Bachman Community Center is kicking off a quarterly series of programs focused on different aspects of the community's history. The first is Saturday, July 29 at 10:30 a.m.
Local historian James Douthat, who has written numerous books on regional history and served as an officer for several local historical associations, will lead the talks.
The topic of the first presentation is the history of schools on Walden's Ridge, starting during the time of pioneer settlement up to the present day. Douthat will present information on why the schools were built and how the old buildings which have survived — including Bachman — are still being used today. Bachman was an elementary school for 75 years before becoming a community center.
"It turns out people have been moving to the mountain a long time for the schools, and we wanted to share that story," said Katy Murphy, marketing and programs director at Bachman.
Future topics will include the mountaintop communities of Summertown (now Walden) and Old Towne. The next program will coincide with the alumni event for former Bachman students planned for November.
"I love Jim and think he is such a wealth of historical knowledge," Murphy said, as to why she wanted to offer the series. "I'm fascinated by the stories and the history up here and all the connections people have to this building and other buildings up on the mountain."
All of the talks are free of charge, though donations will be accepted for the maintenance of Bachman's historic building, designed by noted architect Reuben Harrison Hunt, whose other works include the Tivoli Theatre, Memorial Auditorium, Second Presbyterian Church and the Joel W. Solomon Federal Building in Chattanooga, as well as The Tabernacle in Atlanta.
Talks will be held in the Bachman auditorium, located at 2815 Anderson Pike.