The Humphreys House is really an ark of South East Tennessee History. For many years before Harold and Marie Humphreys built their home, Marie hunted for old logs and other historic structural pieces to assemble into one unique home. Many of the architectural features have their own significant histories. The Federal style mantle and front doorway with transom came from a Pre-Civil War home in Marion County. The 19th century stair railing, newel post and balcony balustrades above the living room were salvaged from the old Northern Hotel. The intricately designed balcony above the kitchen came from the Wilcox home on Eighth Street. An old Victorian home (originally built by a Reverend Long, a Methodist circuit rider) on Missionary Ridge supplied all the interior shutters. Even the exterior stone stairs, foundation and interior beams were all salvaged from old 19th century buildings and homes around the Chattanooga region. These buildings have long since been lost, but their remnants are still preserved in the Humphreys House today and each piece has a history tied to it.
By far the most significant and distinctive part of this home is the 19th century axe cut logs. The exterior structure of the house started out as a humble log cabin at present day Hooker Road near the Alton Park area of Chattanooga. The earliest recorded residents of this log cabin were the Samuel Hamill family in 1846, one of Hamilton County’s first pioneer families.
During the Civil War when General Joseph Hooker of the Union Army marched his troops from Lookout Mountain to Missionary Ridge, they stopped at the cabin for water and anything available. It was also used as a hospital by the Union Army and possibly by the Confederates during the fighting on Lookout Mountain and on Missionary Ridge.
The rich histories of by gone structures are all compiled together in one house by the ingenuity and artistry by Marie Humphreys’ vision. Harold and Marie Humphreys added on to the house in 1964 with a guest cabin connected by the covered breezeway and flagstone walk. The logs for the addition were felled from the Reflection Riding property.