Tales and Tamales in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, TN – The Knoxville History Project (KHP) will be hosting “Tales and Tamales at Gallows Hill,” on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 6 p.m., at 516 West Vine Avenue. The event is a fundraiser to support the work of the Knoxville History Project which researches and promotes the history of Knoxville. Tickets are $100 each (tax-deductible contribution) can be purchased via knoxvillehistoryproject.org/events.

Event Features:

-Knoxville Halloween Stories with renowned historian Jack Neely – tales of how Knoxvillians have celebrated October 31 throughout the city’s history.

-Music from Kukuly and the Gypsy Fuego, the Django-style string-jazz combo, the likes of which probably played in the Carpenters Union ballroom during the 1940s and featuring one of the spookiest songs in Knoxville’s history, Leola Manning’s 1930 cult classic, “Satan is Busy in Knoxville.”

-Special Shadow Side Ghost Tour of Gallows Hill – the area around the north end of downtown – with historian Laura Still from Knoxville Walking Tours. Every guest will leave with a signed copy of Laura’s in-depth book “A Haunted History of Knoxville.”

-Good old tamale dinner, provided by Good Golly Tamale, who in recent years have been reviving a Knoxville tradition that “Tamale King” Harry Royston started near the Old City in 1887.

-This will be Knoxville History Project’s very first event in the historic ca. 1946 building where KHP calls home. The event will be held upstairs in the old meeting hall that once hosted both union meetings and community dances.

The Knoxville History Project (KHP) is an educational nonprofit with a mission to research and promote the history and culture of Knoxville.

Mabry Hazen hosts culinary feast

KNOXVILLE, TN – On Saturday, August 5, 2017, the Mabry-Hazen House will cordially invite twenty guests into the historic home for an evening of eating, drinking, and learning. Partnering with Heartfire Culinary and Craft Accommodations, the Mabry-Hazen House will exhibit the tastes, ingredients, and culinary history of 1920s America. The dinner will immerse guests in the period as each course and beverage was inspired by culinary experiences typical of the 1920s.

Guests will dine in the historic dining room and parlor and enjoy a seven-course dinner prepared local chefs Amber Lloyd (former executive chef at The Orangery, RT Lodge, and Bistro by the Tracks) and Chris Cantrell of Heartfire Culinary as well as cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages mixed by mixologist Palmer Mason of Craft Accommodations. Before the dinner, Patrick Hollis of the Mabry-Hazen House will guide diners through the fascinating and nuanced culinary histories of the Hazens, Knoxvillians, and Americans during the “Roaring” Twenties.

Tickets are $180 per person. All proceeds benefit the Hazen Historical Museum Foundation. Tickets may be purchased in advance by visiting www.mabryhazen.com or call 865-522-8661 for more information. Event takes place rain or shine. Seating is limited and tickets are non-refundable.


Built in 1858, Mabry-Hazen House is strategically located on the highest hill east of downtown Knoxville with spacious views in all directions. The home was occupied and defended by both armies during the Civil War. It housed three generations of the same family for 130 years, and the museum showcases one of the largest original family collections in America. Your attendance will help support the museum’s mission to preserve and educate the public about an important part of East Tennessee history.

Please call 865-522- 8661 or visit www.mabryhazen.com for more information.

Lecture highlights radio history

(Knoxville, TN) For decades, Julian Burke has collected unique pieces of broadcasting equipment, including the original announcer microphones from WNOX, the legendary Knoxville radio station known as the “Cradle of Country Music.” In a Brown Bag Lecture on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, at noon, Burke will share early history and artifacts from WNOX’s studio.

The lecture is held in conjunction with the exhibition, Come to Make Records: Knoxville’s Contributions to American Popular Music, on display at the Museum of East Tennessee History through October 30. The exhibit examines the 1929 and 1930 Brunswick Records’ Vocalion label’s recordings that took place at the St. James Hotel in downtown Knoxville and invited locals to come make records. These old-time, jazz, blues, and gospel recordings added Knoxville’s voice to American popular music and inspired the next generation of country music stars. The exhibition features an array of artifacts, videos, sound recordings, and photographs showcasing East Tennessee’s diverse musical heritage and the importance of WNOX Radio.

