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Chattanooga Woodworking Academy builds replica of Hamilton County's first courthouse

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (Times Free Press) -

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.

Read more from our partners at the Times Free Press.

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