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A Change of Address

We've Moved!


Oh the times are a changin'! The mood to update the blog has struck, so along with a new look comes a new web address. That's right folks, no more pesky "blogspot.com" to type when you come looking for your Knoxville history fix. The new URL is simply

www.KnoxvilleLostandFound.com

The old address will still get you here and to the archived entries.

*the above photo is a glimpse into what's coming in the next installment!
Recent posts

The 300 Block of Gay Street, West Side - The Gaps of Gay Street Part 5

Looky here, looky here! It's the return of Knoxville Lost and Found! My apologies for the long delay, readers, but your humble history blogger has been very busy in the new dad department. When we had our first child over two years ago, the blog slowed down. When we had our second, it ground to a halt. But Knoxville, you need to know your history so I have returned to take us to the surface parking and empty lots of the city. We're going back in the time machine to look at the lost buildings of Knoxville past starting with the fifth installment of the "Gaps of Gay Street."

To recap, we started in the giant hole next to Mast General Store, here. We followed up, just to the north of the Century Building here. Next, we crossed Summit Hill to the Cradle of Country Music Park and discussed the long gone 200 block here. And last time, last year, we crossed Gay Street to start moving south and looked at the west side of the 200 block here. This time we have walked a little …

The 200 Block of Gay Street, West Side - The Gaps of Gay Street Part 4

For our forth installment of the "Gaps of Gay Street", and a follow-up to the 200 Block East side, we'll cross Gay Street to the west side. Much like the east side, the west side would not really begin to develop until the late 1880's. Unlike the east side, the west side buildings were much smaller and housed smaller concerns like clothing stores and shoe shops. What is perhaps the most interesting building on the block belonged to this man: Cal Johnson.






 Cal Johnson was born in 1844 into slavery for the McClung family. His mother was owned by Charles McClung and his father by Hugh Lawson McClung. After the civil war, however, Mr. Johnson went on to become one of the wealthiest men in the city and one of the wealthiest former slaves in the nation. He was a successful business man, best covered by Jack Neely in this article here. His first pursuits were in the saloon business. He purchased his first saloon, The Poplar Log, at the corner of Central and Vine in the 189…

Christmas Past

The 200 Block of Gay Street, East Side - The Gaps of Gay Street Part 3

Once upon a time, in a place called Knoxville, a passenger arrived at the Southern Railroad station. The passenger wasn't carrying much luggage, just a small case. Given that he had no heavy burden, he thought, "what the hay, I'll just walk to the Andrew Johnson." He walked the nine blocks passing clothing shops, banks, restaurants, movie theaters, soda fountains, and druggists. He found a real city, an unbroken canyon of commerce all the way from the train rails to the railings on the Gay Street Bridge. There was so much hustle and bustle that there wasn't an open space between store fronts, not a parking lot or un-visited "park" in sight. And that, readers, is what Gay Street used to be like.

So what happened, you might ask. Well readers, the 1970's happened, 1974-75 in particular. I haven't done the math, but I would be willing to wager that downtown proper lost more buildings between 1973-1976 than at any other time in its history. In those …