ROGERSVILLE - For the
next two weeks the general public will have an opportunity to decide what should go back on the
renovated Hawkins County Courthouse walls. According to Alana Roberts,
Property Manager and Special Projects Coordinator, prior to the renovation project all the items
that were displayed on the courthouse walls were removed and placed in storage until the project was
completed. “At the October Public Buildings Committee meeting, the committee
decided the best way to determine what should go back on the walls would be to let the public
decide,” she explained. Roberts said the items, ranging from a large print
of the “Pride of Tennessee” portrait, donated by TRW, to various landscape scenes, are available
for public viewing in the meeting room, formerly the courtroom in the Administration
Building. “A ballot has been prepared to give the public an opportunity to
vote for their choices,” Roberts said. The committee did not set a specific
number of items to be returned to the courthouse, with Roberts explaining the artwork and plaques
that receive the most votes will probably be considered first. “There are a
few items that we may even want to move up to the Justice Center an put on display up there.” she
said. The items include: a picture of an owl; a picture of an “old”
house; three items related to the “Pride of Tennessee” print - the artwork, a related item
telling who is in painting and why they important to Tennessee's history and a dedication
plaque; a painting of a flower pot in a widow sill; a plaque noting the status of
Hawkins County's Courthouse; a painting of bird dogs; a photograph of Judge Winfield B. Hale and
some text explaining how he participated in the Nuremberg Nazi war crimes trials; a portrait of Anne
Amis and some accompanying text; a series of water colors of Hawkins County landmarks -
Patterson's Mill, H. B. Stamps marble quarry, New Providence Church, the Hawkins County Courthouse
circa 1850, the Stagecoach Inn and the Amis House; a world map; pictures of a church and a river in
the fall; a beautification plaque, a painting of pheasants on a tree; a picture of a creek in the
snow; a bar association plaque and a Desert Storm veteran's plaque.
Roberts said the items are available for viewing Monday through Friday
from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day until December 7 at 1 p.m. “Regardless of
the votes I'm pretty sure the Pride of Tennessee will be going back in the courthouse because of
its importance,” she added. The original “Pride of Tennessee” painting
is a six by eight foot oil painting displayed on the first floor of the Tennessee State Capitol in
the Old Supreme Court Room. It was proclaimed the state's official bicentennial portrait by Gov.
Ned McWherter on June 1, 1990. The concept for the painting was conceived by
Mike Vaughn and Tennessee's artist-in-residence, Michael Sloan, to preserve and promote the
cultural heritage and historical accomplishments of Tennesseans. The painting depicts 11 people who
played a prominent role in Tennessee's history: Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Andrew Johnson,
Sequoyah, John Sevier, Davy Crockett, Alvin C. York, Cordell Hull, W.C. Handy, Ida B. Wells-Barnett
and Anne Dallas Dudley.
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