Library is seeking stories of Bearden History

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Library is seeking stories of Bearden History

Posted: 07/07/2009
Knox County Public Library has recently renamed the West Knoxville Branch Library on Golf Club Road as the Bearden Branch Library. In celebration, the Library will install a permanent exhibit of the history of the Bearden area. Working in conjunction with the East Tennessee Historical Society, they are soliciting stories, maps, photographs, and/or documents about the area in order to create a permanent exhibit for the newly named Bearden Branch Library, which remains the Bea De Selm Building.

The Library is hosting two sessions for gathering stories and oral histories of the area on July 20 from 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. and again on July 21 from 10 a.m. - noon. The sessions will be held in the meeting room of the Bearden Branch Library. The public is invited to share their understanding of the history of the region or just listen to those sharing stories. Terry Faulkner, unofficial Bearden historian, will be leading the sessions.

The permanent exhibit will be installed in early fall in the branch library's community meeting room. A heritage day is being planned to celebrate the area, which was first settled by a wealthy Irish planter named Jimmy Miller in the late 1700's. He named the area "Erin" after his homeland. It was not until 1883 that the area was named Bearden in honor of Marcus D. Lafayette Bearden who served in many capacities including mayor, state legislator and sheriff. The exhibit will explore the origins of the best known names of the area including Lyons, Lonas, Reynolds, and Bearden as well as early industry, antebellum structures, watersheds, Eastern State, and the surprising route of Old Kingston Pike.

For more information, please contact Mary Pom Claiborne at (865) 215-8767 or by email at