"City with old history" Top 5 Page for this destination Knoxville by OlenaKyiv

Knoxville Travel Guide: 122 reviews and 237 photos

Knoxville is the largest city in East Tennessee and ranks third statewide with its metropolitan population of 704,000.
It is located in a broad valley between the Cumberland Mountains to the northwest and the Great Smoky Mountains to the southeast. These two mountain provide a moderate, four-season climate, with average monthly temperatures ranging from 38 degrees in January to 78 degrees in July.
The City of Knoxville comprises 101 square miles of the 526-square mile total for Knox County. Downtown Knoxville is 936 feet above sea level.

Some historical facts

Before European settlement, the valley was the hunting grounds of the Cherokee Indians. James White, the founder of Knoxville, established his home here in 1786 as a fort and cluster of cabins.
The complex includes White’s original house as well as a restored stockade, loom house, smokehouse and blacksmith shop. The home, originally only two rooms, housed seven children and two adults.

“The walls surrounding the buildings here weren’t so much to keep the Native Americans out,” says McGinnis. “They were there to keep out the wild animals—panthers, bears and wild cats.” Domesticated animals stayed inside the fort area, as did visitors. “We know that on at least two occasions there were 35 to 40 guests,” says McGinnis (executive director of the James White Fort), who also points out that a fire burned in the house 365 days a year no matter the weather, and that the smells from the animals in the muddy courtyard could be fierce. “With the dogs, the cats and the chickens running around while they’re making lye soap and cooking over an open fire, it was anything but the good old days,” McGinnis says with a laugh.

By 1791, the community was renamed, after President Washington's War Secretary, Henry Knox, Knoxville and enjoyed status as capital of the Southwest Territory.

By 1794, the town was home to Blount College, known today as the University of Tennessee.

In the 1800s, Knoxville took advantage of its river access, railroad connections, and geographical location to become one of the leading distributing centers in the south. These same assets would make Knoxville a prize to be fought for during the American Civil War. Like the rest of the state, Knoxville was divided between the blue and the gray.

Eighty years after the Civil War ended, the Knoxville area again played an important role in a war. The U.S. had just entered World War II and government officials were fearful that the discovery of uranium fission by the Germans might enable them to create a super bomb. To counteract this, the U.S. launched the Manhattan Project, a top secret and high priority effort to create two atomic weapons.
A pilot plant was built in nearby Clinton, a rural area chosen for its isolation. The reactor was built in nine months by men working close to 24 hours a day. By March 1944, chemists had produced a few grams of plutonium—the first ever. This led to the development of the atomic bomb, which brought about an early end to World War II.

Information was used from City of Knoxville - History and NWA World Traveller Magazine

Even though Knoxville is the largest city in East Tennessee, it will be small for me always. The atmosphere of this city gives the feeling of quietness. Old buildings amaze me with its gorgeous pose; modern “skyscrapers” just add some feelings of present time. The narrow streets of downtown make feel like I am at home protected from all dangerous events. At the same time outside the downtown the life of XXI century live in its chaos.

Many people call Knoxville as University City or City of Students. The campuses of University of Tennessee (UT) occupy almost the most part of Knoxville downtown. During the semester’s time you will see many young people with their back packs walking to their campuses, sitting on the street with their books, talking and laughing. Many of them locate themselves in cafes and fast food restaurants which are plenty of in that area.

To my mind Knoxville is unique with its educational centers for people for whom English is not their native language in comparison to other cities and even states because not every where you can find such good program for immigrants and students which help them to adjust to the life in the USA and to study language. I know many people who live in the States for a couple of years, but they still don’t speak English sufficiently. As one of the ESL students I enjoy these lessons, because you can meet people from many other countries, teachers-volunteer are wonderful and they try to do the best for their students. We are really happy to be their students and we appreciate their work!

The centers of ESL classes which I know:

Christ Chapel
1538 Highland Avenue

Cokesbury Center
9915 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922

Pellissippi Campus, Pellissippi State Technical Community College
10915 Hardin Valley Road
Room 330, Educational Reesources Center
(865) 539-7109

  • Intro Updated May 14, 2004
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