About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration files "Market and Main Streets Historic District" and "Terminal Station," and other sources on Chattanooga and the rail industry. It was written by Caneta Skelley Hankins, a project coordinator for the Middle Tennessee State University Center for Historic Preservation in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used in units on the American Industrial Revolution, the growth of urban America, or in a geography course. Students will strengthen their ability to analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources, and reinforce curriculum objectives related to geography, language arts, social studies, history, and the visual arts.
Time period: Mid-19th century to mid-20th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To understand how geography and promotion combined to encourage the growth of Chattanooga, Tennessee;
2) To analyze how railroads shaped the downtown organization and architecture of Chattanooga and of cities in general.
3) To study the impact of railroads in the local community and to identify railroad-related buildings and structures that survive today.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) one map showing Terminal Station and the surrounding area;
2) two readings on the history, location, development, and railroad-related architecture of Chattanooga;
3) one excerpt from an 1896 brochure promoting the city of Chattanooga;
4) one drawing of Terminal Station and surrounding area;
5) four photographs of Terminal Station and other buildings related to the railroad industry.
Visiting the site
The Chattanooga Choo-Choo is open to the public. For brochures, additional information, or reservations, contact the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, 1400 Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402. Although most of the buildings in the Market and Main Streets Historic District are private businesses and not necessarily open to the general public, the neighborhood is easily seen from the public streets. Some buildings now serve as restaurants or shops and welcome visitors. For a listing of the restaurants and shops in the Main and Market Streets Historic District, contact the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1001 Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402.