Nestled in the center of downtown Knoxville's government district, Blount Mansion offers history of one of the nation's founding fathers that is hard to miss. Here, among the towers of glass, steel and brick, sits a house (small by today's standards) but a mansion on the Tennessee frontier. Known by the Cherokee Indians as "the house with many eyes," Blount Mansion has watched American history parade through its rooms and on the streets outside. Step inside and experience "The Birthplace of Tennessee." Blount Mansion also features a modern Visitors Center with a museum shop and historical exhibits.
About this Establishment
William Blount chose to build his mansion in Knoxville after signing the Treaty of the Holston just a few yards away from the Mansion's location. Blount, who was a signer of the U.S. Constitution as a delegate from North Carolina, moved to Knoxville following his appointment by President Washington as Governor of the Southwest Territory. Blount's Knoxville mansion would serve as the territorial capitol, as well as a family home. The care in construction, and the size and shape of Blount Mansion, reflects Blount's position as a political figure, head of a prominent family, and influential businessman.
The house was made of sawn lumber to meet Mary Blount's requirement of "a proper wooden house." The lumber was brought from North Carolina, since most of the area's residents built log cabins and log houses in the 1790s. Nails were brought from the Blount family's nailery near Tarboro, North Carolina, and glass was brought from Richmond, Virginia. The Mansion had a hall for family activity as the main room, and a parlor for more formal activities. Upstairs there was a single sleeping chamber.
Research on the historic structure and archaeology evidence suggests that the west wing was added to the Mansion first. It was most likely an outbuilding, pulled from its foundation and drug to the Mansion wall, where it was added in. Blue beads and other artifacts recovered during archaeological investigations of the site, suggest that the west wing may have been Slaves' quarters when still detached from the Mansion. The east wing was added last, perhaps as late as 1820.
The kitchen is a recreation of an eighteenth-century kitchen, but is located on the site of the original kitchen. The Governor's office was a typical "law office" of the 1790s, built right on the edge of State Street. The cooling shed, was excavated during an archaeological dig in the 1950s, and the roof was rebuilt under the supervision of the National Park Service at that time.
Time Period Represented1790s-1900
Hours OpenSummer Hrs. (Memorial Day-Labor Day): Tues. through Sat.: 9:30am-5:00 pm.Last tour at 4; Spring/Winter Hrs.( Labor Day-Memorial Day ) 10am-4pm Tuesday through Saturday. Tours at the top of each hour. Last tour begins at 3.
Visitor FeesAdults, $7; Seniors, AAA, CAA, $6; Children 6-17, $5; Children under 6 are free; All children are free the first full week of the month.
Seasons OpenYear-round; closed mid-December through mid-January and on holidays. Please check website.
ADA Accessibility NotesThe Visitors Center is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Blount Mansion is located at 200 W. Hill Avenue between Gay and State Streets.
FROM I-40 E · Take exit 388A for James White Parkway. Merge onto Downtown Loop / James White Parkway. Turn right at Front Ave SW. Turn right at W. Hill Ave.
FROM I-40 W · Take exit 389 for Hall of Fame Dr toward Broadway. Keep left at the fork and merge onto Downtown Loop / James White Parkway. Turn right at Front Ave SW. Turn right at W. Hill Ave.
FROM I-275 · Heading South toward downtown keep right at the fork and follow signs for Henley St and merge onto Henley St. Turn left at W. Church Ave. Take the first right onto Locust St SW. Turn left at the 3rd cross street onto W. Hill Ave.
FROM CHAPMAN HWY · Heading North toward downtown turn right at E. Blount Ave before you get to the river. Turn left at S. Gay Street and cross the river. Turn right at W. Hill Ave.
FROM ALCOA HWY · Heading North take the Kingston Pike ramp. Turn right onto Kingston Pike. Turn right at Poplar St SW. Turn left at W. Hill Ave