Julian Burke is recognized locally as one of the foremost experts on old televisions and radios. He has been a lifelong lover of electronics and started collecting old radios by going door to door at age 7, and he hasn’t stopped since. By 13, he was repairing radios and televisions around Knoxville.

The program is sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, and is and free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available.

For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at www.EastTNHistory.org.

McClung displays mate to artifact

KNOXVILLE—A prehistoric Native American statue currently on display in the lobby of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture is thought to be the female counterpart to a male figure that was named the Tennessee State Artifact in 2014.

Sellars statue_Sellar Statue

The pair appears to have been made by the same sculptor between A.D. 1250 and 1350, and the two rank among the finest prehistoric sculptures ever found in the United States. Both statues were found in the 1930s at the Sellars farm in Wilson County, Tennessee, and they appeared together for the first time in the Tennessee State Museum’s recent “Ancestors” exhibition. Paired male and female statues are thought to represent founding ancestors of the prehistoric Native American societies of the middle South.

The male statue was sold to UT in 1940 by the tenant farmer. The figure has been featured in several scientific and popular publications, including a 1941 issue of “Time” magazine and as a United States postal stamp celebrating the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in 2004. It has been featured in various museums worldwide, including the 1992 exhibition “Tresors du Nouveau Monde” at the Musees Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire in Brussels, Belgium, and the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibit “Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand” in 2004 and 2005.

The female statue was sold by the Sellars family to Lillard Yeaman, sheriff of Smith County and an amateur archaeologist, and then to John C. Waggoner Jr. of Carthage, Tennessee. Waggoner has loaned the statue to UT, and the pair will be on display in the lobby of the McClung Museum through the end of the year.

Recognizing the importance of keeping the statue in Tennessee and reuniting it with its male counterpart, Waggoner has offered the museum a purchase option. To reach this end, the museum is now engaged in a fundraising effort.

Exhibits at the McClung Museum showcase the geologic, historical and artistic past of Tennessee, as well as cultures from around the globe.

The McClung Museum is at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1–5 p.m. Sundays.

Park Day at Mabry-Hazen

Knoxville – On Saturday, March 28, 2015, history buffs, community leaders and preservationists will team up with the Civil War Trust, History and Take Pride in America at more than 98 historic sites across the country to participate in the 18th annual Park Day.

Since its inception in 1996, Park Day has attracted volunteers of all ages and abilities bound by their dedication to serving their communities. In 2014, nearly 9,000 volunteers at 104 sites across the country donated more than 35,000 service hours. This year, organizers hope to build on these impressive figures.

Mabry-Hazen House will participate in Park Day on Saturday, March 28, 2015, from 9am to 2pm. Activities will include leaf and brush removal, mulching, and general spring-cleaning. Some tools will be provided, but volunteers are encouraged to bring rakes, pitchforks, tarps, and similar yard tools.


Mabry-Hazen House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Photo courtesy Calvin Chappelle.

Additional information about the event can be obtained by calling 865-522-8661.


Blount Mansion sponsors History Suppers

The Blount Mansion Association is pleased to present the first annual History Suppers Events for 2015. These events will feature historians and authors speaking about topics related to Blount Mansion and Knoxville’s history. Supper is included at these events and a cash bar will be available. Costs: $65 per person per event.

February 3, 2015 – 6pm
Belle Boyd, Confederate Spy
Location: Boyd’s Jig and Reel
101 S Central St, Knoxville, TN 37902

Belle Boyd, a spy for the Confederacy, stayed in Knoxville at the Blount Mansion with her relatives during the Civil War. Learn more about the woman, her life and times, and Knoxville during the Civil War at Boyd’s Jig and Reel in the Old City.

RSVP By January 30, 2015 – spaces are limited.

March 23, 2015-6 p.m.
John Bell Hood and the Civil War in Tennessee
Location: The Grill at Highland’s Row
4705 Old Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919

History Press, Inc. reviews the content of Knight’s Hood’s Tennessee Campaign by saying of the battles: “The Tennessee Campaign of November and December 1864 was the Southern Confederacy’s last significant offensive operation of the Civil War. General John Bell Hood of the Confederate Army of Tennessee attempted to capture Nashville, the final realistic chance for a battlefield victory against the Northern juggernaut. Hood’s former West Point instructor, Major General George Henry Thomas, led the Union force, fighting those who doubted him in his own army as well as Hood’s Confederates. Through the bloody, horrific battles at Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville and a freezing retreat to the Tennessee River, Hood ultimately failed. Civil War historian James R. Knight chronicles the Confederacy’s last real hope at victory and its bitter

Cost is $65 per person per event.

