The Scruffy City Tour Travels through Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The “Scruffy City Tour” brings history from the 1880s to the 1920s to life in Knoxville, Tenn. Find out why Knoxville was considered the “Scruffy City” through stories, historic site visits and more.

Participants stroll down historic Gay Street with its vintage street lights and art deco theaters like the Tennessee Theatre, where the movie “Thunder Road” premiered. Visit a 1920s general store complete with penny candy, farmers’ almanacs, and creaky wood floors.

Cross the railroad tracks for a tour of the Old City or what was known as the Bowery, home to the scruffy city’s opium dens, bordello and rag-tag saloons. Dine and shop at the historic market square, Knoxville’s original farmers market.

This area is also home to many country music stars where Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff, Tennessee Ernie Ford and many others got their start. See where Hank Williams Sr. spent the last night of his life.

Knoxville is also full of history and Civil War history is shared as participants travel down Kingston Pike, once the dividing line between the Union and Confederate forces. See the antebellum homes once used by soldiers in the war.

Visit World’s Fair Park, home to the 1982 World’s Fair. Hear stories about the fair and see the view from the Sunsphere.

For an additional price, visitors can visit the John Sevier Home, East Tennessee History Center, Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend, Grey Cemetery, or James White Fort and more.

For more information, call Lora Stormes at 800-782-1061.

Need more info?

Cindy Dupree

Director of Public Relations
cindy.dupree@tn.gov
615) 741-9010