The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.
According to tn.gov/historicalcommission, “The Tennessee Historical Commission is the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for Tennessee and has state and federally mandated programs promoting historic preservation and history. The agency’s mission is to protect, preserve, interpret, maintain, and administer historic places; to encourage the inclusive diverse study of Tennessee’s history for the benefit of future generations; to mark important locations, persons and events in Tennessee history; to assist in worthy properties; to locate, identify, record and nominate to the National Register of Historic places all properties which meet National Register criteria; and to implement other programs of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1996 as amended.
“The Tennessee Historical Commission is a twenty-nine-member volunteer board. Established in 1919, twenty-four members, equally divided among the three grand divisions of the state, are appointed by the Governor. Five more are ex officio members. The ex officio members are the Governor, the State Historian, the State Archeologist, the Commissioner of Environment and Conservation, and the State Librarian and Archivist. The Commission regularly meets the third Friday of February, June and October. THC’s Federal Programs receive federal funds from the National Park Service.”
The first step in determining whether the property is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places is to complete the Tennessee Historical Commission National Register Information Form. The completed form is sent to the Tennessee’s Historical Commission along with current photographs of the exterior (all sides and additions) and the interior, a sketch/plan of the property showing the main building and outbuildings, and a statement that explains why the property is historically or architecturally important. Included is a sketched floor plan of the building with the dates of major changes to the building to help evaluate the property. For properties with multiple buildings on the site, a sketched site plan should be included. The staff will review the information, make a preliminary determination of eligibility, and assist with the National Register process. Members of the Commission may also want to come and look at the building.
The Tennessee Historical Commission staff will use the packet to evaluate whether the property appears to meet National Register requirements. The staff may request additional information or an opportunity to visit the property. Once enough information is provided, the staff will evaluate whether the property appears to meet the requirements for listing. Properties that are found to be eligible for listing can proceed to step two.
National Register of Historic Places
Tennessee Historical Commission,
2941 Lebanon Pike, Nashville, Tennessee 37214
CN-1271 (Rev. 08-15) RDA SW21
Since the ownership of the Chester County Training-Vincent High School building belongs to the Chester County Board of Education, permission was acquired from the Board by the following Chester County Training-Vincent High Committee members consisting of James Bright, Ron Butterfield, Kylie Carter, Amy Croom, Ethel Croom, Rene’ Croom, Gloria Holladay, Rene’ Phelps, Elizabeth A. Saunders and James Vincent to begin the process of collecting the required data to complete the Tennessee Historical Commission National Register of Historic Places Information Packet. Permission was granted by the Board to move ahead with the process at the September 22, 2022, Board meeting.
In addition to the permission granted by the Board, a petition was circulated to see if there was an interest by alumni, family, and friends of the former Chester County Training-Vincent High School to encourage the placing of building on the National Register of Historic Places. Over 250 names were collected on the petition.
Petition for Placing the Vincent High School /Chester county Training School’s Building on the National Register for Historic Places
We, the alumni, family, and friends of the former Vincent High School/Chester County Training School, encourage the placing of the Vincent High School/Chester County Training School’s building on the National Register for Historic Places.
Name Address Date
(Street No., Name/City, State, Zip Code)
1____________ ______________________ _ 2_________ ______________________ _ 3_________ ______________________ _ 4_________ ______________________ _ 5_________ ______________________ _ 6_________ ______________________ _ 7_________ ______________________ _ 8_________ ______________________ _ 9_________ ______________________ _ 10________ ______________________ __
One of the Chester County Training-Vincent High Committee members, Kylie Carter, a senior History and Secondary Education major with a minor in Social Work at Freed-Hardman University assisted in the data collecting research as an internship in the history department and presented her research in Freed-Hardeman University Scholar’s Day on October 28, 2022.
Step two is preparation of a national register nomination. The Tennessee Historical Commission staff will provide a current nomination form, instructions, and example nominations.
The completed nomination form and photographs are returned to National Register staff.
The staff will review the nomination and provide comments for revisions. (Most drafts go through at least a few rounds of revision.) Once complete, the nomination will be scheduled for the next possible State Review Board Meeting.
The following nomination form is an example submitted by the Montgomery High School in Lexington, TN in December 2006. Montgomery High School was placed on the National Register for Historic Places in 2007.
Step three is review by the Tennessee State Review Board. The Tennessee State Review Board meets three times a year to review nominations. They generally meet in January, May, and September. The board is comprised of professionals in architecture, history, and archaeology. The board will review each completed nomination and vote on whether to approve the nomination.
Step four is submission to the National Park Service. The Tennessee Historical Commission National Register staff will submit approved nominations to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. The National Park Service has final say on whether a property is listed, rejected, or returned to The Tennessee Historical Commission for revisions. When properties are successfully listed, property owners will receive a notification from the Tennessee Historical Commission.
Some of the benefits of a National Register listing is an honor that signifies that the building is an important part of America’s cultural heritage and worthy of preservation. Listed buildings may qualify for preservation projects for Federal grant assistance. Owners of listed properties may apply for federal, state, and local historic preservation grants when available.
One of the most challenging tasks of research is knowing when you have gathered enough material. You are ready to complete the National Register nomination form when the
following questions can be answered:
• What was the property called at the time it was associated with the important events or persons, or took on its important physical character that gave it importance?
• How many buildings, structures, and other resources make up the property?
• When was the property constructed and when did it attain its current form?
• What are the property’s historic characteristics?
• What changes have been made over time and when? How have these affected its historic integrity?
• What is the current condition of the property, including the exterior, grounds, setting, and interior?
• How was the property used during its period of significance and how is it used today?
• Who occupied or used the property historically? Did they individually make any important contributions to history? Who is its current owner?
• Was it associated with important events, activities, or persons?
• Was it associated with important events, activities, or persons?
• Which National Register criteria apply to the property? In what areas of history is the property significant?
• How does the property relate to the history of the community where it is located?
• How does the property illustrate any themes or trends important to the history of its community, state, or nation?
• How large is the property, where is it located, or what are its boundaries?
• Would this property more appropriately be nominated as part of a historic district?
Three Places in Chester County Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
Chester County Courthouse
March 26, 1979 Court Sq.
December 1, 1983
Jacks Creek-Mifflin Rd.
National Teacher’s Normal and Business College Administration Building
March 12, 2012
158 East Main St.
Some of the African American schools in West Tennessee which have been put on the National Register of Historic Places can be seen in the following brochure published by Middle Tennessee State University as a part of their Center for Historic Preservation entitled Historic African American Schools of West Tennessee: A Driving Tour.
A special thank you to Kylie Carter for her data collecting research and presentation, the Chester County Training-Vincent High School Committee members, Troy Kilzer and the Chester County Board of Education and others who have assisted in the process. We are still in the data collection process for step one—completion of the Tennessee Historical Commission National Register Information Packet.