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Tuesday Trivia: Historic site getting new life in Blountville

J. H. Osborne • Dec 4, 2018 at 3:00 PM

This week's Tuesday Trivia: Sullivan County's "Old Sheriff's Home."

The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting on Thursday at the "Old Sheriff's Home" in the Blountville Historic District. The event will include the unveiling of a new sign reflecting the building's soon-to-be new role as the "Heritage Tourism Information Center at Blountville."

The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at the historic building, located at the corner of Highway 394 and the Blountville Bypass.

So, what are the past and future of this recently renovated building?

• Well, despite its name, it's not a home for old sheriffs.

• It was built for use as a jail in 1870 of bricks hand-fired from clay on site.

• Exterior and interior walls are four feet thick.

• It did double-duty by serving as a home to the county sheriff.

• Later, it was used to house various county offices.

• It has been vacant for the past 20 years.

• Its official reopening as the Heritage Tourism Information Center at Blountville is scheduled for spring 2019.

• It is within the Blountville Historic District and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

• The structure has undergone several phases of preservation efforts using funds awarded from TDOT to the county. The first major improvement was the structural support of the roof trusses and new metal roof. The second phase included repointing the exterior brick work, replacement windows and doors and interior structural improvements. The final phase of restoration will leave the building ready for occupancy, including new hardwood flooring throughout, painting, trim, 19th-century black-and-white basket-weave tile and period lighting.

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