Historical Victorian Home In Downtown Greeneville, TN With 4.21 Acres, A Guest House, A Carriage House, Hot Tub Building, Relaxing Covered Porch And Balcony With Views Of The Wooded Estate, High Ceilings, Hardwood Floors, Beautiful Woodwork, And Lots Of History, Character, Style, And Elegance. 102 Doughty Is Zoned B1: Small Business, B&B, Restaurant, & Other Small Businesses Are Permitted. 104 Doughty Is Zoned R3 Residential But Since The Main House Is Zoned B1, You Should Be Able To Zone The Guest House B1. The Inn Services Guest Going To Bristol Speedway, Jonesboro Story Telling Festival, White Water Rafting, Appalachian Trail & Dollywood.
Total restoration of “little house,” included removing confining walls, replacing floorboards & supports, new heat system, electric, plumbing, insulation, custom cabinets, granite countertops, chimney façade, refrigerator, painting, sheetrock, stairway, new bath fixtures including antique clawfoot tub. New roof put on in 2022 and upper chimney rebuilt. Stonework back patio and front walkway added.
Main House, first & second floor:
All new electric, plumbing, and natural gas heat (three furnaces) with central air. All roofs re-shingled. Removal of old carpeting, replaced on stairway by Axminster carpet. Kitchen floor removal of 2 layers of vinyl & old plywood to reveal original oak. Original kitchen fireplace revealed in removal of an added wall which blocked the kitchen window. Kitchen fireplace rebuilt and now has stainless lined flue and is woodburning. New custom kitchen cabinets installed in 2021. All walls papered or painted. There remain 11 of 12 original fireplaces (one in the Tower bedroom was closed off in 1930s for a furnace vent). Mantles repainted, and tile surrounds restored. Two wood & glass overmantles, & two fireplace mirrors added. Dining room gas logs, Living room enamel gas stove, both added by current owners. Leaded windows added to solid doors throughout house to allow light. Artist hand-engraved glass panels of birds & flowers installed in two downstairs entrance doors to increase light.
Back laundry porch completely reconstructed with antique windows in 2021. Downstairs side porch glassed in with antique windows. Upstairs wrap-around porch completely reconstructed in 2020. New roofing on all porches in 2021 with gutters and gutter guards.
2 original bathrooms gutted, and tile walls and floors added. Original oversize clawfoot tub kept in downstairs bath; two more clawfoot tubs put into second floor bath, and newly added bath on third floor. Two shower baths added to two bedrooms on second floor.
Stairs to third floor relocated & rebuilt, with original newel post, and replicated decorative fretwork. New carpet. Original ornate 1870s wallpaper section discovered & preserved under plexiglass panel beneath third floor stairs. Short stairway to 2 back bedrooms also reconstructed and carpeted. Third floor finished with new poplar wood flooring, decorative bannisters, new sheetrock walls & glass atrium of antique doors and windows built around access entry. Two glass skylights replace two old wood vents. Dark room off newly-added full bath, which has walls of antique stained glass windows. Completion of third floor created additional 900 sq ft of living space.
Original root cellar reconstructed for safety & appearance. Now a landscape feature.
Small Pump House for 238 ft well dug c. 2010, with filtration system. When tested, water showed contaminates. Needs re-testing.
Greenhouse with adjoining dog house & lot added c. 2016
Storage Addition to old garage added c. 2017.
Hot tub gazebo added with stone walkway c. 2019.
Pond added c. 2012
Electric Yard Light added c. 2012, Metal fencing & gates c. 2015
Various flowers & trees added: hydrangeas, azaleas, weeping cherry, crepe myrtle, apple trees, blueberry bushes, North Star cherry tree (for pies)
Britton-Doughty-Kilgo House Features and History
The earliest deeds record the property conveyed in the 1790s from Valentine Sevier, “with appurtenances.” Sevier owned a brick home, still standing on nearby Main St. in Greeneville, and much of the surrounding lands. The oldest part of this house is thought to be built around 1840 or earlier, as evidenced by the wood ceiling in the kitchen. The house is built of hand-made brick, which was probably made from the red clay on this property. (A huge, early brick cistern was discovered beneath the curve of the front porch, some 8-10 feet below the surface, with iron cap into which rainwater from the roof was directed by a gutter. The ground above the cistern has since been filled in & cemented.)
Several people are on record as owning this property prior to the 1860s, when it was purchased by James Britton, who was employed by Tusculum College. He was a friend of Andrew Johnson, and a Union supporter. The property, then known as ‘The Oaks’ for its number of towering oak trees, was transferred in 1874 to Richard Doughty, from Britton’s widow, Harriet. Doughty was an honorary colonel in the Union army, a title he was awarded when he and his brother Thomas, a Union soldier, ran the blockade with supplies to Knoxville when it was under siege by the Confederates during the Civil War.
