A stroll through life before Oak Ridge

Carol EvansAnderson, Our Town Outdoors

Saturday, Jan. 22 at 1 p.m.

Hike with a Ranger through the lost community of Wheat at Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Oak Ridge.  Wheat – Blair Road. Free. Take a 1.5-mile hike through the pre-Manhattan Project community with stops in “downtown” Wheat, at George Jones Memorial Baptist Church, the Roane College site and the Crawford Cumberland Presbyterian Memorial. The hike will begin at Blair Road and the North Boundary Greenway. For more information go here or call 865-576-6767. Wheat is located on Blair Road 0.3 miles off the Oak Ridge Turnpike.

Wheat was in what is now west Oak Ridge, in the area of Heritage Center. The Wheat Church (George Jones Memorial Baptist Church) was a centerpiece of the community, which ultimately became the K-25 site. Officially named in 1881 by local postmaster Henry Franklin Wheat, the Wheat community boasted a post office, several schools, Masonic lodge, service station, three churches, a small college, and a number of residences and farms. The Church, constructed in 1901 and named for a local reverend who donated 250 acres of his land for it, is the last surviving structure of the Wheat community.

Go to OutdoorKnoxville.com to find other activities.

Carol Evans is executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation.

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