The Tennessee
Historical Commission

Welcome to the
Tennessee Historical Commission!

Now headquartered in the historic
Clover Bottom Plantation.


   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 Tenessee played in the great World War and turn the same over to the State Archivist or Librarian fo safekeeping for future historians of the State." The organizationwent inactive from 1921-1940.

   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.

   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 elgibility 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 assocated 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 histoirc sites and finacially 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.

Herbert L. Harper Executive Director

Ward DeWitt, Jr. Chairman

Edward F. Williams, III Vice-Chairman (West TN)

Walter P. Pulliam Chairman (East TN)

Tennessee Historical Commission Members

Betty P. Andrews Chattanooga, TN

Caroline J. Cross Frankliln, TN

Martha H. Callaway Maryville, TN

Charles Cross Loudoun, TN

Jean CodyCookeville, TN

Ward DeWitt, Jr. Nashville,TN

Hortense P. Cooper Shelbyville, TN

Jana Lee Ellis Dyer, TN

Robert E. Corlew Murfreesboro, TN

C. Rita Groseclose Kingsport, TN

John Irwin Norris, TN

Bobby Newell Shelbyville, TN

John M. Jones Greeneville, TN

Walter T. Pulliam Knoxville, TN

Paul A. Matthews Memphis, TN

Ed Redditt Somerville, TN

Joanne C.M. Corona Frenchman's Bayou, AR

Ronald A. Walter Memphis, TN

Mary Beth Morgan Cunningham, TN

Betty J. Walley LaGrange, TN

Henry Wellford Memphis, TN

Harvel W. Williams Nashville, TN

Edward F. Williams, III Memphis, TN

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

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

TN Historical Commission Newsletter:
The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

Click here for the official site!

Click here for a complete register of
Tennessee Historical Sites

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Virtual Museum