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Crescent Bend House & Garden

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Beginning in 1832, Drury Paine Armstrong (1799-1856) established a gentleman's farm and house for his wife and family just west of downtown Knoxville. He named the farm "Crescent Bend" for the commanding view of a majestic crescent bend of the Holston River, now called the Tennessee River. The Armstrongs moved into their new home on October 7th, 1834.

Drury Armstrong's Crescent Bend started with 600 acres of land on the north side of the river, and a within few years he acquired another 300 acres on the south side. He owned several other tracts of land in and around Knoxville, upon one of which a famous Civil War battle, the Battle of Armstrong's Hill, would be fought. In addition to these land holdings, he also owned 50,000 acres of wooded and pastoral mountain land in Sevier and Blount Counties, Tennessee. He gave the name "Glen Alpine" to his land between the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River and the East Prong of the Little Tennessee River. This land today makes up about 10% of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Drury Armstrong was an active leader in business, his church, and many civic endeavors. He served as a register of the East Tennessee Land Office, a director of the Union Bank, and a United States assignee of bankruptcy. For thirty years he was a trustee of the East Tennessee College, which later became the University of Tennessee. He was an elder at First Presbyterian Church. Although untrained in architecture, he saw to repairs and improvements to his church, the town's courthouse, and the original buildings on the Hill at the college, besides designing Crescent Bend. In 1842 he was chief marshal for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Knoxville. His father, Robert Armstrong III (1774-1849), one of the founding fathers of Knoxville, was one of the honorees at the 1842 celebration.

During his lifetime Drury divided his Crescent Bend farm between his two sons, Marcelus Muriot Armstrong (1832-1896) and Robert Houston Armstrong (1825-1896). After his father's death in 1856, Marcelus, nicknamed "Whack," took up residence at Crescent Bend with his wife, Mary Elizabeth "Betty" McGhee Armstrong. Robert and his wife, Louisa Franklin Armstrong, built their own house, Bleak House, some 500 yards to the west on the Crescent Bend Farm.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Wed10:00 AM4:00 PM
Thr10:00 AM4:00 PM
Fri10:00 AM4:00 PM
Sat10:00 AM2:00 PM
Notes: (Closed on all major holidays)


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