Knoxville, TN – The Historic Homes of Knoxville are pleased to invite the public to a luncheon on Thursday, October 1, 2015, at 11:30 AM at The Foundry to celebrate the founding of the City of Knoxville 224 years ago. Tennessee Department of Tourist Development commissioner Kevin Triplett will be the featured speaker. Knoxville's key leaders will come together to celebrate and promote the city and its most precious properties, including Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend House & Gardens, Historic Ramsey House, James White’s Fort, Mabry-Hazen House, Marble Springs State Historic Site, and Historic Westwood. Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the Historic Homes. Purchase tickets through www.KnoxTIX.com or by calling 865-523-7543 by September 24.
Kevin Triplett, was appointed to Gov. Bill Haslam's cabinet as commissioner of the Department of Tourist Development in March of 2015. Triplett, 49, was most recently vice president of public affairs for Bristol Motor Speedway. Prior to joining BMS in 2005, he worked in various roles for NASCAR, ultimately serving as managing director of business operations, guiding the operation and administration of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, and Camping World Truck Series. He has twice been named one of NASCAR’s “25 Most Influential” by The Charlotte Observer.
From 1992 until 1994, Triplett represented General Motors Parts (GM Goodwrench and AC Delco) in NASCAR, specifically Richard Childress Racing and Ken Schrader Racing and their drivers, including Dale Earnhardt. Prior to his NASCAR tenure, he covered sports for the Bristol Herald Courier and The Gaston Gazette in North Carolina.
He is a graduate of East Tennessee State University and has served on the boards of a number of community organizations including Birthplace of Country Music, Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rotary Club of Bristol, ETSU at Bristol Advisory Council, Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, and the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Also a farmer, Triplett is a member of the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association.
The Historic Homes of Knoxvilleare uniformly significant in Tennessee’s accession as the 16th state in 1796. Apart from the paramount importance of their preservation, each house museum offers regular tours, events, and educational opportunities that benefit the community at large. For more information on the Historic Homes of Knoxville, visitwww.hhknoxville.org.
Built in 1786, James White’s Fort was home to the founder of Knoxville. More than 10,000 visitors tour the Fort each year to 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 for grades 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 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 the notable Baumann Brothers architects, 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 224 years ago.
The luncheon will be held on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 12:00 PM at The Foundry, 747 World’s Fair Park Drive in downtown Knoxville. Guests may enjoy a meet & greet with Commissioner Triplett at 11:30 AM, with the program and luncheon beginning at 12:00 PM. Visit Knoxville’s Kim Bumpas will introduce the main speaker. Advance single tickets are $50; a table of ten is $500. Purchase tickets through www.KnoxTIX.com or by calling 865-523-7543. Advance reservations are requested by September 24.
About the Historic Homes of Knoxville
The Historic Homes of Knoxville is a partnership that shares resources and participates in joint marketing to present the history, culture, and heritage of Knoxville and East Tennessee: www.hhknoxville.org.
About the Arts & Culture Alliance
The Arts & Culture Alliance serves and supports a diverse community of artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions. The Alliance receives financial support from the Tennessee Arts Commission (www.tn.gov/arts).
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