Nonagenarian, Whose Family Owned
End of Lookout, Living on Mountain
Mrs. Levinna Hunt, Now Making Her Home With Mrs. J. M. Nolan, First Came Here
Mrs. Levinna Hunt, who makes her home at present with Mrs. J.M. Nolan, on Lookout, is the last of a family which once owned the whole northern end of the mountain. Mrs. Hunt was born in Broome County, New York. She is now in her ninetieth year, and came to Chattanooga in the winter of 1874 with her husband, who had formerly practiced law in Buffalo. Mr. Hunt suffered from throat trouble, and thought that the air of Lookout Mountain would benefit his health. At that time Chattanooga numbered only 13,000 inhabitants.
They purchased 500 acres on the northern brow of the mountain for the sum of $1500. There were few houses on the mountain then, and the Hunts had practically no near neighbors. This was before the first railroad was built up the mountain, and the only means of communication with the outside world was by way of a mountain trail.
For the first two years of their sojourn on the mountain Mr. and Mrs., Hunt lived in the old college buildings. they organized the first Sunday school ever held on the mountain, and services were conducted in their home. Mrs. Hunt is one of the oldest members of the First Methodist Church of this city.
It was through Mr. Hunt’s influence that the first railroad was built. Maj. W.R. King superintended the construction of this road. It was a narrow gauge which extended from the head of the incline to Natural bridge. Mr. Hunt sold 140 acres of his holdings to the first incline corporation, obligating them to put up a railroad. The rest of the original 500 acres was sold off in small lots after the mountain became popular as a residence section.
Mr. Hunt was in his ninety-first year when he died, several years ago. Mrs. Hunt, who entered her ninetieth year in April, is the last representative, both of her family and his.
She is confined to her bed all the time, and while she is unable to sit up for more than a few minutes, she leads a happy and useful life.
Although she is compelled to lie flat on her back, she manages to keep busy a great part of the day. During the war she knitted helmets, socks sweaters and scarfs for the soldiers. Now that she has been ordered to stack her needles she knits and crochets things for household use, and frequently designs her own patterns.
Her memory is remarkably clear and accurate, and she talks in an interesting manner of the early days of Chattanooga. Her mind is clear and active, and the visitor will find her a remarkably well-informed woman, with a keen interest in what is going on in the world today. Her eyesight is unimpaired, and she is a constant reader of the daily papers, her church magazine, the Literary Digest and other current magazines.
The Chattanooga Times 1920
Mrs. L. M. Hunt’s Gift To The University
Announcement has just been made public of the gift of the
14-acre home place of Mrs. Lavina Hunt, on Lookout Mountain, to the University
of Chattanooga. The property valuation is estimated in the real estate
transfer carried in Tuesday’s Times at $8,000. It was turned over to the
endowment committee of the university, of which Capt. Chamberlain is chairman.
According to the terms of the transfer the university is at liberty to turn the
land into cash at any time the trustees may deem it advisable. Mrs. Hunt
is a member of a prominent Methodist family. Her husband died several
years ago. His brother, who is also dead, was Dr. Sanford Hunt, one of the
most prominent Methodist ministers in this country.
The Chattanooga Times
Submitted by Robbie Burkhart