Rhea County

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Rhea

Rhea County is named for John Rhea, who was a United States Representative in Congress.

 

Created:  November 30, 1807

County Seat: 

Washington   1807 – 1890

Dayton           1890 – present

 

County Courthouse – Dayton 

 

Location:  1475 Market Street / 3rd Avenue

Built:  1890 – 1891

Style:  Italianate

Architect:  W Chamberlin & Company of Knoxville

Contractor:  William Dowling and J R Taylor of Chattanooga

 

Description:  The building faces southeast and is a three story red colored brick structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of the city. The building is rectangular shaped measuring 70 feet by 120 feet with a limestone base. On the east corner is a high square tower with clock and round cupola with conical roof. The interior has a large wood staircase. The large courtroom is located on the second story. The building was restored in 1978 to 1979. The architect was Franklin Group Architects of Chattanooga and the contractor was Vickers Construction Company of Knoxville.

 

See:  The architect, W Chamberlin & Company of Knoxville, designed courthouses in Cumberland CountyFentress County, Gibson County and Morgan County.

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Rhea County Courthouse

 

Note:  The first courthouse was built in Washington in 1807. The county seat was moved to Dayton in 1890. The courthouse was the venue for the Scopes Trial in 1925 for the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

 

County Courthouse Annex – Dayton 

 

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Location:  375 Church Street / 3rd Avenue

Built:  Unknown

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Unknown

Contractor:  Unknown

 

Description:  The building faces south east and is a three story red colored brick, glass and concrete structure. The building is located in the center of the city to the south east of the courthouse.  The southeast front has concrete columns and recessed glass walls on the first story. The second and third stories has glass panel walls. The roof line is flat. There is a meeting room on the second story. The building was purchased by the County in 1997 and is named as the Rhea County Courthouse Annex – Phil Swafford Building. 

 

Courthouses: 

N – Cumberland and Roane County

E – Meigs County

S – Hamilton County

W – Bledsoe County

 

 

 

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County Courthouse

 

 

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County Courthouse Annex

 

 

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Photos taken 2012, 2014 and 2018