Please RSVP by calling Blount Mansion at (865) 525-2375.

Mabry Hazen hosts holiday tours

Knoxville’s Mabry-Hazen House invites the public to enjoy history and the holidays with a tour through the historic site. Rooms and other areas will be decorated by well known Knoxville decorators as well as volunteers and museum staff.


The event is free of charge and light refreshments will be served. Christmas Tours are scheduled for Saturday, December 13, 2014 from 5-8pm and Sunday, December 14, from 2-5pm.

Built in 1858, The Mabry-Hazen House is strategically located on the highest hill east of downtown Knoxville with spacious views in all directions. The home was occupied and defended by both armies during the Civil War. It housed three generations of the same family for 130 years; the museum showcases one of the largest original family collections in America.

Attendance and donations will help support the museum’s mission to preserve and educate the public about an important part of East Tennessee history.

For more information, call 865-522-8661.

Blount Mansion hosts holiday tours

Blount Mansion will host a colonial Christmas celebration and Open House on Friday, December 5, 2014, with candlelight tours of the mansion at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Enjoy Christmas traditions from the colonial period while enjoying demonstrations of what Christmas was like on the Tennessee frontier. Guests artists and crafts people will particularly enjoy a demonstration of colonial yarn spinning techniques while enjoying some snacks and warm drinks.


The Blount Mansion, also known as William Blount Mansion, is located at 200 West Hill Avenue in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, and was the home of the only territorial governor of the Southwest Territory, William Blount (1749–1800). Blount, also a signer of the United States Constitution and a U.S. Senator from Tennessee, lived on the property with his family and the mansion served as the headquarters of the Southwest Territory. In 1796, much of the Tennessee Constitution was drafted at the mansion.

Tennessee state historian John Trotwood Moore once called Blount Mansion “the most important historical spot in Tennessee.”

Suggested donation for the Open House, which will be used to help preserve the mansion, is $5.

For more information call (865) 525-2375.

Old Gray lantern tour celebrates history

Part history, part theater, and all fundraiser, the annual Lantern and Carriage Tour at Old Gray Cemetery takes place on Sunday, September 28, 2014, from 4 – 7PM (rain or shine).

This event is an afternoon of food, fun, carriage rides, and some amazing stories of adversity and accomplishment told by historical reenactors throughout the cemetery during the tour.


This year’s Old Gray Cemetery Lantern Tour takes place from 4-7 p.m., September 28, 2014, rain or shine. Photo by CelebrateKnoxville.com.

In addition, the site is now a Tennessee Urban Forestry Council arboretum. Marble stones, made possible by The Akima Club and Knoxville Garden Club, identify botanical and common names of over forty trees.

As you tour the facility and grounds, you’ll be met by historical characters (actresses, novelists, businessmen, soldiers, politicians, more) that would love to share their story with you.

Parking for this event will be across the street at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Emory Park Place and neighbor parking lots.

Entrance ticket: $ 10.00 for adults and $ 5.00 for students. Carriage ride additional fee $5.00. No Reservations Required.

The cemetery is located at 543 North Broadway, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Knoxville celebrates history fair

The 2014 East Tennessee History Fair will celebrate the region’s history with reenactments, activities, and tours, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, August 16, 2014, in downtown Knoxville – Market Square & Krutch Park, Clinch & Gay Streets.


Presented by the East Tennessee Historical Society, along with dozens of businesses, historical organizations, museums, musicians, and individuals from across the region, the East Tennessee History Fair features fun and educational activities highlighting the people, places, stories, and events that comprise the shared history of our 35-county region. File photo by CelebrateKnoxville.com.

Special highlights include: Free admission to the Museum of East Tennessee History, WDVX and Clayton Country Music Stage, living History Timeline—Cherokee to Vietnam War, and dozens of historical and genealogical societies representing county, regional, and state organizations. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 865-215-8824.