Shannondale’s History

For over 50 years, Shannondale has helped more than 25,000 people navigate retirement decisions for themselves or a loved one.

Shannondale's story is not only impressive for its innovative approach but also for the remarkable contributions of two trailblazing women, Helen Harris and Nellie Mccampbell. In the 1960s, when women faced significant barriers in assuming leadership roles, especially in matters involving substantial financial decisions, these two women, both single and without male partners, displayed remarkable determination and vision. They played vital leadership roles in conceiving and creating Shannondale, serving on the Committee on the Aging, which was tasked with extensive research and formulating recommendations for sheltered care for the elderly in East Tennessee. Helen Harris, a dedicated librarian, and Nellie Mccampbell, a lifelong educator and caregiver, brought their passion and expertise to this endeavor.

Their dedication, along with their deep ties to the community and shared commitment to improving sheltered care for the elderly, was instrumental in making Shannondale a reality. They not only completed their work on the Committee on the Aging but also served on the first Board of the newly formed Presbyterian Homes of Tennessee, actively contributing to the institution's early success. Helen Harris and Nellie Mccampbell, both residents of Shannondale until their passing, exemplified lives of service and dedication to others. Their legacy lives on in Shannondale’s thriving and expanding communities that they worked so hard to establish, continuing to provide a safe and active environment for residents in the 21st century.

Faith-Based Communities

An influential factor for many residents is whether or not the community is affiliated with a religious denomination. Our Presbyterian retirement communities are a great match for those who desire a faith-based environment. Weekly chapel services, led by a Chaplain, take place in the communities and are open to all residents.


Shannondale has taken a proactive approach to prioritize transparency and open communication with its valued residents by distributing a digital newsletter. This initiative not only fosters a sense of community and connectedness but also keeps residents well-informed about important updates, upcoming events, and any changes in the communities. By consistently communicating, Shannondale ensures that residents are not only heard but also empowered with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their living arrangements and activities. The commitment to transparency underscores Shannondale's dedication to creating a comfortable and supportive environment for its residents.

Shannondale has a uniquely strong and involved resident council. These councils of residents are committed to the well-being of Shannondale, promoting transparency throughout the community.