Tate Springs: former resort now another roadside attraction

For decades, passersby on Highway 11-W west of the hamlet of Bean Station have zipped past an extravagant bandstand that suggests more elegant times.

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Nearby is a half-timbered building that similarly looks out of place.

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These two structures are all that is left of the Tate Springs resort, which came into being right after the Civil War when Samuel Tate bought 2,500 acres and built a hotel that could hold 500 guests. A subsequent owner upgraded the place to a world class resort that attracted wealthy families such as the Mellons, Firestones, Fords, Rockefellers, and Studebakers. More details are here. The resort was done in by changes in travel brought on by the automobile and the economic crash of the Great Depression. The resort was sold to the Kingswood School, which owns it today.

Here is a photo of the bathhouse in its prime.

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And here is a postcard of foxhunters assembled at the gazebo for an evening’s entertainment. Not quite the sort of fox hunting done in England. (This postcard is courtesy of the Tennessee State Archives.)

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Further west is Kelly’s Restaurant, named for the daughter of the proprietress, and serving good country cooking.

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This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.

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36 Responses to Tate Springs: former resort now another roadside attraction

  1. Sam S says:

    I lived there with my parents in 1957. Have a picture or two of family in front of establishment. Also remember the bathhouse and bandstand. Was very interesting place to live for a short period of time.

  2. Ann McCall Tate McIntyre says:

    tnguy,
    thank you for sharing these pics of the Tate Springs. I am a descendent of David Tate (lietnenant for England after colonies were established) and Samuel Tate (of TN). My great, great grandfather was Edward O. Tate (postmaster and son of Samuel). Great grandfather was Hugh McCall Tate (lawyer and member of Interstate Commerce Commission under Hoover), and grandfather was Edward O. Tate. My dad is Edward O. Tate, Jr. It is wonderful to not only trace lineage, but also view pictures. We have, in our family archives, several pictures of Tate Springs, but I have never seen the gazebo. I have heard stories over the years of Tate Springs from my grandmother. Thanks.
    Ann McCall Tate McIntyre

    • Cara Cameron says:

      Hello Mrs. McIntyre.

      You don’t know how thrilled my husband and I are to have found this blog. We have been researching his family ancestry back through your line of the Tates’s you speak of. We are actually planning a drive up from Signal Mountain, TN to find the Shiloh Church and cemetary. Any information you are willing to share will just be wonderful. You may reach me at this e-mail address or home phone 423-886-7440 or 423-322-7537 cell.

      Sincerely,

      Cara Cameron

      • Amy says:

        exit 392 to rutledge pike 11E proceed to rutledge once in town Turn Right on 92 go 10 plus miles will see Shiloh church and cementary on left. Gated is Churchman’s Tate’s Dennis’s and Kinder’s

    • DANIEL IRVINE says:

      i HAVE WONDERED ABOUT THAT GAZEBO EVER SINCE i DISCOVERED IT WHILE DRIVING BY IT BACK IN THE EARLY EIGHTIES, ANY PICTURES OF THE RESORT WOULD BE VERY INTERESTING TO A LOT OF PEOPLE. i KNOW i WOULD LOVE TO SEE THEM!

      • Aj says:

        Daniel, The Tate ancestors is a major forest, they came from Ireland/Europe-sailed to England and lots ported America on coast of N.Y. N.J. Va. Pa. and many more. I have been doing this research for so long it is very time consuming, I have so much info,, I have deleted alot of info I had stored on my computer but it is not hard to find pictures http://www.wbir.com Which you can also google tate springs resort,,multiple pic’s,,right click on pic’s and save on desk top or your files .. on wbir site..Search history of bean station, it has a video.

      • Aj says:

        Samuel Baker Tate , Owner of resort, B. 1797 VA.–1865 D. Hamblin Co., TN… Married-5-8-1828 in Grainger County–Caroline M. Senter (B. 1809-Bean Station) (famous Senter’s from Bean Station) Sam’s Dad: was David Edward Jr. 1758-1838 Sam’s Mom: was Comfort Holmes KNOX 1770-1840..David E. Jr & Comfort H. Knox were married Aug.11,1784 in Botetourt Co., VA. flash me am email and I can fwd U a pic…ajkinder@comcast.net

  3. tennesseeguy says:

    Thanks for writing, Ann. Your family brought a lot of joy to visitors who were lucky enough to come to Tate Springs.

