Chronological History

1782Alleged "Last Battle of the Revolution" on north end of mountain (not all historians are convinced this "battle" took place).
1805-07Federal Road built across north end of Lookout Mountain, linking Nashville to Augusta, Georgia.
1820's Kelly's Ferry Road (later known as Old Wauhatchie Pike) apparently constructed.
1837 James A. Whiteside purchases most of north end of mountain.
1839 Cherokees removed in Trail of Tears.
1848 Whiteside Turnpike constructed "along path of old Indian Road." Originally known as Summertown Road. (Livingood says built in 1852.)
1855 Original Cravens House constructed
1858 Whiteside constructs Lookout Mountain Hotel above Lenora Spring. (Livingood says opened in 1856.)
1863 Battle of Wauhatchie fought near base of mountain (October 28-29).
  Battle of Lookout Mountain (November 24)
1883 Judge rules in favor of Whitesides in turnpike war.
1885 Incline #1 constructed. Regular service began March, 1887.
  Point Hotel built. Opened May 28, 1888.
  Narrow gauge railroad opened from Point Hotel to Sunset Rock.
  Broad gauge railroad construction begins. Completed in 1887.
  Spiritualists hold meetings at the Natural Bridge Hotel (until about 1890).
1886 Mystery Falls tunnel completed (March 12). Cave becomes major water supply for St. Elmo.
1886 George Linn opens gallery on Sunset Rock. Moved to Point in 1900.
1887 Point sold by Mrs. Whiteside to Lookout Mountain Company (of which Adolph Ochs was a shareholder).
1879 Johnson Turnpike (later known as St. Elmo Turnpike) constructed.
1890 Lookout Inn opened above the future Incline #2.
  Bill passed to create Chickamauga Military Park. Actual purchase of land began the next year.
1893 Lookout Mountain Battlefield Park (Craven's Reservation) established, consisting of 85.35 acres. Cravens House itself purchased in 1896 from heirs of Cravens family. [Admin. History Report, p. 58, et. al.]
1895 Incline No. 2 completed.
  Chickamauga Park officially dedicated [Admin. History Report, p. 38]
1897 "Lookout Mountain battlefield was cleared of underbrush and paths built for the access of visitors. Historic tablets were placed...." [Admin. History Report, p. 58] "LMB was added in 1897 at a cost of $22,065, while Point Park was not purchased until the following year...." [ibid, p. 65]
1898 North end of mountain (16 1/2 acres) purchased by U.S. government from the Lookout Mountain Company for $35,000.
1899 New York State Monument erected at Cravens House [Admin. History Report, p. 133]
  J.H. Gaston opens photo gallery at Point Park. Turned over to George Linn in 1901.
1899 Incline No. 1 closed [Wilson p. 150] after being bought by Incline No. 2.
1900 Narrow gauge electrified and extended to Natural Bridge (probably when "Dinky" trolley began running).
1900 Steam powered broad gauge abandoned.
1901 "A number of permanent trails were established on Lookout Mountain. These were built four feet wide with low grade and steps where necessary. Resting areas were constructed along the paths." [Admin. Report, p. 72)
1908 Southern railway tunnel completed, bisecting Lookout Mountain Caverns.
  Lookout Inn destroyed by fire (Nov. 17)
1910 Point Hotel condemned and torn down.
  New York monument at Point Park dedicated [Admin. History Report, p. 133].
1911 Mystery Falls water declared unsafe for use.
1913 Broad gauge electrified (remained in use until middle 1920's).
  Hales Bar Dam floods lower Mystery Falls.
1917 Ohio Monument at Cravens House dedicated [Admin. History Report, p. 137]
1918 Narrow gauge ("Dinky") tracks taken up.
  "New" Wauhatchie Pike constructed. Later widened and renamed Cummings Highway. The road up from Jonah's Bluff (now Scenic Highway) would have been laid as well. The re-route of Old Wauhatchie Pike (that portion west of the hairpin turn on Scenic Highway) was evidently done at this time as well.
1925 Chattanooga Lookout Mountain Park established, eventually consisting of 2,700 acres.
Mid 1920's Broad Gauge railroad (by then an electric trolly line) abandoned.
  Scenic Highway constructed.
1927 Groundbreaking for Lookout Mountain Hotel (June 14).
1928 Ruby Falls discovered while drilling for lower cave.
  Lookout Mountain Hotel (now Convenant College) opened.
1929 Lookout Mountain Caverns (lower cave) opened to public.
1930 Ruby Falls opened to public.
  Contract let for widening of Wauhatchie Pike. The improved road was dedicated as Cummings Highway in 1934.
1931 Ochs Highway dedicated.
1932 Rock City opened to public.
1933 CCC Camp Demaray established.
1935 Chattanooga Lookout Mountain Park added to the Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park.
1939 Camp Demaray abandoned.
1938 Company formed to commercialize Mystery Falls. Venture declared unfeasible.
1940 Och's Observatory and Museum opened on site of Linn's photo gallery at Point Park.
1940 "Sunset Park" and "Spring Creek Park" donated by town of Lookout Mountain. [AHR p. 106] "Ochs Gateway" tract donated in "early 1940's." [AHR p. 108]
1941 Turnstiles installed at Point Park to collect ten-cent fee. Raised to 50 cents in 1966; dropped around 1969.
1941 Reflection Riding founded [Wilson p. 142]
1956 Sanders Road Picnic Area opened. [Admin. History Report, p. 215]
1956 Restoration of Cravens House began. Opened in 1957.
1963 "Official Boy Scout hiking path, the Chickamauga Military Trail, opened on Lookout Mountain." [Admin. History Report, p. 215]
1964 Interstate constructed across toe of mountain.
1968 Environmental Study Area established on Lookout Mountain for use of students participating in National Environmental Education Development program. [Admin. History Report, p. 216]
1973 Incline railway became part of Chattanooga Area Regional Transit Authority.
1977 "Donation by town of Lookout Mountain of nearly 3 acres encompassing Sunset Rock." [AHR p. 113] (Perhaps the land above which is used for the parking lot and access trail?)
1978 "Popular Blue Beaver Trail declared a National Recreation Trail." [Admin. History Report, p. 219]