Recently I had the pleasure of accompanying two fine Cherokee researchers, Anita and Cleata, on a field trip in the area of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Northeastern Georgia. The day was rather dismal with lots of rain, but our spirits were not dampened. Cleata was our tour guide and took us to a variety of places that Anita and I had never previously seen.
One of those places was the Redding House located in Dade County on Sarah Chapel Road not far from the community of Wildwood. The old double pen (with dog trot) structure is located in a small pristine valley and surrounded by pastures. Adjacent to the property that the house is sitting on is an old barn with the symbolic “See Rock City” painted on the roof.
The structure is in need of some tender loving care. Some of the siding has fallen away from the eastern side of the house (figure 4) exposing some of the logs allowing rot and insect damage as well as access into the house by other critters such as birds, bats, etc. Both chimneys show weathering to the mortar holding the bricks in place. The west chimney is in such disarray that it is dangerous to be in the vicinity as brick have fallen and will continue to do so. The front porch appears to be unsteady. The steps on north side of the dog trot are no longer standing the the vertical boards on the north side of the structure show a great deal of decay, particularly on the bottom where they meet the ground. The current roof of the structure is made of metal (probably tin). Stone piles make up the foundation of the house.
It appears the the second story was added some time after the construction of the double pen cabin. A rear segment had also been added at sometime giving the building a “rear L” shape. Some extremely crude electrical wiring has been added to the house as witnessed in photo number 5 (west side).
The owner of the property is unknown to me. I can’t help but wonder if house research has been conducted and if the age of the building is known. Could the original double pen have been constructed before removal (1838) by a Cherokee?
© Linda Woodward Geiger. All rights reserved.