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The Tennessee
Historical Commission  
Tennessee Historical Commission
Welcome to the Tennessee Historical Commission!
Now head quartered in the historic Clover Bottom Plantation.
Historical Commission
Official Site

Complete Register of Tennessee Historical Sites

Herbert L. Harper, Executive Director
Ward DeWitt, Jr. Chairman
Edward F. Williams, III Vice-Chairman (West TN)
Walter P. Pulliam, Chairman (East TN)

The Tennessee Historical Commission encourages the inclusive diverse study of Tennessee's history for the benefit of future generations; to protect, preserve, interpret, operate, maintain, and administer historic sites; to mark important locations, persons, and events in Tennessee history; to locate, identify, record, and nominate to the National Register of Historic Places all properties which meet National Register criteria, and to implement other programs of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended; and acting in its capacity as the Tennessee Wars Commission, to preserve and conserve the legacies of the American Revolution and the War Between the States in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Historical Commission was established January 23, 1919 by Joint Resolution No. 12 of the House and Senate.  Approved by Governor A. H. Roberts, the duties of the Historical Committee were defined as "to collect, compile, index, and arrange all data and information of every kind and character relating to the part that Tennessee played in the great World War and turn the same over to the State Archivist or Librarian for safekeeping for future historians of the State."   The organization went inactive from 1921-1940.

Governor Prentice Cooper
It was reactivated in 1940 by Governor Prentice Cooper. He recalled the six member committee by Executive Order to carry out the General Assembly's 1939 Directives. The minutes of the meeting used the term "Tennessee Historical Commission" for the first time.

Governor Archibald Roane
Their first act was the creation of Knox County's Pleasant Forest Cemetery as a state historic site to honor Governor Archibald Roane, the state's second governor, who was buried there.

For the next thirty years, the Commission grew and its responsibilities as an organization expanded.  May 5, 1971 the General Assembly passed a bill authorizing the Tennessee Historical Commission to establish, maintain, and expand a register of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in Tennessee History, architecture, archaeology, and culture, such to be known as the Tennessee Register of Historic Places, and set out the criteria to be used in determining the eligibility of being placed on the Register.

In 1994, under TCA 4-11-501, the Tennessee Wars Commission was created to coordinate, plan, preserve, and promote "structures, buildings, sites, and battlefields of Tennessee associated with the American Revolution and the War Between The States".
The Tennessee Historical Commission meets annually to administer and grant funds to 16 state-owned historic sites and financially assists six publications including the three presidential papers projects.  It selects and places across the state, historical markers, surveys historic properties, nominates properties to the National Register of Historic Places, and reviews federally-funded projects.

Tennessee Historical Commission Members
Betty P. Andrews, Chattanooga, TN Bobby Newell, Shelbyville, TN
Caroline J. Cross, Frankliln, TN John M. Jones, Greeneville, TN
Martha H. Callaway, Maryville, TN Walter T. Pulliam, Knoxville, TN
Charles Cross, Loudoun, TN Paul A. Matthews, Memphis, TN
Jean Cody, Cookeville, TN Ed Redditt, Somerville, TN
ARWard DeWitt, Jr., Nashville,TN Ronald A. Walter, Memphis, TN
Hortense P. Cooper, Shelbyville, TN Mary Beth Morgan, Cunningham, TN
Jana Lee Ellis, Dyer, TN Betty J. Walley, LaGrange, TN
Robert E. Corlew, Murfreesboro, TN Henry Wellford, Memphis, TN
C. Rita Groseclose, Kingsport, TN Harvel W. Williams, Nashville, TN
John Irwin, Norris, TN Edward F. Williams, III, Memphis, TN
Joanne C.M. Corona, Frenchman's Bayou, AR

Members Ex Officio
Governor Don Sundquist
Edgar R. Bowers, Gov. Sundquist's Representative
Commissioner Milton H. Hamilton, Jr., Dept. of Enviroment & Conservation
George F. "Nick" Fielder, State Archaeologist
Edwin S. Gleaves, State Librarian and Archivist

State of Tennessee Seal
The Tennessee Historical Commission
Department of Environment & Conservation
2941 Lebanon Road Nashville, TN 37243-0442
(615) 532-1550
TN Historical Commission Newsletter: The Courier

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