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Temperance gets state boost

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By Cindy Simpson

Harriman’s most iconic symbol received another helping hand with its ongoing rehabilitation.

Gov. Bill Haslam just announced another $40,355 in Historic Preservation Fund grants for ongoing repairs.

“We will be able to shore up the outside interior walls using this grant, and possibly any other structural repairs needed in the basement,” said Dina Jackson, who has taken over grant coordinator duties for the city.
Harriman Mayor Chris Mason was pleased to see the city move another step closer to restoring the building to its former glory.

“I look forward to the near future when this building can house office space and be used on a daily basis for everyone to enjoy,” Mason said.

The Temperance Building was built in 1891 as the headquarters of the East Tennessee Land Co., the entity responsible for planning the streets and selling the land that would become the city of Harriman.

Harriman’s founders envisioned a Prohibitionist utopia, where city residents and workers would abstain from the use of alcohol and be sober, solid workers and community members.

Later, American Temperance University operated in the building at 320 Roane St. for a short time.

Haslam announced a total of 25 grants Monday.

“Maintaining Tennessee’s historic places is critical to preserving our state’s heritage,” Haslam said. “Today’s announcement represents more than $600,000 in assistance to communities across the state, ensuring that Tennessee’s rich history will continue to be shared with future generations.”

The grants come from federal funds allocated by the Department of Interior under the Natural Historic Preservation Act and administered by the Tennessee Historical Commission.

It is a 60-percent grant, 40-percent match situation, meaning Harriman will have to come up with an approximately $16,000 match.