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Tennessee's First Lady to Help Celebrate Knoxville's 220th Birthday

KNOXVILLE -- To celebrate Tennessee's 220th birthday, the Historic Homes of Knoxville is hosting a luncheon with Tennessee's First Lady Crissy Haslam as its featured speaker. The public is invited to attend the celebration which will be on Monday, October 17, 2011, from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at The Foundry.

Key leaders in Knoxville will help celebrate the event which will promote the city and its historic structures, including Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend House & Gardens, Historic Ramsey House, James White's Fort, Mabry-Hazen House and Marble Springs State Historic Site.

blount mansion
Blount Mansion
crescent bend
Crescent Bend House & Gardens
ramsey house plantation
Ramsey House Plantation
james white fort
James White Fort
mabry hazen house
Mabry-Hazen House
marblel springs
Marble Springs State Historic Site

"Knoxville and the State of Tennessee owe their existence to the events that took place within these historic landmarks and the people who built them," says Arts & Culture Alliance Executive Director Liza Zenni. "We are very fortunate that they have been preserved. The funds raised through this event will help ensure that they continue to give our city its unique sense of place and history."

The Historic Homes of Knoxville are uniformly significant in Tennessee's accession as the 16th state in 1796. Apart from the paramount importance of their preservation, each house museum offers events and educational opportunities that benefit the community at large.

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.

Each of these historic homes is a chapter of history unto itself. Together they exemplify and celebrate the continuing pioneering spirit that created Knoxville 220 years ago.

WBIR's Robin Whilhoit will perform the duties of Mistress of Ceremonies. Tickets are $50 per person or ($400 for a table of eight). Tickets can be purchased through or by calling 865-523-7521. You can also RSVP to the Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville at 865-523-7543 by Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011.

Published September 22, 2011

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