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Briceville Church and Cemetery

Historic Site or District
Briceville Church – Coal Creek Watershed Foundation, Inc.

ADA Accessibility Notes

Steps up to church. Very little parking unless you park at bottom of driveway and walk up hill.

Original wood siding from 1888. Painted white.

Briceville Church and Cemetery were added to the National Register of Historic Places in August 2003. Perched on a hill in the middle of town, overlooking Coal Creek Valley, Briceville Church was built in 1888 by immigrant Welsh coal miners. The church has twin steeples and entrances because the Welsh miners and their families had reportedly broken into two factions. Each faction entered through its own door and sat on its side of the church during services.

The oldest headstone in the cemetery is that of John Irish who died on January 17, 1889. The cemetery was formally organized in 1908 as the Briceville Union Cemetery.

This church and cemetery document the turbulent history of the Coal Creek Watershed. From 1891 to 1892, miners fought the Tennessee militia over the use of convict labor in area coal mines during the Coal Creek War. The church was a temporary jail for miners captured by the militiamen. Also, 21 of the 300 miners killed in the May 19, 1902, Fraterville Mine explosion and the December 9, 1911 Cross Mountain Mine explosion are buried here.

After the 1911 Cross Mountain Mine explosion, engineers and apparatus crews from the U.S. Bureau of Mines mounted a rescue effort. Although 84 men and boys were found dead, 5 miners were rescued, the first successful mine rescue effort by the Bureau of Mines. The abandoned Cross Mountain Mine is located one mile up Slatestone Road from here.

For more information on the church and cemetery and the ongoing efforts to preserve it, visit http://www.coalcreekaml.com/BricevilleChurch.htm.

How to Get There

36°10′42″N 84°11′07″W

Take I-75 to Exit 128 Lake City

From Exit 128 ramp, turn right on Norris Freeway

Go to first traffic light and turn left on Highway 25W

See traffic light past Lake City Library and Community Center. (ShopRite grocery store is on right at light) Turn right onto Hwy 116 at light. Briceville is 3.5 miles down Hwy 116. You will come out at intersection right in front of school

Pet Friendly Notes

No pets allowed inside church

Time Period Represented

Built in 1888 and still standing after all these years!

Hours

By appointment or event.

Seasons Open

Year-round

Pricing

Visitor Fees

None, but tax deductible donations accepted for lawn/cemetery and maintenance of building for preservation.