President Andrew Johnson Museum & Library
"Old College"

1841

History

For the first 20-plus years of its life Tusculum College had survived with a two room cabin and the two story brick home of its President as its only facilities. In 1841 as the college was growing and prospering, Samuel Witherspoon Doak undertook the construction of a new and formidable school building for Tusculum.

Funds for the new building came from a subscription of local people interested in Tusculum, and prominent among the names of donors is Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, who gave $20 for the construction of Old College.

The original building allowed space for a chapel, classroom, the literary societies (debating clubs) and the library. These debating clubs were the center of local attention and attracted a prominent orator who regularly walked the four miles from Greeneville to participate in the debates on the 2nd floor of Old College. His name was Andrew Johnson.

After McCormick Hall was built the Old College began the first of many functional changes and was used to house the female students of the college until Virginia Hall was built. The Old College was used as a boy's dormitory (as it had been used before Craig Hall was built).

After construction of Rankin Hall in 1923 relieved the burden on men's housing, Old College was converted to house the chemistry department, complete with classrooms and laboratories.

After construction of the Science Building, Old College returned to its use for housing and was eventually converted into four apartments which were occupied by Tusculum faculty and staff. Today the building houses the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library.

A path through a woods near Frank Creek leads from Old College approximately 200 yards down to the Doak House.