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Historical marker missing

A 100-plus-year-old historical marker denoting the birthplace of Admiral James David Glasgow Farragut is missing.

Margot Kline, who has led a drive to preserve the marker and the birthplace site, said she received news from a friend the marker, which is situated on private property, no longer was visible from Fort Loudoun Lake.

When she went to investigate, Kline said she was surprised to find it wasn’t just overgrown.

It was gone.

“It’s a very, very sad thing,” Kline said.

The marker was dedicated in 1900 by Bonny Kate Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. Kline and Nic Arning, a Farragut resident and chair of Knoxville’s Historic Zoning Commission, both were working to gain public access to the monument.

Arning said, “I am deeply concerned that a large, granite monument could disappear, especially one of such important historical significance.”

“The monument itself was not what made the land historic, although the monument in and of itself was historic and probably was eligible for inclusion on the National Historic Register,” Kline said.

The site is historically regarded as Adm. Farragut’s birthplace, and the foundations of the cabin in which he was born are believed to still be on the property.

There’s been contention regarding the property, situated off Northshore Drive, after property owner Lylan Fitzgerald received permission from Knox County to develop the site as a subdivision. Fitzgerald has objected to public access to the monument.

“Farragut is the most internationally and nationally famous person to ever have come out of Knox County. And I think he’s probably better known in other parts of the country than he is here.

“It’s kind of an embarrassment to think that this County and Town haven’t fought a little harder over the years to actually make that area a little bit more of a calling card for historic tourism,” Kline said.

Kline said she has no idea what has happened to the historical marker, which was made of solid rock and weighed several tons.

When asked about whether the monument had been moved, Arthur Seymour, Fitzgerald’s attorney, said, “I don’t know.”

Kline has been working with Knox County, Hola Hora Latina and the Town to install a Civil War Trail Marker across an inlet from the historic site, on Knox County property.

That project will go ahead as planned, Kline said.

“This hasn’t really changed anything. It’s still Farragut’s birthplace,” she said.

She estimated the Civil War Trail Marker could be placed in the next month or so, after minor grading and other work is done.


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