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Town signs proclaim Farragut ‘historic’

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen decided to market the Town, regardless of its incorporation date, as “historic” with its planned new entrance signs, which would be posted at major thoroughfares entering the Town.

The Board unanimously voted to adopt wording for the signs that would proclaim “Historic Town of Farragut” at its meeting Thursday, July 28.

The unanimous vote came after Alderman Ron Honken took issue with calling the Town — which incorporated in 1980 — “historic.”

“I don’t think anyone would drive through the town of Farragut and say, ‘Wow, this is historic,’” Honken said.

Mayor Ralph McGill, who is championing a variety of projects that would emphasize Farragut’s historical significance, said no one would call Farragut “historic” if the Town didn’t call itself “historic” first.

“The only person who is going to think 1980 is historic is a 5-year-old,” Honken said.

McGill said Farragut had historical significance that pre-dated the Town’s 1980 incorporation date, and that’s what he wanted to emphasize.

Alderman Bob Markli said the Town shouldn’t include any “1980” date on the signs if that was the case.

“‘Historic Farragut, 1980’ just seems a little pretentious, a little hackney, to me,” he said.

Honken pointed out Farragut doesn’t have a multitude of truly historic buildings, nor does Farragut have a historic downtown, around which to build any historic theme.

“We’ll never have a historic downtown if we don’t go about the business of being historic,” McGill said.

“You need to be more optimistic,” Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche chided Honken.

“You can’t build an old building,” Honken said. “You can build a new building that looks old.”

Markli said he agreed with Honken in theory, but added, “There’s nothing like self-fulfilling prophecy.”

“It’s all about marketing,” Honken agreed.

LaMarche ultimately moved to accept signs that would be worded “Historic Town of Farragut,” a motion Markli seconded. It was unanimously approved with Alderman Jeff Elliott absent.

Markli said of the signs, “One hundred years from now, 1980 will be historic.”

“We’ll have new signs,” Honken said.

“Or historic ones,” Markli joked.

The signs will be constructed in the general theme of Farragut’s park signs, with stacked stone. They’ll also include nautical portholes, raised lettering and an anchor illustration, building on the Town’s ties to Adm. James David Glasgow Farragut.

The signs will measure about four feet tall and six feet wide. Tentative plans are to place a sign at major Town entrances along Parkside Drive, Watt Road, Snyder Road, and in Dixie Lee Junction and at the intersection of Kingston Pike and Lovell Road.


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