Window Restoration Initiative

How to Adopt a Window

When the arched windows are adopted and removed for restoration, they are taken to Winworks in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Historic Clay County Courthouse invites everyone to become a part of the Adopt a Window initiative that seeks to restore each of the original windows in the courthouse. Some of the windows have been adopted already and are being reinstalled. Many others need adoption. 

“It is imperative that these windows be restored for the preservation of the building’s historic integrity as well as its physical safety,” said Courthouse Curator Thomas Watson. “Any person, family or business with a connection to Clay County has a chance to make a difference.”

Watson is available by appointment to work with those interested in adopting a window. He will conduct a tour of the historic building to show the progress being made and explain how the initiative works. 

Once the window is restored, a plaque is affixed to the wall affirming the donor’s gift and if it was made in honor or memory of an individual, naming that person.

Contact Thomas Watson at or 931-243-3464 to discuss adopting a window and saving a piece of Clay County’s history.

During the removal of some of the windows for restoration, treasures have been discovered. The hinges are from the original shutters that protected the large windows from the elements. The simple plumb was left in the window by a construction worker a century and a half ago.


 Adopt a Window

One Family’s Story


Restoration of the Historic Clay County Courthouse windows provides those who want to honor or memorialize a loved one the opportunity to do so.

The Smith Family Companies, the largest employers in the region, have become a part of the restoration of the windows in the historic courthouse of Clay County, Tennessee, where the family-owned business was founded in 1968.

Clay County initially received a grant from the State of Tennessee, which was matched by an appropriation by the Clay County Commission, to initiate the painstaking restoration of the windows of the building that was completed in 1873.

Local businesses and individuals are being given the chance to be part of the restoration project through donations.

“We felt it important to help preserve our county’s history,” said April Smith Patterson, explaining that The Smith Family Companies made a contribution to the window preservation fund.

Honest Abe’s founder, Doug Smith, who passed away from cancer in 2011, was a native Clay Countian with strong ties to the community, both personally and through his many business endeavors.

His widow, Janie Smith, and her children, Shane Smith and April Smith Patterson, along with their spouses and children adopted a window to restore in memory of Doug.

The marker under the restored window will read “Honest Abe Log Homes & The Doug Smith Family.”


Jackie Cherry, Honest Abe Log Homes’ plant manager, is helping with the restoration project. Here is is sawing new Eastern Hemlock lumber. Honest Abe is one of the sponsors for the historic window restoration initiative.