Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Old Soldiers' Home

In the heart of Johnson City, TN is "Mountain Home," a place that was once described as a "city within a city." The Old Soldiers' Home, as it was originally known, was unique in that it served Civil War veterans of both the North and the South. This sprawling institution occupied 475 acres and was originally composed of 37 buildings, complete with theatre, chapels (one for Protestant services and one for Catholic mass), Carnegie library, mess hall (above), barracks for 2,500 veterans, dairy farm, power plant, morgue, hospital, ice house, hotel, jail...the list goes on. Construction began in 1901 using an intricate French renaissance style, with the first veteran being admitted in 1903. Construction was ultimately completed in 1910. Veterans still come to Mountain Home, but today they have a new state-of-the-art facility at the VA Hospital. The clock tower building, and many of the other buildings of the Old Soldiers' Home have been restored and are occupied by the Quillen College of Medicine and the ETSU College of Pharmacy. Click here for a map of the area.

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