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HISTORY OF KNOXVILLE
Knox County Register of Historic Places
Knox Heritage
Present-day Knoxville is located near the center of the Great Valley of East Tennessee. Its location, in the heart of the valley and at the headwaters of the Tennessee River, make the city a center for the region's economy, culture, and history.

Before European settlement, the valley was the hunting grounds of the Cherokee Indians. James White, the founder of Knoxville, established his home here in 1786 as a fort and cluster of cabins. By 1791, the community was renamed Knoxville and enjoyed status as capital of the Southwest Territory. By 1794, the town was home to Blount College, known today as the University of Tennessee.

In the 1800s, Knoxville took advantage of its river access, railroad connections, and geographical location to become one of the leading distributing centers in the south. These same assets would make Knoxville a prize to be fought for during the American Civil War. Like the rest of the state, Knoxville was divided between the blue and the gray.

After the war, Knoxville rebuilt its economy through commerce, industry, and natural resources that included lumber, coal, and marble. Those natural resources and river-generated power helped establish Knoxville as an important "New Deal" city in the early 20th century, as a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and as headquarters to the Tennessee Valley Authority. In 1982, Knoxville was host to a World's Fair and 11 million visitors. The theme, "Energy Turns the World," reflects the city's prominent role in technology.

Today, Knoxville is home to pioneers in industry, leaders in the arts, and traditionalists working to preserve our heritage. Knoxville's culture and history can be explored and discovered in its 20 museums, numerous performing arts venues, and its historic neighborhoods.

Historical Sites in Knoxville

East Tennessee Historical Society
600 Market Street, Downtown
865-215-8824
www.east-tennessee-history.org
eths@east-tennessee-history.org
HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 10am-4pm, Sun. 1-5pm

Come face to face with our region's history makers in the East Tennessee Historical Society Museum. From the King of the Wild Frontier to the King of Country Museum, the ETHS Museum introduces you to a cast of historic characters and rare artifacts, including Davy Crockett's original "Old Betsy" rifle.

Blount Mansion Association
200 W. Hill Ave., Downtown
865-525-2375
888-654-0016
www.blountmansion.org
info@blountmansion.org
HOURS: April-December
Mon.-Sat. 9:30am-5:00pm
January.-March
Mon.-Fri. 9:30am-5:00pm.
Blount Mansion, built in 1792, was the home and territorial Capitol of Governor William Blount, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, and later a US Senator. Blount helped draft the first Tennessee State Constitution here. The Mansion is Knoxville's only National Historic Landmark.
Crescent Bend
The Armstrong-Lockett House
W.P. Toms Memorial Gardens

2728 Kingston Pike
865-637-3163
www.crescentbend.com
HOURS: March-December
Tue.-Sat. 10am-4pm, Sun. 1-4pm.
Built in 1834, the home is appointed with 18th century American and English furniture and decorative arts and holds an outstanding collection of English silver. Magnificent formal Italian gardens feature nine terraces and five fountains.
Confederate Memorial Hall
(Bleak House)

3148 Kingston Pike
865-522-2371
HOURS: by appointment
This 15-room, brick 1858 mansion was Confederate General James Longstreet's headquarters during the 1863 siege of Knoxville. It features beautifully terraced gardens, period furnishings, museum and library.
James White's Fort
205 E. Hill Ave., Downtown
865-525-6514
www.jameswhitesfort.org
HOURS: March-Dececember 23
Mon.-Sat. 9:30am-4:30pm
January-February
Mon.-Fri. 10Am-4pm
The fort was the home of Gen. James White who settled here with a land grant from North Carolina. The home is furnished with tools and artifacts of the period, giving visitors a glimpse into the daily lives of early settlers.
Mabry-Hazen House
1711 Dandridge Ave.
865-522-8661
www.mabryhazen.com
HOURS: April-December
Sat. 10am-2pm
January-March
Tue.-Fri. 10am-5pm
Antebellum home built in 1858. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Occupied by Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War while the Mabry family lived upstairs. A museum of family life during and after the war.
Marble Springs State
Historic Farmstead

1220 W. John Sevier Highway
six miles south of downtown
865-573-5508
www.marblesprings.net
HOURS: April-October
Tue.-Sat. 10am-5pm, Sun. 2-5pm
November-March
Tue.-Sat. 1-5pm, Sun. 2-5pm.
Built ca. 1792. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Working farmstead including log structures and farm animals. Living history interpreters provide guided tours.
Ramsey House Plantation
2614 Thorngrove Pike
six miles southeast of downtown
865-546-0745
www.ramseyhouse.org
HOURS: April-December 15
Tue.-Sat. 10am-4pm, Sun. 1-4pm
December 16-March, by appt.
Built 1797. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Boyhood home of Dr. J.G.M. Ramsey. First stone house in the region. Notable 18th century architectural features. Includes gardens and period furnishings.
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