Posted in Authors' Chatter

History of the Dodds Avenue Central Property

Note the reference to donation of the property¬†“which became the first location of Chattanooga Central High School.”


Graduated from Central in 1965. Had the honor of being Mr. Central 1965. Started on the Central Basketball Team for three years and was a member of the Track Team in my senior year. Shared command with Bryant Millsaps of the Central JROTC unit in my senior year. Other activites at Central are documented in the 1963 -1965 Champions. Received an athletic scholarship and played Division I College Basketball for four years. When I graduated from Auburn in 1969, I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Adjutant General Corps and served 25 years on active duty, retiring in 1994. Some of the military awards I earned include the Legion of Merit, one Meritorious Service Medal for Achievement, six Meritorious Service Medals for Service, Joint Service Medal for Achievement, two Army Commendations Medals, and Viet Nam Service Medal. After retirement in 1994, I became a Real Estate Broker until my second retirement in 2010. I am passionate about Central History and am pleased to be Administrator of this Blog/Site.

5 thoughts on “History of the Dodds Avenue Central Property

  1. Au contraire! Mr. Standifer donated land for the Masonic Lodge in Harrison, so it could not have been the location of the first Central High School. The history of Hamilton County is that after the Cherokees were “invited” to move west, the bigwigs bought up all the Vann Plantation land from the Land Agency in Cleveland, then fortuitously voted to move the county seat across the river from Old Dallas to this new hot area of development, called Harrison (after the sitting US President). Mr. Standifer was one of the early purchasers of this land, and some eight years later deeded a portion for the Masons. The site of Old Central was never a hot property until the Chattanooga Electric Railway bought it around 1890 and contracted construction of a park with several lakes adjacent to the Ridge station transfer point ( SW corner of Dodds & Chamberlain Ave.). Hamilton County acquired a portion in 1906 for the high school & the McCallies got the portion around the main lake.

    It is not without irony that the former Standifer property was not even located in Hamilton County when Old Central was opened, since the residents of Harrison protested the moving of the county seat to Chattanooga in 1870 by forming James County in January, 1871 (which existed until December, 1919).

  2. Actually, from the existing James County maps it’s difficult to say if the current Central property was in Hamilton or James County; but probably in Hamilton, right along the James County line.

  3. Construction of sentence referring to donation of the property was akward. It does seem to indicate the Masons and the property could be two different subjects.

    Charlie what do you know about how Chattanooga Electric Railway acquired the property. I’ve asked Ron Tucker to obtain a title search of the property to better understand it’s history.

    1. Around the Civil War era, lot of property east of Chattanooga was owned by the Ruoh family, and the current location of the McCallie Avenue viaduct was called Ruoh’s Crossing, the scene of train-wagon collisions before the viaduct was constructed. The Electric Rwy Co purchased the property for both Olympia Park (now Warner Park) and Electric Park (site of Old Central) around 1889 along their right-of-way. The McCallie family farm was farther east along Missionary Ridge. I don’t know who owned the property for either park prior to the Electric Railway, so Ron has an open field to explore.

  4. So if I understand this information correctly, Standifer’s history has nothing to do with Central’s History? Other than being an interesting story of, possibly one of our graduates Wayne Standefer.

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