Chilhowee Park Seeking, Displaying Historic Photos

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Chilhowee Park Seeking, Displaying Historic Photos

Posted: 03/22/2016
Photos of Chilhowee ParkChilhowee Park and Exposition Center is relishing the East Knoxville gathering spot’s unique history – and facility managers are seeking the community’s help.

Dozens of historical photos are being collected and displayed in the Jacob Building. The City of Knoxville and Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center staff are asking for and accepting historical photos from the public, as well as printing photos from the Thompson Photograph Collection and the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection of the Knox County Public Library System.

“There’s a lot of history in this park,” said Greg Mackay, Director of Public Assembly Facilities. “We just wanted the community to be able to not only see it, but contribute to the collection.”

Photos obtained for the collection so far date back to 1913, just three years after Chilhowee Park first housed the Appalachian Exposition. In one 1913 photo, the Chilhowee Park Bandstand, the only original building from 1910 that remains today, is featured. The bandstand is the only familiar structure in the photos, as most of today’s Chilhowee venue was under water at the time – just one of the many changes the photo display illustrates.

Also featured as part of the collection is a dramatic photo capturing a moment in 1938 when the Liberal Arts Building – located where the Jacob Building now sits – was destroyed in a fire.

Anyone who would like to contribute to the collection can donate his or her photo to be displayed permanently, or a copy can be made and the photo returned. Email Mackay at gmackay@knoxvilletn.gov with inquiries about contributions.

Meanwhile, here’s a video, in which Mackay talks about the photo initiative and Chilhowee’s unique history.