Crescent Bend House and Gardens in Knoxville, TN is an old plantation farm and museum house since restored and open to the public. The farm, Armstrong-Lockett House and land is known as ‘Crescent Bend’ for its proximity and view of the bend of the Tennessee River nearby.

The history of the farm dates back to 1832 when it was first established by Drury Paine Armstrong. Originally, the farm spanned 600 acres to the north side of Tennessee River and 300 acres along the south side. After Armstrong’s death he left the farm to his sons of which one moved into the residence. The house has seen a huge amount of action throughout the Civil War not only being used by both Confederate and Union Armies as a base and hospital, but the farmland was a focal point for battles and skirmishes. Crescent Bend has a rich history and the house has had many purposes and owners over the years.

In 1975 The Toms Foundation bought the house and restored many of its features, turning it into an open house museum for the public to visit. The gardens were also renovated and redone in the 1980’s. The historic house and grounds are available for private events and parties such as Christmas parties and weddings. As well as self guided tours, and pre booked tours and group tours are available with a guide.

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Exhibits and attractions

Situated 3 miles west from downtown Knoxville and Market Square, the house and grounds feature a unique slice of history. Armstrong-Lockett House offers visitors a first hand look at life during the antebellum period in the area. The house itself is painted white with grand corinthian columns stood at the entrance and the back sees a red brick paved sun deck and canopy with a view of the gardens and river. Inside, the house has few of its original features but much restoration has gone on to recreate era appropriate décor and furnishings. The house displays a Georgian silver collection within the silver room as well as intricately designed and preserved 18th century furniture throughout. The Toms Collection of furniture and decorative arts adds an antique finish to the interiors. The décor spans many decades and countries such as the French Wallpaper lining the dining room valued at around $500,000.

Like many farm and land owners during the era, the Armstrong-Lockett house holds several chambers, sitting rooms, kitchens and parlours. During a tour of the home, visitors can view the Massachusetts chair within the front parlour with its antique appearance and design. Upon the beds, visitors can see intricately sewn quilts on loan from quilt guild and more modern in their appearance. Parquet floors in the meeting room, tent covered terraces at the back of the house and grand curtains and lighting give a glimpse at how the home would have looked in the past.

In 1982, the William Perry “Buck” Toms Memorial Gardens were built by The Toms Foundation. The garden was designed and architectured around a formal Italian theme. Carefully tended lawns, five large fountains and nine tiered terraces complete the gardens as it opens up into the Tennessee Rivers crescent bend at the end. The gardens fill 3 acres and are particularly popular to visit in Spring time when the thousands of tulips planted in the gardens begin to bloom. There is also a large reflecting pool surrounded by paving, stone pots with flowers and rows of neatly maintained flow beds to see.

Ongoing Programs

Crescent Bend House & Gardens rely on admission fees, events, volunteers and donations to cover the costs of running and restoring the house and grounds. The options to join the annual membership scheme and a program where members of the public and businesses can donate planned gifts are available.

Programmed events vary seasonally throughout the year at Crescent Bend House & Gardens. Past events have been A TulipTime Event where High Tea is served at the house as well as a tour of the house museum and gardens. During this event 25,000 tulips were be in bloom. Planned activities are also available to book at Crescent Bend House & Gardens with a program full of speakers on topics such as Civil War, Etiquette and Gardening amongst others. Group tours with an activity may also be arranged.

Another program offered is Pay It Forward. Crescent Bend offer free tours of the gardens and house so that the visitors may donate to another organization or volunteer as a result.

Back to: Knoxville, Tennessee

2728 I Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919, website, Phone: 865-637-3163

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