Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Northcutts Cove Chapel

Northcutts Cove Chapel

The Cumberland Plateau features communities nestled into the many coves that cut into the rocky outcropping. Northcutts Cove, north of Altamont, is a mixture of farms, new homes and old shacks in a quaint, picturesque setting.

Northcutts Cove Road winds its way from Altamont down the plateau through thick woods. As you enter the clearing of the cove, one of the first sights is the Northcutts Cove Chapel, built by members of the Church of Latter Day Saints in 1909. LDS missionaries began their work in Grundy County, Tennessee two decades earlier. The chapel was built by volunteers who donated the materials for the building.

Shortly after the chapel's opening, a local Church of Christ minister named Mansfield challenged the LDS' southern states leader, Charles Callis, to a debate on the beliefs of Mormonism. The debate took place over the course of three days in October of 1909. Reverend Mansfield was apparently not too successful at dissuading people from their Mormon beliefs since Grundy County to this day has the highest percentage of Mormons in the state of Tennessee.

The cove was named for the Northcutt family. H.B. Northcutt formed a family business of building coffins, which makes a great segue into the photo above, taken behind the chapel in the first light of morning. No doubt some of the Northcutts' handiwork lies beneath the earth's surface in this photograph.

The chapel, along with H. B. Northcutt's home in Altamont, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photograph © 2009 James Jordan.

4 comments:

Laurie said...

Great history. Such a quaint little chapel. NIce.

BruceCrow said...

Nice, I understand the chapel is still used periodically for sunrise easter services. Any idea if such is planned for this Easter?

James said...

Hi Bruce,
I'm not sure ... I didn't see any signage to that effect while I was there, but I think the Easter sunrise service is an annual event.

Linda said...

We just got back from a 100 year commemoration at the Northcutt's Cove Chapel. It was sweet to be there!