  4. Ganne Tate Derrick says:

    Wow, I finally found someone who has some correct info about my grandfather,etc! Thank you TNguy. Ann is a first cousin of mine. I am Samuel David Tate’s daughter and I hope there is some way to be in touch with her. Thank you for doing this for history and for the present!

  5. Mary Tate says:

    Ganne,

    Wonderful to talk with you. So glad you checked out this Tate Springs website. Will be in touch with you soon.

    • Amy says:

      Hello Mary I’m looking for info on my Greatgrandmaw her name is Mary Tennessee Tate she is buried @ Shiloh Methodist any help? My grandmother Mary G., named her sons (my Uncles) William ,Jesse, Guy, Samuel, Dana (my Dad) and John

  6. Linda Barney says:

    My Grandmother, Mary Lee Mullins, and my Grandfather, George Washington Locke, were both born in Tate Springs. I would be so grateful if anyone with any information about their families would post it here. Thanks

  7. Bobbe Tate Howard says:

    I am a descendent of David N. Tate, His son, John R. Tate, was my great, great grandfather, I am so pleased to be able to read about our families.

    • Aj says:

      Was this David N. B 1812 & md. Lucy Hughes Moody ?? Your G G Grandf- John R. – was his middle name Robert ? The David N. was his middle name Nathanial or Nathenial ?

      • Bobbe Tate Howard says:

        Who was your great grandfather? Mine was John R. My grandfather was Walter David. This is the branch that left TN, moved to KS and eventually settled in OK.

      • Aj says:

        On the Tate side 2nd Grt David Tate IV,1825-1864..Killed in Civil War in Ga.,His father my 3rd grt. Major David Tate III,,1789-1868..my 4th grt David Tate II or Jr. 1758-1838,,my 5th grt. David Edward Tate I, 1725-1855 B. Ireland to England to Va.
        6th grt grand John Robert Tate II ,,1710-1801 B Ulster, Ireland D. Agusta, VA.,,7th grt grand John Robert Tate I,1670-1769 B. Ulster, Ireland..8th grt grand James Tate B. 1650 Ulster, Ireland D. unknown so far still diggin..These ancestor’s had so many children 10-12..and their siblings children whom moved away it is amazing trying to keep up with so many ..so the Tate’s have multiplied ..and migrated from Europe sailed to England (@ sea for 2 or 3 months)if they survived the voyage..hit the eastern coast of america,fought off the indians and settled in many differant parts of the US..so I am willing to guess we have some blood relation

      • Aj says:

        Opps…David N. md. Mary A. Cardwell..his mom was Lucy Hughes Moody whom md. Edward Orr Tate,II…The children I have found so far are Edward Moody,John Robert,David Andrew..
        So was his middle name (Nathanel or Nathenal ?) I want to get the correct spelling,if possible.

  8. Tim Tate says:

    Another Tate stopped at Tate Springs yesterday…! I am the 6th Great Grandson of Samuel “Rock” Tate the Irish ship captain who sailed to America circa 1750 w/ his family, sold his ship in Philadelphia and settled in Bedford County PA. After the Revelountary War Samuel “Rock” and most of his children moved to North Carolina, the Morganton area. Samuel “Rock” and his wife Elizabeth and many children are buried in the Quaker Meadows cemetary there. Some of his children and grandchildren moved on to Georgia where they founded Tate, GA. My 5t Great Grand Father, Samuel Jr.
    had remained in Pennsylvania and that’s where I was born but now reside in Virginia. Don’t think the Samuel Tate of Tate Springs is part of our line but could be from a branch back in Ireland.

    • Bobbe Tate Howard says:

      Do you have any information regarding the ancestors in Ireland? I do not know their occupations. Thanks.

