Unlike most towns and cities, which grew gradually over a period of years with many stages of development. Harriman grew from an agricultural community of two farms in 1890 to a city of nearly 4000 residents in 1892. Chartered in May 1890, Harriman was built on a grid in the bend of the beautiful tree lined Emory River. A ridge extends longitudinally across town, rising to a height of about 100 feet above the riverbanks and sweeping gracefully down on either side.
Frederick Gates, who envisioned a town where “the belief in temperance could be commercialized for business profit and betterment of mankind,” chose to build his elegant home at the eastern end and highest point of this ridge. Known in later years as the Goodman House and the present site of Harriman Middle School, the home’s name, “Cornstalk Heights” applies to the entire National Register of Historic Residential area.
By 1892, Harriman could boast a population of almost 4000! People came by horse & wagon, train, riverboat, and foot to reach the town’s “Great Land Sale” in February, 1890. In spite of financial setbacks, panics, floods, The Depression and, more recently, the rush of modern life, their homes and dreams have survived.