Lenoir City Museum Newsletter – Fourth Quarter Issue –
November 2021
Published by the Lenoir Cotton Mill Association and the Lenoir City Museum
Editor, Beverly Sweeney

Save Lenoir City Museum!

Lenoir City Museum is lucky to be housed in one of our town’s most historic buildings. Our jewel of a location was built in 1890 to house the Lenoir City Company. This company was an outgrowth of The Lenoir Manufacturing Company, created by the Lenoir family to distribute their various goods - cotton yarn, flour, hams (very well-known!) - and services - flour mill, sawmill, planing mill and more.

Our building was designed by the Baumann (pronounced bōʹmən) Brothers Architectural firm in the Eastlake Cottage Style. Prominent in the late 1800s and early 1900s, many of the firm’s buildings still stand in East Tennessee.

We love our building and have made many improvements during the last few years. The refurbished front windows, new porch paint and the newly painted front door (shown in the photo above) make the front entrance bright and cheerful!

In 2019 we acquired file cabinets and book cases from the city that allowed us to move papers and photos from bins to folders and drawers. We organized along the way and catalogued some great artifacts – diaries, histories, schoolbooks from the 1800s and early Lenoir City photos.

This before’ photo of our front shows just how far we’ve come and how much we need your help for the rest of the building!

Lenoir City is a great museum supporter. In addition to a small yearly stipend, they replaced the rails and supports on our front porch and repaired a section of the front wall. Thank you so much Mayor Aikens and board member LaVonne Barbour for helping get all of this organized!

These file cabinets do the yeoman’s work of keeping us organized, while the bookcases below are the show-offs, making great exhibit space!
In 2020, we organized town celebration artifacts and photos in honor of Loudon County’s Sesquicentennial.
. We love Lenoir City’s many fun events!
The building’s dropped ceiling, not so much…it needs to be gone.
In spring of 2021, we were gifted 5 large display cases by First Baptist Church. We’re super excited to get so many of our exhibits behind glass and out of the way of dust!

The museum is run by the Lenoir Cotton Mill Association, which has a 12-member board of directors. We’re very proud of our museum, but the building is showing her 131 years of use.

This case contains a number of artifacts from 20th century Lenoir City. These cases give us great flexibility!

Our backdoor had a couple of rotten panels, but has now been repaired and the ‘Forbidden Red’ color on both doors adds just enough pizazz to make them stand out.

The left photo shows our refurbished backdoor. The right photo shows a lovely piece of art, cleverly designed as a hinge, found when the back door was taken down for repairs. Too bad it stays hidden! Ask to see it when you come to the museum.

The original windows in our building are beautiful, but... They’ve been painted many times, including being painted shut. Refurbishing started with a pair of windows on the front, where part of the repair was to locate the sash weights in the wall and install new ropes to allow the sashes to move. We’re so proud of the work done by carpenter Bob Worth! In this day of central heat and cooling, we’re unlikely to open the windows, but being able to open them brings us closer to Lenoir Citians who used the building in years past and welcomed the breeze on a warm day!

Many thanks to board members Walter Hines and Susie Strunk for their donations in support of this project!

Our yard recently received an upgrade, too. Gannon Day chose the museum as a focus for his Eagle Scout project. He organized the installation of a picnic table in our side yard. We anticipate a lot of use for this picnic table in the summer. It’s in a shady spot and looks very inviting!

Can’t you taste the sandwiches and ice cream of a great summer picnic? Many thanks to Zack Cusick of LC Parks and Rec, who installed a trash container for us.

Another group that helped during 2021 is CAR, the Children of the American Revolution. They came to the museum in September and picked up the tree debris left by our very beautiful magnolia and maple trees. We thank them for a VERY clean yard.

Friend of the museum, George McCown along with board members Susie Strunk and Matt Brookshire keep our landscaping neat with flowers in our planters, pine straw around the bushes and benches for enjoying the view.

This photo shows off part of our landscaping as well as recent repairs to the lower portion of the front wall. A close look shows where additional work is needed to the upper portion of the wall. With your help, we can get these vital repairs done.
Here’s a shady spot on A Street to enjoy the day!

We want to continue refurbishing the museum; our building will soon require new exterior paint and eventually a new roof. Your financial help will let us continue the repairs needed to keep the building up-to-date.

In addition, our founder and curator, Joe Spence, is a former Lenoir City High School history and American Studies teacher. During his career at LCHS he influenced many, many students. One such student, Anthony Howard, recently created an endowment fund to honor Mr. Spence. Your contribution to this fund will help us put the museum on a steady financial footing going forward.

Contributions can be made by sending a check, payable to LCMA, directly to the museum:
Lenoir City Museum
110 Depot Street
Lenoir City, TN. 37771

In the memo section of the check write ‘Endowment fund’ to help with future planning. If you have made a contribution this year, please consider a contribution for next year or a monthly payment. The LCMA is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

One-time or monthly donations can be made online through https://www.paypal.com/us/home. Click ‘Send’ and put it our email address – lenoircitymuseum@yahoo.com. You can earmark your donation by clicking the ‘Add a note’ button.

If you’re not already a member, you can join the Lenoir Cotton Mill Association by using the following membership form:
Join the Lenoir Cotton Mill Association!
110 Depot Street, Lenoir City, TN. 37771

Please check the Membership for you:

Students – No charge
Individual - $25.00
Senior - $20.00
Family - $50.00
Business/Org - $100.00
Silver Level - $250.00
Gold Level - $500.00
Platinum - $1000.00

DATE ___________________________

The LCMA is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Any donation above the amount of the membership
is tax deductible.
Online donations can be made at www.paypal.com.
Click Send and put in our email address,

Lenoir City Museum is open Wednesday
through Friday from 1-4PM, from April
through October
110 Depot Street, Lenoir City, TN 37771;
for group tours or an appointment during
the off-season, call 865-986-9169

lenoircitymuseum@yahoo.com; @lenoirmuseum;


Last quarter’s newsletter about the events of 9/11 contained an error about Joe Spence. He was at home that day and saw the 2nd plane crash into the tower from there. The newsletter regrets the error.