NAME: Wheat
CLIMATE: Hot in the summer, Mild in the winter
COMMENTS: Lat 35 56.349NLong 84 22.356W
REMAINS: George Jones Memorial Baptist Church and Cemetery
Located in the Roane County section of present-day Oak Ridge, TN, not far from the K-25 Nuclear plant, Wheat is now basically an extinct town. At one time though, it was a thriving community, but the Manhattan Project put a stop to that. The community of Wheat was originally known as Bald Hill. Bald Hill was established in 1846, and it continued under that name until it was renamed Wheat, in honor of the area's first postmaster, Frank Wheat. During its heyday, Wheat was a thriving community, and home to several churches, including George Jones Memorial Baptist Church, and a liberal arts college known as Roane College which closed in 1908, after being in operation for 22 years. After it closed, it was reopened as the famous Wheat High School, until it closed for good in 1941. During the early 1940s, the downfall of Wheat began. By this time, the United States was at war against Nazi Germany and Japan. During this time period, President Franklin Roosevelt knew that Germany was close to developing a nuclear weapon, and that the U.S. should do the same. Thus the "Manhattan Project" began. President Roosevelt needed a rural area to work on the project, and Wheat fit the bill. Thus the community was removed, to make room for the "Secret City" of Oak Ridge. George Jones Missionary Baptist Church, Wheat High School, and the other social places of Wheat closed their doors in the early 1940s, and Wheat was no more. The downfall of Wheat left George Jones Memorial Baptist Church and its cemetery isolated. Today, they retain that isolation, as they are located on a road closed to the public (though you can get a fairly decent view of the church from Highway 58). George Jones Missionary Church, and a monument to the community are about all that remain of Wheat today. Submitted by: Casey B
George Jones Memorial Baptist Church
Courtesy Casey