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Boyds’ Island from Holston Hills Park

3300 Holston Hills Rd
Knoxville, TN 37915

3300 Holston Hills Rd
Knoxville, TN 37915
Region: Downtown

Going East on Riverside Drive, a right turn on Holston Hills Road provides a good view of Boyds' Island. One of Knox County's biggest river islands, it's almost a mile long -- large enough to be farmed and, for a time about a century ago, to serve as a landing strip for early biplanes as early as 1911. The family for whom it was named included Capt. James Stephenson Boyd, a settler from Virginia and sometime Knoxville alderman who was involved in both steamboats and sawmills before the Civil War. The best-remembered Boyd, however, was his daughter, Pattie Boyd (1867-1947), Knoxville's first career newspaperwoman. Beginning as a teenager in 1885, Pattie submitted short features to the old Knoxville Journal. Because women weren't even allowed in the Gay Street newsroom, she wrote her popular stories in longhand at her home near here and submitted them by way of a male family servant. Pattie kept writing for more than half a century, finally gaining admittance to the newspaper offices. At the time of her retirement in 1935, she was reported to be the longest-serving newspaperwoman in America.