The house was constructed between 1899 and 1902 by Archibald Napoleon Cardwell.
Cardwell built the house on what was then the main road connecting Sevierville and Knoxville, as a stopping point for travelers. The structure is an exemplary example of a Queen Anne-style dwelling that was designed by George F. Barber, a renowned Knoxville architect.
Cardwell ordered the plans for the design from one of George Barber’s catalogues. Barber described the house as “a house of ample convenient room, compact and well proportioned, of rather plain design yet sensibly and tastefully finished. “
Apparently, Cardwell requested a few alterations, such as the tower, which was changed from a circular design to an octagonal design. The circular tower, capped with a conical roof, and a circular porch were altered to an octagonal shape with a bell cast roof accordingly; allowing the tower to be built of brick instead frame.
Archibald Napoleon Cardwell, known as “Nep” or “Archy,” was born March 8, 1852 near Gatlinburg. He was the son of two Scottish immigrants James and Polly Austin Cardwell who owned a thousand-acre farm in the 11th Civil District of Sevier County.
Cardwell married Sarah “Sallie “Lincoln Evans, daughter of Roger McClellan and Elizabeth Lindsey Evans. Their children were: Molly, James Rutherford, Alice Frances, Charles Austin, Mack, Lora and Icelona
At one time, Archibald Napoleon Cardwell owned a turbine mill in Gatlinburg on Roaring Fork Creek, a short distance from where it emptied into the west prong of the Little Pigeon River. Sometime in the late 1880s Cardwell moved his family to Boyd’s Creek.
The family first lived in an old house on the property while Cardwell constructed a building in which to operate a mercantile store on the opposite side of the road. It served as a stage stop and inn for those traveling to and from Knoxville from various parts of Sevier County. The basement was used as a stable for horses.
Cardwell was known for his love of people and frequently offered overnight lodging to tired wayfarers. He never turned away anyone in need of shelter.
The ground floor at the rear of the store had two large rooms — a kitchen and a dormitory room where farmers from remote mountainous regions could stop and prepare their own meals and spend the night.
Although he was a Methodist, Cardwell donated one acre of his land across the road from his store and next door to his home for the construction of Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church. It was beside the church that he decided to build his new home in 1899.
Joe Snyder, as a small boy living a short distance north of river from the place, was once brought by his father to Cardwell’s store to buy his first store-bought suite of clothes. Afterward he told of how he had admired the big house and that looking at it from the store, he had said to himself “someday I’m going to have a house like that.”
Joe Snyder married Maude Moore in 1904 and moved to Knoxville. He began working for Southern Railroad in 1905. When he began looking for a place to move when he retired, he inquired about the Cardwell place. He bought it in June 1941.
Now there was a new interest that led the Snyders to desire this location. Their niece, Mary Kate Howell, who they raised as their own daughter after the death of her parents, had married Theron Hodges of Boyd’s Creek and lived nearby.
It was a problem to find a contractor who would take on the task of repairing the old building and installing modern conveniences without compromising the appearance of the old house in any way.
The Snyders moved into the refurbished house on April 29, 1942. Mr. Snyder renamed the place “Kirkside” because kirk is a Scottish term for church and the house is located next door the church.
Before he retired, Joe Snyder became interested in woodworking and attended evening classes in the craft at Knoxville High School. While attending the woodworking classes, he made most of the walnut furniture that they used in the house. He spent most of his time in the garden and lawn, ever striving to add beauty and careful not to detract from the loveliness of the old house.
He was never happier than when planning for a family reunion or church gathering. He believed that the stately house beside the beautiful white church could be a source of pleasure for passers-by to look upon.
After the Snyders passed on, the old house was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. John Moyers, who made their home there for several years. Later Joan Riddell purchased the house with the intention of opening a Bed and Breakfast.
Current owner Cathy Edmondson has owned the property for the past 15 years. She opened a Bed and Breakfast there named Victorian Dreams, which she operated for five years before turning it in to the Rose Arbor Tea Room for a year and a half.
In June 2017 mother and daughter, Teresa Winstead and Amanda White, purchased the house from Cathy Edmondson with the desire to create a wedding and event venue at the property. Through research, the Winsteads discovered that Teresa, formally a Snyder, is actually the great great niece of Joe Snyder. The property has been renamed Cardwell Manor is honor of Mr. Cardwell, and hopes to begin weddings summer of 2017.