published Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Neighborhood: Stringer’s Ridge

The luxury River Point development on Stringer’s Ridge overlooks Chattanooga.
The luxury River Point development on Stringer’s Ridge overlooks Chattanooga.

* History: Stringer’s Ridge was named for Capt. William Stringer, a pioneer. During the Civil War, artillery placed on the ridge by Brig. Gen. James S. Negley’s task force bombarded Chattanooga, June 7-8, 1862, then retired. On Aug. 21, 1863, Capt. Eli Lilley’s 18th Indiana Battery, of Wilder’s Brigade, again fired on Chattanooga from Stringer’s Ridge and opened the Chickamauga Campaign. The attack gained ill fame among Southern troops for the Sunday morning shelling of Chattanooga, as President Jefferson Davis had declared a day of fasting and prayer. Col. John T. Wilder described the Union’s gains in the sinking of two steamboats, the destruction of a pontoon bridge and the capture of a ferry boat at the edge of the Tennessee River, according to historical information on the site.

* Unique characteristics: A feature local officials note is the old community of Valdeau on the west side of Stringer’s Ridge in modern-day Red Bank, near the present Mojo Burrito restaurant. Stringer’s Ridge also was once the site of the Pine Breeze Sanatorium, where tuberculosis patients were treated through most of the 20th century. A 302-foot-long tunnel through Stringer’s Ridge connects Red Bank and Chattanooga, an important path for travelers driving from Signal Mountain and the Mountain Creek area. “That tunnel was built as a way of opening up farm land so farmers could make it to Chattanooga from modern-day Red Bank and Mountain Creek,” said Rick Wood, executive director of the Chattanooga chapter of the Trust for Public Land.

* Best-kept secret: The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with The Tennessee River Gorge Trust, has agreed to hold a conservation easement on 55 acres on Stringer’s Ridge. This ensures protection from development of the north part of Stringer’s Ridge and makes it more important to complete the protection of the entire ridge, including the neighboring 38-acre section acquired by The Trust for Public Land a year ago, officials said. “This is not only the viewshed from the Hunter Museum but it is a downtown vantage point to view the entrance to the Tennessee River Gorge,” said Jim Brown, executive director of The Tennessee River Gorge Trust. Located in the heart of North Chattanooga, this historic property is a completely forested area. Mature oak and hickory trees and other native trees cloak the slopes of this low ridge. A bird population fills the forest canopy and rounds out a rich treasure of plant and animal life.

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