Reina P. Cunningham
The Harrow School Historical Marker in Cumberland Gap, Tenn., was almost history in what officials believe was a theft attempt.
Cumberland Gap resident Betty Howard noticed the marker laying in the grass on her way to the post office. She contacted proper authorities and the marker has spent the past several weeks in Town Hall.
“This (sign) has been here for as long as I can remember,” said Howard.
Cumberland Gap Mayor Bill McGaffee is also thankful the piece of history didn’t disappear that literally touches close to home for him.
“I have been here for 41 years and it was here when I got here,” said McGaffee. “My house sits where that school was.”
Tennessee Department of Transportation workers came from Knoxville on Monday to put the sign back in place, but were unable to do so due to damage to the post. Workers took the sign with them to Knoxville for repairs. They plan on returning as soon as possible to return the marker to its place on North Cumberland Drive, near Selwyn Avenue.
Theft of a historical sign, such as the Harrow School Historical Marker, is considered a felony.
The sign will be concreted into place when it is returned.
If you have information on those involved in damaging the sign, call Town Hall at 423-869-3860 or the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department at 423-626-3385.
According to the Tennessee Historical Commission, the Harrow School was founded by the Rev. A.A. Myers and his wife and was operated as a division of its successor, Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), from 1897 to 1907 when Harrow Hall burned.
LMU alumni often visit Cumberland Gap to have their picture taken with the sign representing their heritage.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-248-1010, ext. 205, email@example.com.