      • Tim Tate says:

        I only have info on Samuel “Rock” Tate… He was a ship builder and sea Captain. He got the nickname “Rock” from his frequent references to “the rocks of Magellan”, which can have several meanings. His home was Londonderry Northern Ireland. The name Tate comes from the French LaTete meaning “big head”. The Tate’s were French Huguenots and fled France for England and Ireland to avoid persecution. In America most Tate’s in my line were farmers but many went on to be Lawyers, Doctors and elected officials. The Tate Georgia line gained their wealth from the marble found on their lands.
        All of the marble used for the Lincoln monument came from Tate quarries. Hope this helps a little.

      • Aj says:

        Tim the info I have is on 2 Samuel Tate’s B. 1720 & the other is B. 1741. Who was the rock’s parents and when was he (Samuel)born ?

    • Aj says:

      Sorry to take so long to answer, I have been doing some serious painting,cleaning and caulking the whole clean spruce up mess. My 6th grt was John Robt Tate 1710-1801 m M.Doark J.R.’s kid’s I have so far were: Capt.James,Lt.Col.John,Robt H.,Wm.TATE & my 5th grt.David Edward Tate I, 1725-1855 North Londonderry, Ire.m.Catherine Thornton.The futherest, I have gotten back to so far, is Bartholomew TATE my 12th grt. 1529-1591 Born & died in Northamption,Eng. I am in Tn. Samuel Baker Tate owned the resort in Tate Springs. He m Caroline Senter from Bean Station-another long line of attys,Dr.s,politicians it is quite an amazing adventure I know abt Tate,Ga Tatesville,Ky and Tate Springs,Tn. I’m still diggin. It is a forest. I want to find all the kids,if possible, but man is it time consuming.I never dreamed I had so many ancestor’s. I been woring on the roality,so much easier to research,pic’s of castle’s,abbey’s,cathedrals,kings,queens,barons,templar knights,blk knights of Ro.,countesses,earls

    • Aj says:

      What was Samuei rock’s Parent’s names? His mothers maiden name,his siblings ?

    • mY 4TH GREAT GRANDFATHER IS ROCK TATE.I have my DAR from him. His son JOHN IRDELL’S daughter FARBEE TATE WATERS .is my 2nd ggrandmother.FARBEE daughter ANN O WATERS PENCE is my great grandmother. We visited Tate, GA recently. Would love to share data with you.

      Mrs. Benton L. Fletcher
      LaFayette, Ga.

      • AJ says:

        I got some good pic of the OLD Rock 1730-1815..he md in Rowan ,N.C. to Ann/Anne Elizabeth Caldwell, send me an e-mail ..ajkinder@comcast.net & will be happy to forward..His wife had his grave moved from Ellijay, GA to TATE, Pickens Co., GA to the OLD TATE cem. aft his death, to be closer for her to visit & keep up maint. she is now buried beside him You will be amazed

      • Tim Tate says:

        You can email me at timtate.nn@gmail.com

  9. Rita B says:

    PBS has a documentary about Grainger County and a lot of information on Tate Springs and the settlers of Grainger County.

    • Bobbe Tate Howard says:

      Is this something that will be shown in the future or is there another way I can get the material?

  10. Aj says:

    For those whom would enjoy: I have a Pic of Samuel Robert Tate “The Old Rock” 1730-1813

  11. katandjake says:

    I’m also digging into Tate family history, but I’m not sure when or if the lines converge. Isaac Tate migrated from Pennsylvania to east Tennessee and was associated with the Beans, as well as Bates and other early pioneers. Isaac served in the ETN Militia in the War of 1812.

    In 1820, Isaac’s son, Wm. Columbus Tate (born c. 1799), put a keelboat in Little River (Blount County, TN) with other pioneers including Russell Bates, and headed for Arkansas Territory (what is now Independence County). He was married to a widow (of David Bowerman) who had a daughter (Nancy), but they had 6 children of their own: Susan, Isaac A., Joseph, James, Columbus M. “Lum,” and Elizabeth. He remarried sometime later and died after 1860.

    Most of Wm. Columbus’ family settled in Independence, Izard, and Stone counties in AR. Tate received bounty land in AR for service in the Black Hawk War under Capt. Jesse Bean (near Cushman).

