As an Official Activity of the Dogwood Arts Festival and in celebration of the wonders of springtime and the rich heritage that is represented in the many public house museums located within and around Knoxville, two three-hour bus tours will be offered on Saturday, April 27. The two tours will be divided into a morning and afternoon tour.
Each tour will have bus step-on tour guides who will discuss additional points of interest and history as well as highlight historic landmarks in and around Knoxville. The tour will stop at each historic home on the route so that guests may tour the historic homes, grounds, and gardens.
The Morning Tour, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Begins at James White’s Fort and includes visits to Historic Ramsey House and Marble Springs Historic Farmstead.
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.
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.
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.
The Afternoon Tour, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Begins at Blount Mansion and includes visits to The Mabry-Hazen House and Crescent Bend House & Gardens.
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.
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 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.
Free parking is available at both James White’s Fort for the morning tour and Blount Mansion for the afternoon tour. Seating is limited and reservations are required. The cost is $20 per person per tour.
To purchase tickets or for additional information about the tour or the Historic Homes of Knoxville, please call 865-523-7521 or go online to www.KnoxTIX.com.
The Historic Homes 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
Historic Crescent Bend House & Gardens