The Stuart Heights Neighborhood Association was established in 2008. The association has taken great pride in providing community events and beautification in a truly wonderful neighborhood.
The Stuart Heights Neighborhood Association (SHNA) was established to bring this community of 600 homes together to form closer bonds between neighbors. The SHNA works to hold community events such as the 4th of July parade, pool party, guest speakers, and can drive, as well as, preserve the beauty of our neighborhood.
Stuart Heights History
The Folts Connection
Upon entering Stuart Heights from Hixson Pike, one notices the first street on the left is named Folts. That name is significant as are the names of other streets in this quiet neighborhood of individualized homes dating back to the early 1940s. Mr. Aubry Folts was born Feb. 19, 1901 in Ripley, TN, and died Feb. 10, 1962, in Chattanooga, TN. He married Frances Ingram Lawson Lockwood on Dec. 31, 1929. Their children were Carole Lockwood Folts, Liane Stuart Folts, Leslie Emerson Crowley, Jr., Patrick Douglas Folts, Michael Fairfax Folts, and Kelly Lockwood Folts. The following excerpts were taken from the In Memorium handout at special memorial services held by The Memorial Committee of the Chattanooga Bar Association on May 21, 1962.
In the untimely passing of Aubry Fairfax Folts, at the age of 61, the legal profession lost one of its greatest lawyers and the community lost one of its most useful citizens. His life embraced five great loves – family, religion, law, Emory University, and Chattanooga Estates Company. As Managing Director of Chattanooga Estates Company, he was responsible for the most extensive suburban real estate development in the history of Chattanooga. That would have been a full-time job for most men. Yet he planned each street, designed each lot, and supervised the development of the entire project, including Stuart Heights, Fairfax Heights, Lockwood Heights, Knollwood Park and Manchester Park – all models of excellence and good taste for enjoyable family living. And so now when we see the street names of Lockwood, Lawson, and Stuart, we know of their historical significance.
Jeanette Geeslin and Snickie Hofmeister, early residents of Stuart Heights, recall some of their memories.
When Snickie’s husband returned from the war in June 1945, there was a shortage of places to live, so they lived with her family in Riverview until moving to SH in the fall of 1947. When SH started, there were only nine houses, and it was called Colonial Village. Because so many resources had been used in the war effort, contractors tore down old houses in other parts of the city and salvaged materials to build SH houses. Hers was one of the houses built using these materials. Contractors had a program selling houses, starting at Haywood and up the hill. It was said that all newlyweds started out in SH. Colonial Village was renamed Stuart Heights by Aubry Folts, who owned all the land. He also was instrumental in naming the streets. Snickie and her husband lived across the street from the corner of Tanglewood and Haywood Avenue. However, when they moved in, Tanglewood was not there yet. Instead there were beautiful dogwoods and wild azaleas. SH was developed primarily by DuPont. The executives lived all over, starting with Ozark Circle, then Folts Drive, Ozark Road, Van Buren, Lupton Drive. DuPont had to develop the top of the hill. Snickie remembers when Stuart Heights Manor, the first apartment building was built. It was big, comfortable, and well-planned. They had a bird sanctuary with many wild birds prevalent. Snickie had two children, Ansley and Sterling (Buster). When SH was started, there was no school. The Lupton City school was for Lupton employees’ children only. So she went to the City and said there needed to be a school and a bus that could go around the curves. The City told her to take a survey to see how much interest there was for a school. She surveyed the SH, Manchester Park, and Fairfax neighborhoods. Based on the survey results, Rivermont was the first school built, followed by DuPont school several years later. They had wonderful neighbors. In the winter when there was snow, they went up and down the streets and had hot dog roasts. There was a SH Social Club. The Club donated the money for the pool, which was built by residents. The swim team was competitive going against Baylor, McCallie, GPS. When you left SH, you gave your pool membership to someone else. Snickie started the Garden Club. Everyone decorated their houses for Christmas, with prizes awarded for the prettiest. There also were prizes for the prettiest yards.
When newlyweds Jeanette Geeslin and her husband moved to Stuart Heights in 1955, it was a settled neighborhood. She was from Cleveland, TN originally and he from Macon, GA, but who had lived in Chattanooga since 1939. They moved to SH because it was close to the City, but in the country then. The yards were well-kept, and people took pride in them. Their two children, Mike and Sarah went to Rivermont School. When Sarah was in 5th grade, Rivermont was desegregated. Both of them attended Northside Jr. High School (now Normal Park Elementary School) and graduated from Chattanooga High School (now Chattanooga School of the Arts and Sciences). The St. Luke’ church was here when they moved to SH, but has added more buildings over the years. Some neighbors were on the building committee.
Stuart Heights Garden Club
The Stuart Heights Community Garden Club was organized April 5, 1950. It has a long history of promoting gardens in the community, as well as sponsoring Christmas decorating contests, a Christmas tree at the roundabout and supporting native habitats for birds/wildlife. The club maintains the grassy areas and shrubs at Haywood and Hixson Pike and at the round-about. The club also puts wreaths with red bows on the street sign poles at Christmas time, and encourages neighbors to put red bows with greenery on their mailboxes. SHNA volunteers take care of the flowers at the Stuart Heights signs. The Garden Club meets the second Tuesday of every month, except January, June, July, and August. Meetings are educational. The club encourages anyone who has an interest in the beautification and preservation of the neighborhood’s environment to join.
The Neighborhood Association and Boundaries
For many years Charlotte Freeman wished for a Neighborhood Association (a short-lived earlier one had fallen by the wayside). She envisioned an organization that would increase the spirit of community, enrich and improve the neighborhood properties and unite us in one voice to be heard. In the fall of 2008, she decided to make it happen. She contacted the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services, and they assigned a specialist to help with the start up. They began with meetings in her home of around 10 interested persons. By early 2009 they were underway with full neighborhood meetings and establishment of bylaws. Communication was by cardboard signs placed on the streets, and about 90 people attended the first meeting. St. Luke UMC, the only non-residential buildings in the footprint, graciously offered free meeting facilities and embraced the idea of become a “center” for community activities. [Note: The land was given to the church in 1951 by the Aubry Folts on behalf of the Chattanooga Estates Company. The land was deeded with the stipulation that it must remain a place of United Methodist Worship, or it will return to the Chattanooga Estates Company and/or the estate of Aubry Folts. The church was founded in 1952 and built in phases. The sanctuary was started in 1962 and finished in 1965. It has a pipe organ and an electronic carillon. At its peak well over 200 people attended, most from within Stuart Heights. There was also a top notch kindergarten before the public school system offered kindergarten.]
One of the first tasks was to establish the neighborhood boundaries. She drew the footprint for Stuart Heights with the help of maps and folks from the City’s Neighborhood Services. They chose the natural boundaries within the city limits and did not encroach on neighboring areas such as Dallas Heights and Crestwood that had their own “Heights” designations. Lupton Drive to Hixson Pike to Folts Circle and Folts Drive formed the limits. Only streets penetrating into that area were included. Titkin, with the exception of four houses, is in Red Bank. Haywood on the left as you exit onto Lupton Drive is also in Red Bank. Since the city was furnishing start-up materials and giving opportunities for partnership monetary awards, no Red Bank properties could be included. Residents from bordering areas were never excluded from participating in association meetings and activities, but the official footprint is based on the obvious boundaries and regulations of the city. The Stuart Heights Neighborhood Association bylaws contain a list of all the “official” streets included.