With an electric saw humming in the background, Bill Carney points at
a rendering of a historical building that his students at the state's
only woodworking school are trying to re-create.
There is no way of knowing the precise intricacies of the pre-Civil
War courthouse that anchored the now-submerged Hamilton County town of
Dallas, but a group of aspiring craftsmen at Chattanooga Woodworking
Academy are building a replica anyway.
"We don't know exactly what it looks like because all the records
were burned in a fire in 1910," said Carney, dressed in overalls and
sporting a sharp grasp of area history. "We're just going on family
records, and we think we've got a pretty good picture of what it is."
The Chattanooga Woodworking Academy is a nonprofit, four-year school
that opened in December 2012. Though its objective is to train highly
skilled carpenters, the means it utilizes to achieve that are perhaps
more unusual than its purpose.