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Exploring the Abandoned Tellico Round House

In the quaint town of Tellico, Tennessee, stands a structure that whispers tales of a bygone era—the Tellico Round House. Built in 1920 as a slate quarry by Tennessee Rock Products, this abandoned silo underwent a fascinating transformation around 1956. Driven by a visionary named Doc, the seven-story house emerged from the ashes of neglect, with a unique design that showcased his creativity and resourcefulness. The story of the Tellico Round House begins in 1920 when the Tennessee Rock Products established a slate quarry on the site. Operating until 1928, the slate quarry eventually fell into disuse, leaving behind a towering silo structure. Fast forward to 1956, and this dormant edifice caught the attention of a man named Doc.

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Doc, whose full name remains elusive, envisioned something extraordinary for the abandoned slate quarry. He set out to transform the one-floor structure into a seven-story marvel. To achieve this, he added six more floors to the existing framework. Intriguingly, both the exterior and interior featured staircases, rendering the building a remarkable piece of architectural ingenuity. This transformation turned the once-forgotten silo into the iconic Tellico Round House.

Chest (2022)

In 1958, Kenneth Saunders entered the picture, operating a restaurant within the Round House. The unique setting and Doc’s innovative design attracted locals and visitors alike. However, the venture was short-lived as fire regulations soon intervened, preventing further use of the facility. Despite the setback, the Round House had already become a symbol of Tellico’s history and resilience. Doc, who moved into a house he built beside the Round House around 1957, continued to practice medicine until his passing at the age of 84 in 1967. His commitment to both medicine and architecture left an indelible mark on Tellico. Today, the Charles Hall Museum proudly houses Doc’s medicine bag—the same one he was using when he passed away. It serves as a tangible reminder of his dedication to healing and innovation.

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Doc’s final resting place is in his native Violet, North Carolina, where he rests alongside his wife, Arminda. Even in death, Doc’s legacy endures, not only through the Round House but also in the memories of those he touched with his medical practice. The Tellico Round House stands as a testament to the transformative power of vision and ingenuity. From an abandoned slate quarry, it emerged as a symbol of Tellico’s history, capturing the spirit of a man who dared to dream big. While the Round House may have faced challenges and changes over the years, its story continues to intrigue and inspire those who venture to explore its abandoned halls.

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