    (this info is based on an article written by Wanda Clark)

    Lum was my grandfather’s grandfather. He married twice and had 7 children, one son was George Washington Tate (1864). George was a farmer. He married Martha Evans in 1891, but she passed away and then he married Ara Belle Evans before 1914 (related to Martha but possibly from a prior marriage). George and Belle had 4 children, my Grandfather was the youngest son. Belle was considerably younger than George; who was about 60 when their youngest child was born in 1921, but Belle died in 1923.

    According to family, George “disappeared” in Oklahoma for 20 years. Family told the children that Belle never asked her husband what he did in OK because she was afraid he might have done something illegal. He must’ve been a good man, to raise 4 children on his own. George died in 1936, on Christmas Day.

    If anyone knows any other links to Tates in TN, I’d really appreciate hearing about them, or connections back to New England or the UK.

    thx,
    tami

    • aj says:

      The TATE’s are coming from Ireland,Scotland (Orkney Islands),& Wales,even France royalty.. to England, some stayed some voyaged on to North Eastern coast and moved on to New Jersey, New York, PA,W.Vir. Vir.,TN,N.C.,S.C.,GA.,Alab.,TX,Missouri,Ark,Utah, Calif.,Utah,KY.,Florida,Louisanna,Ill,…What is so amazing is the hugh amount of children raised. The most I am finding so far is 14 kids…no tv yet.I have run across Shields, Watkins,Senters,& Bates, Evans also.Send me a personal e-mail and ck out churchman.org..site not complete but a good start.

  12. Jfarmer says:

    I love reading about this history and all about tate springs resort and the people who come there I loved going to the gazebo when I was little my Mamaw always tookme there alot when I was younger never new athere wasso much history behind this

  13. cpamama says:

    Another Tate descendent here. My grandfather was Hamilton County Sheriff John Knox Tate. His great-grandfather was John Knox Tate, son of David Tate, Jr. That John K Tate was born in Botetourt County, Virginia, married in Grainger County Virginia and settled in Marion County, Tennessee. My mother, the Sheriff’s daughter, is almost 87 years old. I am trying to finish a Tate Family book for her birthday. There is quite a bit that she didn’t know.

    • AJ says:

      Will need spouse names w dates to assit w answers …..thier were lots of TATES John Knox’s & Davids all related..they came from Ireland -Scotland ported in England some stayed others ported North-East coast & further south-east..The British sent messages/frivious to people running from Ireland to Scotland claiming free transport from EUROPEAN countries to America to escape starvation & job loss due to decline of economy. England was up to generating Revenue..Tricking many, William Penn ,with many others ,whom was given a fleet of ships by England, to transport the immigrents was involved in the ploy.He surprised them stating he needed to get suppiies/rations, he then sailed them to England 1st,as England was looking to hit them with taxes & passenger tolls as they were expected to pay for this ship transport once boarded & sailing across ocean. If they could not pay they were basically undermined and made slaves,to work on docks or sold as servants to work off their debit & worse circumstances for women. Some managed to escape the deciet. Ever heard of TATE musuem/art gallierys in England.

    • AJ says:

      I believe the John Knox you may be referring to is John Knox Tate SR. b.Vir.1791-d.1853 Marion,TN… his dad was David E. TATE Jr. b. Vir..1757-d.1838 in Grainger County,TN… His mother’s madien name was KNOX, Comfort Holmes KNOX 1770-1840.. John K. Tate Sr.died in Battle Creek ,Marion Co., married Rachel Carmichael, in Grainger County,TENNESSEE..not Vir.
      John Knox Tate Jr. b.1829 d 1909 Marion Co., md a Deakins & a Payne ..So the KNOX name came from his mother’s maiden name & her dad was Elisha Farlow KNOX & his wife was Margaret HOLMES..John K. Tate Sr.’s brother Samuel Baker TATE is the one whom bought & once owned the historic,Tate Springs resort, with a amazing history. Tons of information can be found @ the Frank H. McClung (also related) museum 3rd fl. Circle Park Dr. on University of Tennesse campus & his brother Calvin McClung’s library/museum EAST TN. historical society, on Gay St. (dwntwn) Knoxville TN. James White founder of Knoxville,TN is also related. He built the famous James White fort. This bloodline runs with too many to mention. 11th pres. James Knox POLK also related..

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