Knoxville, Tenn. – June 1, 2014 marks the 218th anniversary of Tennessee’s admission as the 16th state in the union. East Tennessee’s most important cultural heritage sites are partnering to celebrate Statehood Day on Saturdays, May 24 and May 31 as well as Sunday, June 1. The sites include places of historical significance in the exciting journey from the creation of our country to the founding of our state. The Historic Homes of Knoxville include: Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend, James White’s Fort, Mabry-Hazen House, Marble Springs, Ramsey House, and Westwood. Each site will have individual ways of celebrating the birth of Tennessee; these are free museum days to the public.
Crescent Bend House & Gardens (Saturday, May 24, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
One of the Southeast’s finest house museums and gardens. Built in 1834 by Drury Paine Armstrong, Crescent Bend was once a 900-acre working farm and so named for its prominent setting overlooking a majestic crescent bend in the Tennessee River just west of downtown Knoxville.
2728 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919. Information: 865-637-3163, www.crescentbend.com
Ramsey House (Saturday, May 24, 12:00-2:00 PM)
Built in 1797 by Knoxville’s first builder, Thomas Hope, for Francis Alexander Ramsey, one of Knoxville’s first settlers. 2614 Thorngrove Pike, Knoxville, TN 37914. Information: 865-546-0745, www.ramseyhouse.org
Marble Springs (Saturday, May 24, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sunday, May 25, 12:00-5:00 PM)
Home of John Sevier (1745-1815), Tennessee’s first governor and Revolutionary War hero. Marble Springs State Historic Site will commemorate this occasion with a weekend of Living History. Walk amongst Living History interpreters in 18th Century clothing portraying life on the frontier, encampments, and more. Children’s activities include falling into a militia drill and playing with period toys. Blacksmithing, weaving, and open hearth cooking will be demonstrated all weekend. Food will be available for purchase. Donations are appreciated.
1220 West Gov. John Sevier Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920. Information: 865-573-5508, www.marblesprings.net
Westwood (Saturday, May 24, 1:00-4:00 PM)
Built as a “wedding promise” in 1890 by John Edwin Lutz and his wife, Ann Adelia Armstrong Lutz, on property owned by her grandfather, Drury P. Armstrong. The highlight and most significant component of Westwood is the studio which was designed by Ann Adelia Armstrong Lutz, an accomplished artist. Today Historic Westwood is home to Knox Heritage and the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance. Parking available at Laurel Church of Christ.
425 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919. Information: 865-523-8008, www.historicwestwood.org
Blount Mansion (Saturday, May 31, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM)
Construction on Blount Mansion began in 1792. The restored mansion was open for tours in 1930, making it the oldest museum in Knox County. Commemorate the creation of the state of Tennessee and celebrate the pioneers who settled and transformed the southwest territory into the vibrant state of Tennessee.
200 W. Hill Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902. Information: 865-525-2375, www.blountmansion.org
James White’s Fort (Saturday, May 31, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
Built in 1786, James White’s Fort was home to the founder of Knoxville. More than 10,000 visitors tour the Fort each year and experience the frontier lifestyle through hands-on interpretations. Celebrate at James White’s Fort and learn about open hearth cooking and blacksmithing. Donations will be gladly accepted.
205 E. Hill Ave, Knoxville, TN 37915. Information: 865-525-6514, www.jameswhitefort.org
Mabry-Hazen House (Saturday, May 31, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
Celebrate Tennessee Statehood Day and Confederate Decoration Day! Confederate Decoration Day starts at 11:00 AM at Bethel Confederate Cemetery, and shuttles will be available beginning at 10:00 AM at the Mabry-Hazen parking lot. Heritage groups including the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy will gather at the Bethel Cemetery to honor over 1,600 Confederate soldiers who are interred at this historic site. Speakers will be present to offer perspectives relating to the Civil War and the role of the Confederate soldier. In addition, tours of the newly opened Bethel Cemetery Civil War Museum will be offered. Parking will be located at the Mabry-Hazen House and buses will shuttle visitors down the road to the cemetery. 1711 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville, TN, 37915. Information: 865-522-8661, www.mabryhazen.com
In addition to the Historic Homes of Knoxville, Sequoyah Birthplace Museum and Crockett Tavern Museum will also host Statehood Day events.
Crocket Tavern Museum (Saturday, May 31, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
The Museum was built on the site of the boyhood home of Davy Crockett. It is a reconstruction of the 1790's John Crockett Tavern.
2002 Morningside Drive, Morristown, TN 37814. Information: 423-587-9900, www.crocketttavernmuseum.org
Sequoyah Birthplace Museum (Sunday, June 1, 12:00-5:00 PM)
The mission of the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum (Vonore), a property of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of the Cherokee Indians in Eastern Tennessee, particularly the life and contributions of Sequoyah. The Museum will collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit objects and data that support this mission. Free admission; blacksmith shop will be open. Genealogy workshops and storytelling in the afternoon.
576 HWY 360, Vonore, TN 37885. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9AM-5PM, Sunday, 12-5PM. Information: 423-884-6246, www.sequoyahmuseum.org
**Attached images: James White’s Fort, Marble Springs
About the Historic Homes of Knoxville
The Historic House Museums of Knoxville is a partnership that shares resources from each historic site in presenting the history, culture, and heritage of Knoxville and East Tennessee: www.hhknoxville.org