First School House in Piney Falls
Constructed in 1877 by the local Presbyterian congregation, it was the first home of the Grandview Academy in 1884. The Academy used the cabin for only a few months before relocating to Oak Lodge and the newly-constructed Congregational Church. The Academy moved during the winter of 1884-1885, after which the cabin became the home of the Lockwood family.
Boss Karin's Boarding House/Oak Lodge
Constructed in the 1870s as a boarding house, it is believed to be the first wood-framed structure built in the area. Used for school classrooms before and after the founding of the Grandview Normal Institute, it was converted to a girls' "dormitory" in 1903. Ten years later It was relocated behind the Congregational Church, and subsequently used for many purposes until being demolished in 1993.
Constructed in 1884 near Oak Lodge, this new church replaced a log church/school building previously destroyed by fire a couple of years earlier. Once completed, the building became the second home of the Grandview Academy, and eventually the Primary Department of the Grandview Normal Institute. In 1896, when Jewett Hall #1 was destroyed by fire, the church became GNI's main school building for three years. The building was rededicated as a Congregationalist Church in 1918, and converted to the Grandview Baptist church in 1951. It was demolished in 1985 to allow for the construction of a new Grandview Baptist Church.
Jewett Memorial Hall #1
The first GNI school building fully sponsored by the American Missionary Association, its construction was completed in 1889. Contained within its walls were over 30 rooms which included recitation rooms, a library, reading rooms, rooms for boarding male students and the Principal's residence. The building was named posthumously for Dr. Charles Jewett. Dr. Jewett was a nationally-known temperance lecturer and the father of Lt. Charles Jewett Jr., one of the three local residents who persuaded the AMA to locate a school in the Piney Falls community (now Grandview). The building was destroyed by fire on March 2, 1896, due to a defect in one of the chimney flues. None of the 200 students attending the school when the fire occurred were hurt. At the time of its destruction, the building and its contents were valued just over $300,000 in 2020 dollars.
The private residence of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Ells, it was acquired by the American Missionary Association and used as a music studio and as a residence for both teachers and students. H. L. Hoyt, principal of the school, resided here with his family from 1898 to 1905. Both its construction date an it demolition date are unknown.
Constructed during the late 1890s, this building served as a distribution point for items donated to the American Missionary Association from Congregationalist Church members and supporters nationwide. Members of the community could enter on their own at any time and obtain free of charge cloth material, clothing, books, tools, household items, etc.. The Grab was operated on behalf of the AMA by Mr. William. F. Taylor, a local storekeeper. The building was demolished during the 1930s.
Jewett Memorial Hall #2/Assembly Hall
Constructed in 1898 and opened for classes in 1899, this replacement for Jewett Memorial Hall #1 was purposely located in close proximity to the school's other buildings. On the first floor was a room for primary grades, two recitation rooms, the principal's office and a janitor's room. The second floor included two additional recitation rooms and a large assembly hall. The bell tower was not part of the original construction and added a couple of years later. It contained a room on its second floor where the student "bell-ringer" resided, woke and rang the school bell each morning. The local school system in Rhea County acquired the building in 1922, and it subsequently served the Grandview community as the local public school until its demolition in 1957. During that same period, the building was the site of the annual Grandview Normal Institute reunions. After the building was demolished, a new elementary school was constructed adjacent to the building's site.
Grover Hall #1
Built in 1902 as a boys dormitory, the building was named for the Michigan woman who funded its construction, It was the first building on campus whose sole purposes was to board students. A midnight fire destroyed the building on February 8, 1915. The fifty-five boys residing in the hall escaped without injury or loss of life. The only items not destroyed were the night clothes worn by the escaping students.
Constructed in conjunction with Grover Hall #1, carpentry and metal forging classes were taught on the first floor. Male students boarded on the second floor. It was demolished sometime in the 1920s. The building site is now owned and preserved by the Grandview Heritage Foundation.
Hoyt Hall #1
Built in 1903 immediately after the construction of Grover Hall #1, it served as the dormitory for boarding female students. A dining hall for students and teachers was located on the first floor. It was named for Hiram Luther "H.L." Hoyt, principal of the Grandview Normal Institute 1898-1905. It was destroyed by fire on January 18, 1907. Even though the fire began during nighttime hours, students and teachers escaped without injury or loss of life.