Doughty married Elizabeth Harmon and became a successful builder of lightning rods. He made them in the third floor of this house, and is thought to have raised the roofline to accommodate his business. He displayed so many of his examples on the roof that the house resembled a pincushion, and people drove in to see his unusual display. When he and Elizabeth wed, they brought back a small magnolia tree from their honeymoon in Cuba. This venerable tree still stands in the front yard, a gracious guardian of the house.
Doughty made many improvements to the house. He connected the two existing two-story porches, added bay windows, a widow’s watch, a tower, and the two-story dining room addition. He most likely added the stairs to cellar, and the three sets of oversized French doors. The Doughtys entertained a lot and it is rumored that the oversized French doors were installed to accommodate a boat for some celebration, but that is only rumor. Doughty increased the land around the house to some twenty acres, then cut Doughty Avenue through it and changed the former side door for use as a front door. He turned the lower stairs to face that “new front door,” and finished the newly turned front stairs with a pair of Eastlake style columns.
It is thought that many of the purely Victorian decorative elements, (mantles, tiles, porch fretwork ornaments, etc), were added by Elizabeth Harmon Doughty, but she left two original severe, Federal style mantles in the downstairs den and “pool table” room. Prior to the new front entrance and circular drive addition, the approach to the house had been through the double front doors facing Main Street. The present little drive-in at the corner of Main and Doughty Ave was previously a formal garden, leading to a swinging bridge that spanned the low ravine, ending at the cement walkway through the woods, the pavement likely later added by the Kilgos in the 1930s.
A carriage house once stood at upper north side of this walkway. Three generations of Doughtys resided here, until selling the house to the John Kilgo family in 1934. Mrs. Kilgo soon hired a local carpenter named Sizemore, to restore the staircase back to its original location, with curving colonial end banister, and also had him add closets to five bedrooms. John Kilgo was a lawyer and politician who ran for governor of the state but was not elected. He wrote a book about the experience, Campaigning in Dixie. He unfortunately died young, and his widow, a gifted gardener, is responsible for much of the established plantings: the boxwoods, hollies, chestnut trees, pecan trees, beds of jonquils and spring bulbs, including some rare, heirloom (non-hybridized) blue hyacinths brought from her mother’s farm in Bell Buckle, TN. The scent of these can fill a room. A large circle of jonquils, planted by Mrs. Kilgo beneath one of the few surviving oaks in the original front yard, still shares its glory of golden blossoms every spring.
Faydine Kilgo, who grew up on the property, recalled a summer kitchen of lattice with bricks set in the ground as a floor still existed when she and her family moved here in 1934. It was located just outside the back north corner of the house, where an iron arbor and gate mark a garden area. A cooling ‘dugout’ area, once called ‘the dairy’, was carved into the low hill leading to the barn. It was roofed by 5 large limestone slabs held up by iron railroad rails and had no source of fresh water (its roof considered unsafe, the slabs were removed in 2003, with two set into one side as seating area, the other three set into the ground to the right of the dugout.) The original stonework was restored as a feature in the landscape. Faydine recalled there were two wells in the opposite side of the back yard, but no evidence remains.
The barn, built with wooden pegs, is likely one of the original structures mentioned the 1790s deed, with its stone foundation and two earthen floor horse stalls. A peg-built smoke house of the same age as the barn once stood behind the main house’s back door, but had to be taken down for safety. The barn’s lower-level carriage barn is thought to have been added when Doughty began using the side door as front door, to face the road which bears his name, that he cut through his property. The back acreage, now all in woods, were at one time a cultivated field. Scattered remnants of small brick foundations may still be found there. Remains of Confederate earthworks may be found at the edge of the woods behind and between the dog lots, above the ravine. Although the Brittons supported the Union, Greeneville changed hands during the Civil War some thirty-odd times, and scattered area skirmishes were common.
The Kilgos planted the back yard as a small orchard with apple, peach, and pear trees. One elderly surviving pear tree, now taller than the barn, still flowers and bears at the edge of the woods, but the fruit so high only the squirrels can enjoy it. The property has an abundance of edible fruits and nuts: pecans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, black walnuts, butternuts, mulberries (both white and purple), apples, blueberries.
The widowed Mrs. Kilgo raised her three children and resided in the house for 30 years. In 1974 she sold the property to Kyle King, whose heirs sold it to the Moskowitz family in 2002.
Updated on October 25, 2022 at 8:33 pm