - 1949 - 606 West Main Street


The home of Chase Hudson can be described as "a home a mother's love built." Randal and Leanne Hudson purchased the home in 2013 as a gift for their oldest son, Chase. It had long been a dream of Leanne to own and renovate a historic home on West Main Street. Along with Elizabeth Scruggs, Leanne worked tirelessly to completely remodel the house in just three months. The results are bittersweet, as Leanne lost her battle with cancer just as the project was completed. Now Randal, Chase and youngest son Hunter view the home as a living tribute to Leanne. The house was originally built in 1949 but was not the first to be built on this town lot. Deeds as early as 1919 show a "lot and improvement" on the site.

  • The Mitchell House - 1910 - 106 North Castle Heights Avenue


The Mitchell House is a fantastic example of neoclassical style architecture. Built as the home of Castle Heights President David Mitchell, it was completed in 1910. The three-story, Sewanee sandstone structure has 10,600 sq. ft. and many fine original features such as hand-carved woodwork, ornamental ceilings and an impressive staircase. In 1936, the building became the home of the Junior School for Castle Heights Military Academy. The Lebanon-based Cracker Barrel Foundation completely restored the structure in 1998. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and currently serves as the executive office of Sigma Pi Fraternity International. The Mitchell House will be the location for sales and signings of "Images of America, Lebanon" as well as the ticket stub drop-off point for a door prize.

Sponsors for the annual tour are Cumberland University, Ligon and Bobo Funeral Home, CedarStone Bank, Thackston Family Foundation and Wilson Bank & Trust. To learn more, visit www.historiclebanontn.org.

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Capital Theatre, Historic Lebanon, historic places tour, Lebanon Public Square, The Bone House, The Draper House, The Hudson House, The Mitchell House, The Shannon House, tour
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