School Laundry and Barn
Likely built circa 1902-1903 in conjunction with Grover Hall #1 and Hoyt Hall #1 construction.
Intermediate Department/School Library
Originally constructed as a church in 1887 by the local Presbyterian congregation, it was located on the opposite side of Little Piney River just west of the Grandview Normal Institute campus. Circa 1904, it was pulled on rolling logs by a mule team across Little Piney River and uphill to serve as a classroom for the school's intermediate grades (4th & 5th). In 1912, it was converted to the school library. After the school closed, it remained a community library dedicated to the memory of Harriet Russell Stratton, a teacher in the Piney Falls community, the first teacher at the Grandview Academy, and creator of the school library when the GNI school was first established. The building remained standing in its second location for over five decades before being demolished in 1968.
Hoyt Hall #2
A reconstruction of Hoyt Hall #1 at the same location, this school building was completed in seven months and just prior to the 1907-1908 school year. Like Hoyt Hall #1, it served as a girl's dormitory with a kitchen, dining hall, music room and reception room located on the first floor. After the school closed, the portion of campus on which the building stood was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. C. W. Bradley, and the building was used as the site of a summer music camp operated by the Bradleys 1936-1940. During WWII, the building was leased by Southern Silk Mills for the manufacture and folding of parachutes. The building remained standing until it was destroyed by fire during the evening of April 15, 1972. The building site is owned and preserved by the Grandview Heritage Foundation, and the building's cornerstone is preserved at the Grandview History Center.
Believed to have been constructed in 1910, it was a "Queen Ann Style" kit home purchased by the American Missionary Association and delivered disassembled to the train depot in Spring City, Tennessee. It became a private residence after the GNI school closed, and was demolished in 2004. Prior to being demolished, it was the last remaining GNI school building. The building site is owned and preserved by the Grandview Heritage Foundation, and is the current site of the Grandview History Center.
Built in 1912 as a second girl's dormitory, it was constructed in memory of Mildred Norris, a young girl who died at the age of 15 years. It was designed by a Mr. Charles Lee, and financed by Mildred's father, who was not a wealthy man. After the GNI school closed, the western half of the campus, which included Norris Hall, was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. C. W. Bradley. The Bradley's removed the structures's third floor and used the building as their residence. It was also used in conjunction with a summer music camp operated by the Bradley's 1936-1940. In its last days, the building served as a local youth center. While being remodeled, it was destroyed by fire on September 4, 1975. The building site is owned and preserved by the Grandview Heritage Foundation, and the building's cornerstone is preserved at the Grandview History Center.
"The Bee Hive"
Built as a residence by Martin Luther "M. L." Abbott in the late 1870s or early 1880s, it was acquired by the American Missionary Association shortly after the Abbott family departed for California in the early 1900s. It served as the residence of the only farm agent employed by the school, Charles Olmstead, and its second floor was used for boarding female students. After the GNI school closed, it became the home of the William Hilleary family (GNI Class of 1911, and founder of Southern Silk Mills in Spring City, Tennessee), and renamed, "Hill Top". The house was restored to its original appearance in 2016, and is believed to be the first wood-frame home constructed on the eastern edge of Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau between Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the Cumberland Gap. M. L. Abbott was one of the three local residents who persuaded the AMA to locate a school in the Piney Falls community. He also donated land for the school's campus.
Grover Hall #2
Built in 1916 as a replacement for Grover Hall #1, its use was short-lived. In less than a year after its construction, like its predecessor, it too was destroyed by fire. The fire started when a resident student, hiring himself out to press pants, burned a pair of pants with a gasoline iron. It was the fourth and final large school building destroyed by fire while the school was active. Again, there was no injury or loss of life.
Grover Hall #3
Built in 1918 to replace Grover Hall #2, it was the last school building constructed by the American Missionary Association on the Grandview Normal Institute campus. It boarded students for only a couple of years before the school closed. Reportedly, during the 1930s, the building was dismantled and reconstructed as a "highway roadhouse" one mile west of campus.