Knoxville, TN – The Historic Homes of Knoxville were honored by the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) at the 2015 TAM Annual Conference held in Jackson, TN on March 18. The homes received an Award of Excellence for their collaborative brochure which provides information on each of the seven historic sites with beautiful color images. The brochures are available at each of the seven sites and at the Knoxville Visitors Center. The Historic Homes were selected for this honor by a committee of museum professionals and TAM board members who evaluated nominees against museums of comparable budgets.
The Historic Homes of Knoxville is a successful partnership between seven historic homes that offer guided tours throughout the year. The seven historic homes are Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend House & Gardens, Historic Ramsey House, James White’s Fort, Mabry-Hazen House, Marble Springs State Historic Site, and Historic Westwood. Each house museum offers events and educational opportunities that benefit the community at large. The sites partner to promote special events including Statehood Day and Founders Day.
Historic Ramsey House was also honored by the Tennessee Association of Museums with an Award of Excellence for the "Historic Ramsey House-Knoxville Holstons VBBC-Three Rivers Rambler Partnership".
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 interpretation of Open Hearth Cooking, Blacksmithing and Spinning.
Marble Springs was the home of John Sevier (1745-1815), Tennessee’s first governor and Revolutionary War hero. The site is a destination for over 2,000 school children and hosts a variety of hands-on workshops and Living History events that give visitors a glimpse into late 18th- and early 19th-century life.
Construction on Blount Mansion began in 1792, making it the oldest museum in Knox County. As the birthplace of the state of Tennessee, the site offers educational visits from K-5, and all lesson plans follow the Tennessee State Curriculum. Blount Mansion also hosts field trips for homeschool groups.
Historic Ramsey House was built in 1797 by Knoxville's first builder, Thomas Hope, for Francis Alexander Ramsey, one of Knoxville’s first settlers. Ramsey House’s educational programs all incorporate social studies, science, and math, and adhere to state education standards. The programs allow visitors to see and experience how people lived in the 1800’s.
Historic Crescent Bend House & Gardens is 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. Offering museum and garden tours, Crescent Bend also serves as a popular venue for special events.
Built in 1858 and housing three generations of the same family from 1858-1987, the Mabry-Hazen House served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. Mabry-Hazen offers private tours to individuals and schools, and contains the original family collection of over 5,000 family heirlooms. In addition, the museum oversees the Bethel Cemetery, the resting place for more than 1,600 Confederate Soldiers. The cemetery also contains a small museum built in the caretaker's cottage dating from 1886.
Historic Westwood was built as a “wedding promise” in 1890 by John E. Lutz and his wife, Adelia Armstrong Lutz and it remained in the family for 123 years. The Lutzes’ home, designed by notable architects Baumann Brothers, is constructed of brick and stone in the grand style of the late 19th century and contains the stunning artist studio built for Adelia, Tennessee’s first professional female painter. The home opened as Knox Heritage’s Regional Center for Historic Preservation in the spring of 2014.
Each of these historic homes is a chapter of history unto itself. Together they exemplify and celebrate the continuing pioneering spirit that created Knoxville 223 years ago.
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