Sunday, November 13, 2011

Alcoa, TN - The Old Stone House

It is said haunted by an old man who built on the house for over 45yrs. He and his wife believed that as long as they kept on working on the stone house that they would never die. His wife died first and he just said that she lost her faith. He died about 20 years later but you can still see candlelight and hear him building on the house even during the day.
Millennium Manor was built from 1938 to December, 1946, by William Andrew Nicholson and his wife Fair. They had moved to Alcoa, Tennessee, from Pickens County, Georgia, where he was a mason and carpenter. In 1937 he got a job with the Alcoa plant as a replacement for striking workers. Mr. Nicholson started construction of Millennium Manor at the age of 61 while maintaining a full time job at the Alcoa plant across the street.
Millennium Manor was built to survive Armageddon and a thousand years beyond. If any structure can endure that fate, it is this one. Millennium Manor was built using Roman architecture which can still be seen standing in structures after more than 2,000 years. The light colored stone of Millennium Manor is Tennessee Pink Marble found in nearby Friendsville, Tennessee. The "Arch and Keystone" visible over doors and windows continues throughout the entire house, including the floor and roof. First built was a wooden "form," shaped like the inside of the building. A rubber tarp was laid over this form. Stone was stacked on top of the form and a "Keystone" inserted. (At this point in the construction, the wooden form could have been pulled completely out, and the roof would still stand on its own without any mortar). Cement was poured over the stacked marble rock, and the cement sifted through to the rubber tarp and hardened. Wrinkles in the rubber sheet can still be seen on the inside ceiling. The form was then removed, at which point that part of the roof (or floor) was finished. In theory, it should be possible to remove ALL cement from the entire building and have it continue to stand, since the only function of the mortar was to hold the rock in place and not to bear a load.
Over 4,000 bags of cement were used, and in some places agricultural lime was used instead of sand for less water seepage. The thinnest inside wall is 19 inches. The thinnest outside wall is 25 inches. The roof is greater than 3 feet thick, and the floor is greater than 4 feet thick. The roof alone supposedly weighs 423 tons. All walls are load bearing. There are 14 rooms and a two-car underground garage, for a total of about 3,000 square feet under roof. The upstairs has 7 chimney flues. A six-story deep well is 5 feet in diameter. In November of 1943, Wright Road was widened, and the city tore down the entire wall facing the street. Mr. Nicholson promptly rebuilt it 6 feet further back. The Castle sits on 6 lots equaling about an acre, and another 1/2 acre next door has been leased. A small white frame house that currently sits on the back lot was originally next to the Castle. It was a "kit home" built to give the Nicholson’s a place to live until the Castle was finished. The frame house was then moved to its present location. I am currently using this house for its original purpose, and I`ll tear it down when I move into Millennium Manor.

In 1950 Fair Nicholson died of cancer at age 72. Mr. and Mrs. Nicholson had been married over 50 years. William Nicholson was quoted as saying, "It was hard to be parted from her after so many years. My wife believed in me but her faith in eternal life was weak. She tried to believe, but she had her doubts. There came times when she talked of dying." Fifteen years later, at the age of 88 and nearly blind and deaf, Mr. Nicholson joined her in Clarks Grove Cemetery. The day before he went to the hospital he told the pastor from the church next door to the Castle that "if God doesn`t intervene soon, I will die." Not yet been able to locate his grave in Clarks Grove Cemetery, because the gravestone has been taken.
Mr. Nicholson was a fairly eccentric person, but he was not a cruel man, as some have suggested. He seems to have been a kind hearted soul. Nevertheless, he had some odd ideas. It is rumored that he planned to live in his house for a thousand years, or until eternity. It's been suggested that he felt as long as he continued to work on his house, he would not die. When his wife died in 1950, Mr. Nicholson was devastated. He continued to live in the home until 1965, when he died as well, and was buried in Clarks Grove Cemetery.
The Nicholson’s left 10 children, but none came to live in the stone house after William Nicholson`s death. Soon vandals had stolen or broken everything inside, and 6 years after Mr. Nicholson`s death, the Castle, once valued at $150,000, was sold at auction for only $3,900. Juanita Shaw and her son bought the building to use as a meeting place for the "Odd Fellows," as a rental property, and as a "Haunted House" for the "Jaycees."
The owner as of Feb 21, 2005 is trying to renovate the house and get it back into a livable condition and trying to get it put on the National Registry of Historical Places. The new owner has not reported anything unusual happening but then again he may not want to let that out so he isn’t swamped with everything that goes along with a haunted house.
Located on Wright Road in Alcoa, TN is the Old Stone House, or Millennium Manor. This house was the home of William Andrew Nicholson, who constructed the house from 1938 until 1946. It was designed to withstand Armageddon, and does appear to be impenetrable.
There are some though who believe that the spirit of Mr. Nicholson still lives in this house. After all, he had planned to live there for a thousand years. People have claimed to have seen his ghost moving about the property, or strange lights in the yard. It seems to be a common legend among neighborhood children, though several adults have also reported seeing paranormal activity. The current owner of the house has no comment.
The Old Stone House
500 North Wright Road
Alcoa, Tn 37701

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