Knoxville, Tennessee, is a city that has plenty of interesting facts and fun things to do. It’s a great place for families because there are so many outdoor activities in the area. With a growing population, Knoxville is becoming the “it city” to move to in East Tennessee.
Knoxville is a great location whether you’re interested in its history, four-season weather, Tennessee Vols football team, or its southern charm and hospitality!
In this blog post, we will take a look at 25 facts about Knoxville, TN, that make it such an amazing place to live or visit.
Knoxville is located in the state of Tennessee in the U.S. The geographical coordinates for Knoxville are 35.9606° N, 83.9207° W. It was founded in 1791 by James White and was named after Henry Knox, President Washington’s War Secretary. Knoxville is one of the oldest cities in
Tennessee and was even the capital of Tennessee at one point.
As with every city, Knoxville experienced its highs and lows and sadly suffered a fire known as the “Million Dollar Fire of 1897,” which destroyed 11 buildings on Gay Street. However, this location has been revitalized into a thriving urban street where people work hard to maintain its southern charm and hospitality.
With a population of 188,085 people in the city of Knoxville and surrounding unpopulated areas, this growth is becoming increasingly evident. The city’s growth can be attributed to its four-season weather southern charm, and hospitality. Knoxville has also been experiencing a new wave of young professionals coming in to take advantage of its affordability and fast-growing real estate market.
Fun Facts About Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee, is a city with lots of history and great things to do. Besides being the state capital from 1796 to 1817, it was also known for being a big railroad hub in its early days. Knoxville has many fun facts that people may not know about, such as:
- Knoxville is also nicknamed “The Marble City,” although in reality, what is called marble here is actually limestone!
- Places Rated Almanac Millennium Edition rated Knoxville #13 in its overall ranking of best cities to reside in both the U.S. and Canada.
- Knoxville is the place where the drink “Mountain Dew” was born in 1940.
- It is completely illegal to lasso a fish in Knoxville!
- Knoxville’s nickname is “the Big Orange” because it is home to the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team, which wears orange jerseys and plays its home games at Neyland Stadium, called “the biggest and best stadium ever built” by Sports Illustrated.
- Knoxville was home to the 1982 World’s Fair. Attendance was recorded at 11,127,786 visitors.
- The Sunsphere, built for the 1982 World’s Fair, is 266 feet tall and has 26 stories. The actual ball itself houses only five levels. The Sunsphere and the Tennessee Amphitheater are the only structures that remain from the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville.
- Knoxville is home to cable TV’s HGTV, which is one of the fastest-growing networks in cable history, with nearly 84 million households in less than nine years.
- Knoxville is home to the Knoxville News Sentinel, which is one of the top 100 Daily newspapers in the United States.
- Knoxvillians have their own name for Labor Day, Boomsday, named after the Boomsday celebration that features one of the country’s largest and most impressive fireworks displays. It takes place over the Tennessee River and includes a waterfall of fireworks.
Interesting Things About Knoxville
Besides being the home to the University of Tennessee Volunteers, Knoxville is an interesting place to live. There are a lot of interesting things about Knoxville that everyone needs to know.
- Smoky Mountains National Park is located within 45 minutes of Knoxville.
- Knoxville is home to more than 20 museums and seven historical houses.
- Knoxville has more log homes than any other city east of the Mississippi River
- The first train arrived in Knoxville in 1855.
- There are seven lakes that surround Knoxville: Cherokee, Douglas, Ft. Loudon, Melton Hill, Norris, Watts Bar, and Tellico.
- Knoxville is situated at the crossroads of three major interstates, I-75, I-40, and I-81.
- Knoxville College was founded in 1875.
Creepy Facts About Knoxville
Unfortunately, many US cities have a less-than-perfect past. Knoxville has experienced this as well. Even early issues of the Knoxville Gazette—the first newspaper published in Tennessee—are filled with accounts of murder, theft, and hostile Cherokee attacks.
Besides the city’s dark past, there are many creepy facts about Knoxville that most people may not know:
- In 1901, Kid Curry, a member of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch, shot a couple of deputies and escaped out the back window of a business on Central Avenue in what is now the Old City. He was captured and brought to the Knoxville Jail but escaped and was last seen riding the sheriff’s stolen horse across the Gay Street Bridge.
- Knoxville is 20 miles south of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which was instrumental in developing the atomic bomb.
- Hank Williams Sr. spent his last night alive right in Knoxville.
- Knoxville has been called “The Streaking Capital of the World” and “The Underwear Capital of the World.” The former, coined by newsman Walter Cronkite, has to do with a mass streaking incident that occurred in the 1970s, the latter a reference to the undergarment textiles industry that was once huge in Knoxville.
- Knoxville is the 6th most dangerous city in Tennessee. The rate of crime in the Knoxville metro area is 39.73 per 1,000 residents during a standard year. So if you’re looking to move to the area, the southeast part of the metro area is said to be the safest.
- Knoxville might have had its own Dr. Frankenstein- Dr. Stephen Foster, a college professor and reverend in Knoxville during the 1800s.
- Lakeshore Mental Asylum was a famous mental hospital located in East Tennessee. In the 1920s, the building burned down, leaving behind only ruins. While a new building, the Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, was built in 1977 and closed in 2013, visitors claimed to see figures wandering the building, hear screaming and shouting, and music from a music box playing.
- Knoxville is home to the Forensic Anthropology Center. The center contains a “body farm” where fresh human remains are placed in natural settings so budding forensic scientists can study their decomposition.
Although Knoxville isn’t famous for being one of the creepiest places around, every place has its secrets and odd facts.
House Selling Facts in Knoxville
If you’re interested in moving to Knoxville, the median age of homes built is about 49-71 years old. This tells you that there are many sellers with older homes on the market. The good news is that these sellers are looking to retire and move to another area, so finding a house shouldn’t be too challenging.
According to the most recent statistics compiled by Realtor.com, the average list price for a home in Knoxville was around $275,000. Also, it is estimated that homes in Knoxville sell for about 1.95% above the asking price.
Currently, the housing market has been doing well, which has made it not only a great time to buy a home in Knoxville but also to sell. Given the fact that most homes are older, though, it can mean costly repairs might be necessary when both buying and selling a house. In this case, you’ll want to be prepared to do some renovations when moving in or address home repairs when moving out.
Nexus Homebuyers is a local house-buying company that offers cash for houses in Tennessee and Georgia. They also buy properties in as-is condition, meaning no repairs are necessary, and you won’t have to hire a listing agent, ultimately saving you thousands of dollars on realtor commissions.
Knoxville has a lot to offer people who are looking for new opportunities. Whether it is a new job or someone who wants to attend college, people will find what they are looking for!
In conclusion, if you want to learn about the area and discover some of the things this city offers, check out these things you can do in Knoxville! If you’re unsure about buying or renting in Knoxville before moving to the area or relocating, you can always seek advice from a real estate professional.
If you’re hoping to sell your home and relocate, you can always reach out to Nexus Homebuyers and sell your house quickly without the hassle.
Hopefully, this post has provided you with some helpful information that inspires you to make Knoxville home!