The Historic Roane County Courthouse in Kingston, known as the state's "capital for a day," is one of only seven remaining antebellum courthouses in the state and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
. A combined Greek Revivalist and Federalist style, it was built from 1854 to 1855 by architect Augustus Fisher and designer Fredrick B. Guenther, using native lumber and bricks made on the site by slaves. No nails were used in the original structure.
The courthouse is home to the Roane County Archives Library, becoming the premier genealogical and historical research center for the area. It contains court documents dating back to 1802 as well as books and historical documents from the prehistoric era to World War II. It also houses the Roane County Museum of History displaying Roane County and state artifacts.
The building was the active courthouse of Roane County until 1974 when the new courthouse was completed and the old courthouse was deeded to the Roane County Heritage Commission
. An annual gala is held every September to raise money to help repair and preserve this magnificent building.
The building was used in the civil war by both confederates and union as a hospital. Graffiti can be found on the walls written by soldiers who were hospitalized. One false story told about the building are hangings taking place in the cupola of the building. This is totally "FALSE." By law a hanging had to be made pubic so gallows were built in the yard. The gallows in the building are purely decoration.
For more info:
The Roane County Heritage Commission
119 Court Street
P.O. Box 738
Kingston Tennessee, 37763
Channel 15 Video: Scenic Backroads
by Miki Parsons & Katie Schillinger, student reporters, Roane State Community College