Family ties inspire effort to help preserve historic Sabine Hill
Lately, Harrison has been speaking out about his family's heritage, not because of pride but because he wants to preserve the family's oldest remaining home place, Sabine Hill.
The two-story Federal-style farmhouse is one of the first things a visitor coming from the west sees when approaching Elizabethton (Tennessee). The house has stood at its current location since it was built a few years after Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Taylor returned from the War of 1812.
Now, with the house and property in the hands of a developer, Harrison hopes that the house will be saved.
"I am disturbed by what is happening to our country," Harrison said as he sees more and more of the nation’s history destroyed for the sake of development."
"This house and so much of Elizabethton was a real seed bed for our nation's history. From King's Mountain to the Watauga settlements. You start naming wars and there has been a Taylor in every one of them."
Right behind this house is the house I lived in from age 7 - 17 (and now own). There have been rumors for several years about razing it to the ground for developers to build on. Recently at a City Hall meeting, our neighbors in Golf Course Acres were able to strike down a developer's request to spot-zone the land (the house and 5 acres) for businesses and/or apartments. But he will be able to build the maximum amount of houses allowed. 15, I believe they said.
My childhood friend, Debbie, lived there along with her 5 brothers and Mother and Father. This was a working farm with chickens, pigs, cows, horses, bees. It was Debbie who taught me to ride horses. We rode her horse, Champ, all over the place, including alongside the golf course and we built jumps for him and carried supplies for our picnics on him. We also rode their pigs, drank milk straight from the cow teats and all other kinds of fun stuff you do on a farm as a small girl.
I definitely don't want to see this house go but the issue has always been money. We need money for restoration and nobody could raise it.