Pressman’s Home — Hawkins County, Tennessee

Pressman’s home is located along Tennessee state route 94 north of Rogersville in Hawkins County, Tennessee.

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Pressmen’s Home was the brain-child of George L. Berry, who grew up near the site in Hawkins County, Tennessee. After he became president of the Pressmen’s Union, he convinced union leaders to purchase the Hale Springs Resort, a mineral springs retreat. The buildings from the resort formed the core of Pressmen’s Home around which later facilities were constructed.

As the union grew, so did Pressmen’s Home, adding larger and more elaborate facilities. In its heyday, Pressmen’s Home was a self-sufficient town that even provided its own electricity (several years before the Tennessee Valley Authority did the same for the rest of Hawkins County).

Beginning in the mid-1960s pressure from competing unions to lobby the U.S. federal government was beginning to convince leaders of the union that their location in rural PressmansEast Tennessee was becoming detrimental to the interests of the Union. The Union announced it was moving its headquarters in 1967; lack of funding and merger with other printing unions led to the closure of Pressmen’s Home as a retirement facility for union members in 1969.

Since the Union left, several schemes have been proposed to revive the site, including tourist resort, retirement community, and even a state penitentiary. Today the only active project is a golf course and country club that sometimes operates a restaurant.  There was a Pressman’s Home post office that operated here from 1914 until 1971.   An interesting and informative article, including some historic pictures of the long gone Sanitarium can be found by clicking HERE

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Buildings on the property have fallen into disrepair; several have burned down due to fires that started by accident or by arson.  Pressman’s Home was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 20, 1985.

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The trade school at Pressman’s Home was originally constructed in 1948.

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The Trade School building was built in 1947. It was the cornerstone of the educational and training program at Pressman’s Home.

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The school housed over $500,000 (more than $5.4 million in 2007) in presses and equipment. The school provided training in letterpress, gravure, and offset presses, ink mixing, camera, stripping, platemaking, color separation, and bindery operations. All of the equipment was provided to Pressman’s Home by the manufacturer on a loan basis.

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This trade school was an attempt by the Union to set itself apart from its union competitors. Trainees were required to have been in the union for five years, however many people from the Hawkins County area were allowed to train at the school at no charge without any experience.

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This is all that is left of Hotel Pressuaina, this hotel was across the road from the compound. It was built in 1926 and was four stories high. It burned to the ground in 1994.

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This is the  Administration Building.  The building was built in 1912 and was the original location of the Trade School. After new Trade School facilities were built in 1947, the building housed the executive offices of the Union’s International president and secretary-treasurer. The Membership Records Department, the Accounting Department, the Service Bureau and the editorial offices were also housed in the building. The building was abandoned after the Union left Pressmen’s Home in 1969.

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As you can tell, the property is well posted and there are tells on the internet of the care taker not being too friendly with sight seers.  All of my photos were taken from the road.  With the history of vandalism and arson in the area you can’t really blame him.

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I have also read of instances where the restaurant at the seasonal golf course is open occasionally.

 

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2 thoughts on “Pressman’s Home — Hawkins County, Tennessee”

  1. Hi. Do you know what the burnt building is with the green roof that’s very close to the road (in front of where the hotel used to be) ???

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