Town Manager says Signal Mountain founder was a racist

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SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, Tennessee (WDEF) – New racial findings in Signal Mountain recently came to light when a Signal Mountain Town Manager researched restrictions on town property.

News 12’s Taylor Bishop explains.

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Signal Mountain, once known as the Old Town District dating back to 1913 was established by C.E. James.

“Signal Mountain has had this reputation, for my whole life and before, and to have that realization that the reputation is in fact very firmly rooted in fact.”

C.E. James placed restrictions that were in the deeds for land that were set apart for the “white race,” and property couldn’t be sold, transferred,or leased “to a person of color.”

“That is not who we are now.”

Veal says he researched C.E. James history and deeds for months before bring the information city council.

“Within those deeds are the restrictions that property couldn’t be sold, rented or let to anyone of color. If you were to do that there is a reversionary clause, they would take the property back.”

Veal admits these findings were shocking.

“That’s the way it was, it was disturbing.”

Veal says he doesn’t want to destroy the monument, rather have it placed in a museum.

“It’s not about changing history, it’s about being honest about it. To say how we want to frame our story, and to me the way to do that is to be as comprehensive and inclusive and as honest about what that story is.”

The Signal Mountain City Council has two weeks to look at the findings given by Veal before making any changes.

“We have changed, but we haven’t taken the time to tell people that.”

In Signal Mountain, Taylor Bishop News 12 Now