February 4th , 2013 9:16 am Leave a comment

Framed? Recast display offers arresting look at county’s history

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Visitors to the Carter County Jail may be prepared for many things, but a lesson on the county’s history may not be among them.

Photo by Brandon HicksSheriff Chris Mathes describes the display dedicated to the sheriffs of Carter County. Mathes said he felt, as sheriff, a responsibility to preserve as much of the county's history as possible.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Sheriff Chris Mathes describes the display dedicated to the sheriffs of Carter County. Mathes said he felt, as sheriff, it was his responsibility to preserve as much of the county’s history as possible.

On Friday, the finishing touches will be placed on a picture display celebrating Carter County’s 45 sheriffs in the hall leading to the visitor’s center.

“It goes all the way back to Nathaniel Taylor in 1796,” said Sheriff Chris Mathes. “There are so many people that shaped the history of what Carter County is. It’s a historical document, really.”

The display, which showcases the sheriffs and their time in office, is actually an expansion of a display that previously hung in the lobby of the old jail.

Though he could not say who originally conceived the notion of the display, Mathes said he wanted to continue the tradition in the new faciilty.

“We felt like putting it over here in the new building would mean a lot,” Mathes said. “Many of them have descendents that are still here. There are a lot of families who have hopefully been recognized by this.”

Because the county’s history extends back before the days of photography, and because of the department’s lack of pictures, 23 of the sheriffs don’t have a picture to accompany their names.

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