Rev. Renee Kesler will be our guest speaker at our next Maple Hall , to catch us up on one of the most fascinating historical projects in town, the Delaney Museum. The executive director of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center was scheduled to be our speaker at Maple Hall in March, 2020, but you know what happened that month. She was the first of about 100 public programs we had to cancel. She’s agreed to come back on another, probably hotter, evening 17 dramatic months later, to show us images of one of Beck’s most ambitious projects ever.
The Beck Center has been located at 1927 Dandridge Ave. ever since its founding, almost half a century ago; there, last year, they hosted a very well-attended production of ShadowLight, by Marble City Opera, a modern opera based on the tortured life of Beauford Delaney, that got some national attention. As fate has it, the only house still standing that is associated with the prolifically artistic Delaney family, especially known for artists Beauford and Joseph Delaney, is immediately next door. It was actually the longtime home of their brother and niece, but both artists are known to have stayed in the capacious house; Beauford stayed there on his last visit home, in 1969-70. Led by Beck and its supporters, it will be a local museum devoted to the Delaneys and their legacy.
This is a free event with food and beverages available for purchase. Please note, the second Tuesday in the month is KHP’s new regular slot at Maple Hall.
People have enjoyed our pandemic-era Zooms so much, we’re bringing them back, on a monthly basis–to see if people keep tuning in. On Aug. 19, we’ll focus on some dramatic and little-known events in the turning-point year of 1921. Knoxville was never the same afterward. That’s all we’ll say for now, but more detail to come, so be sure to check in on this page for updates.
Join us for a special tour of the 1928 Tennessee Theatre led by KHP’s Jack Neely, author of the big coffee table book, The Tennessee Theatre: A Grand Entertainment Palace. (Sales from purchases of the book support the Tennessee Theatre).
Jack will share a lively history of the theater from the days when Fanny Brice and Tom Mix and Glenn Miller and a few hundred different vaudeville troupes put on big shows here–to the “world premiere” era of the 1950s and later–to its current era as a modern performing-arts venue featuring a global array of performers like Chet Atkins (who gave his last-ever performance here), Esperanza Spalding, Bob Dylan, St. Vincent, composer Philip Glass, and other notable performers who sometimes get international attention for what they do in this big, gorgeous room.
This is a ticketed event, with proceeds to help fund the Knoxville History Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For information about the Tennessee Theatre’s guidelines relating to COVID-19 please see here: https://www.tennesseetheatre.com/visit/covid19/
Storyteller Laura Still helps you live the stories of pioneers, soldiers, outlaws, and even fictional characters who walked these streets before you. Learn more about Laura and her story on our Knoxville Walking Tours Page.
Knoxville has a rich history full of colorful characters and famous, and infamous, figures whose lives have been the inspiration for books, movies, and works of art. Take a stroll through history in beautiful downtown Knoxville while listening to true tales of the heroes, heels, and hardened criminals that are part of the hidden lore of this unique East Tennessee town. A portion of ticket proceeds are donated to KHP.
Rather than the usual schedule of tours, we’re keeping things safe by doing private tours with one group at a time. You pick the tour and time — subject to availability. Ghost tour in broad daylight? Yes! (though it won’t be as spooky)
Masks are required. Bring your own or we can set you up. Your guide carries extras along with ear savers for your comfort.
We’ve reduced our minimum group size to 3 adult tickets / $60 so you don’t need a big group. For couples, that means paying $10 extra per ticket, but you get Laura’s undivided attention and you can ask her anything about Knoxville and its history. She never runs out of fascinating stories!
To book, just give us a call at (865)309-4522
New! – Side Street Shadows Ghost Tour
Hear more tales of ghostly history as you follow storyteller Laura Still on the Side Street Shadows tour. Find out who haunts the Farragut, how a gunfight on Cumberland nearly started a war, and where you might meet the courteous spirit of a scholar or the grumpy ghost of a violent rebel. Details & Tickets
Shadow Side Ghost Tour
Brave souls who enjoy a chill can join us for a trip into Knoxville’s shadow side. The city’s history of blood-stained streets echoing with gunfire is full of restless spirits. Visit their haunts and hear local legends of ghostly apparitions. Details & Tickets
Shadow Side 2: Ghosts of the Old City
Red Summer, drunken brawls, hot lead, and blood on the tracks. Knoxville’s Old City used to be known as the bowery, where victims of murderous brawls, dealdly shoot-outs, and horrific train crashes haunt the old buildings and back alleys along with the ghost of a musician who hasn’t quite faded away. Details & Ticket
Walk the streets of a city torn in two by divided loyalties and then get an overview of the fighting from the observation deck of the Sunsphere. Spies, bridge burners, miracle shots, betrayal, and battle. Details & Tickets
Family feuds and wanted outlaws. You’ll relive the days when Knoxville was the wild west and Gay Street was the OK Corral. Details & Tickets
Step back over two centuries and visit Knoxville’s founders as you listen to the stories of the settlement of White’s Fort and establishment of the capital of the Southwest Territory at the headwaters of the Tennessee. Details & Tickets
The Knoxville story has always been set to music, from the time when the poetic rhythms of the native Cherokee tribes still echoed in the hills and the ballads of the Scots-Irish settlers were sung around campfires on the riverbanks. Immigrants from all over the world brought new instruments and tunes to enliven the song and make Knoxville home to musicians of every genre. Details & Tickets
Home of Cormac McCarthy, Nikki Giovanni, James Agee, and more. You’ll visit the scenes that inspired them and walk in the footsteps of their characters. Details & Tickets
The Civil War in Knoxville
It’s been over 150 years since the battle of Knoxville, one of the most sharply divided cities during the civil war. Occupied by both sides with recruiting offices set up on Gay Street on the same day, Knoxville was home to spies, street fights, and family feuds that outlasted the war. Visit the downtown sites and then get an overview of the battles and fortifications from the observation deck of the Sunsphere. Details & Tickets
Knoxville Botanical Gardens
Ten years before Tennessee became a state, David Wessels Howell planted an orchard and garden on land where the Cherokee still roamed. This was the beginning of a family business that would span two centuries, from the frontier days through the Civil War and the industrial age to modern times. Now the Howell family’s legacy has been preserved as a public garden spanning 47 acres, with walking trails and hand-laid stone walls that cross through sunny meadows and leafy glades among an astonishing variety of trees and plants. Come walk with us and hear its stories and secrets. Details & Tickets
Old Gray Cemetery
Just north of downtown Knoxville, Old Gray Cemetery is a little-known historic jewel. Founded in 1850 as part of the rural park cemetery movement, it became a popular destination for carriage rides and picnics in its early days. Join us for a guided tour of notable interments and hear stories of statesmen, soldiers, scholars, and spirits. Details & Tickets