Wilder House

Region: Downtown
2027 Riverside Drive
Knoxville, TN 37915

Details

About

Dating to 1904, the frame house is a onetime home of Gen. John T. Wilder (1830-1917). The Union commander and his famous "Lightning Brigade" were prominent in several Tennessee battles in the Civil War, but his postwar career was just as remarkable. Originally from upstate New York, Wilder settled in the Midwest, but during the war, he made strong connections in East Tennessee and created several careers here. Wilder established one of the South's first blast furnaces in Roane County and in so doing co-founded the town of Rockwood. In 1871, he was elected mayor of Chattanooga. He also lived for a time in Johnson City while working on building an industrial railroad. In 1897, at age 67, Wilder settled in Knoxville where he had been posted as a pension agent. He became an important supporter of the public library and was involved in the establishment of the Union monument at National Cemetery. Because he lived in Fort Sanders during hit most influential years in Knoxville, some researchers have proposed this house was a summer cottage. However, the year it was believed to be built, Wilder left Fort Sanders and began listing his main address as Boyd's Bridge Pike, likely a common term for this part of Riverside.