KNOXVILLE (WATE) – As the demolition continues at the site of the old Baptist Hospital, questions remain about what happened to more than 700 memorial bricks that lined the walkway to the chapel.
A 6 News viewer asked for our help to find the bricks she purchased in memory of her late mother and father because she was worried they were destroyed.
“Well everybody in South Knoxville, I think, knew my mother and daddy, especially daddy because he owned a service station here on Chapman,” said Janet Jones of South Knoxville.
She remembers her mother and father, Burl and Ruth Clabo, fondly. When they passed away, she bought two bricks from the Baptist Health System Foundation’s Pathway project in memory of them.
The hospital’s recent demolition worried Jones that she would lose something dear to her forever.
A special piece of the hospital managed to be salvaged. The developer , Blanchard and Calhoun, saved a majority of the more than 700 bricks bought for loved ones.
They’re storing them at an old bank site across the street from the hospital. One of the project’s founders is glad the bricks can return back home to families.
“Having the opportunity now to have the bricks back, I think, maybe adds a memento, historical value to something that was very important,” said Terry Morgan, former President and CEO of the Baptist Health System Foundation.
6 News looked through the remaining bricks and found the one dedicated to Jones’ father, Burl Clabo, and went back to Jones’ home to give it to her. She says memories of her father flooded her mind when she received the memorial brick.
Those memories are overwhelming Jones now that she has a keepsake of her father back in her hands.
“It means the world to me. It means it’s something I never dreamed of getting back,” said Jones.
The Jones family tells 6 News they are hopeful that they’ll find the other brick that’s in memory of Ruth Clabo. They’ll be looking through all of the bricks on Monday at the storage site.
Organizers say there are still more than 200 bricks needing to be picked up. If you bought a memorial brick and would like to retrieve it, you can contact Eric Lind at 865-556-7888. The bricks are being stored at 220 Blount Avenue.