KnoxvilleJim Ford’s Knoxville, TN listing of the month
It wasn’t all that long ago that Knoxville’s downtown areawas something of a ghost town after business hours. One could have walked down West Church Avenue on a Saturday afternoon and felt like Will Smith’s abandoned character in “I Am Legend” (filmed in downtown Knoxville, TN, naturally).
That’s no longer the case. The past few years have seen a myriad of development in Knoxville’s downtown area. Consequently this neighborhood is thriving. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that goes on here anymore.
BeardenJim Ford’s Bearden, TN listing of the month
According to local Knoxville legend, the part of town now known as Beardengot its name from a bear den that early pioneers stumbled across in the area. Apparently somewhere along the way someone got pretty drunk, because they started pronouncing it “BEER-den” instead of “BARE-den.”
Bearden gets its name from Marcus DeLafayette Bearden, a former Knoxville mayor and Union veteran. Bearden also went on to help found Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, which lies on Bearden’s south side. Bearden (the man) should not be mistaken for his cousin Marcus DeLafayette Bearden (yes, they had the exact same name). The second Bearden (the man) was a railroad investor and steamboat captain who was also part-owner of a paper mill on what is now Papermill Road in Bearden (the town).
FarragutJim Ford’s Farragut, TN listing of the month
If you ever go to a FarragutHigh School football game, you may hear the opposing team taunt the Admirals with chants of “Farragutless.” (Yes, this is the best they can come up with.)
It’s a decent slogan and has the necessary rhythm that a football cheer needs. It isn’t all that accurate though.
The town of Farragut is named after Adm. David Glasgow Farragut. Born in 1801 at Lowe’s Ferry, which is just southeast of what is today the town of Farragut, Adm. Farragut had a reputation as an aggressive naval commander. Farragut became a hero after defeating Confederates at the Battle of Mobile Bay, which shut down one of the rebel’s last ports. When told by his men that the port waters were heavily mined, he famously shouted, “Damn the torpedoes — full speed ahead!”