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Local Color: Fountain City

See larger Holbrook Drive, alongside First Baptist Church, evokes the name of a teachers’ college that closed more than a century ago.

Photo by Shawn Poynter

Holbrook Drive, alongside First Baptist Church, evokes the name of a teachers’ college that closed more than a century ago.

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  • Savage Garden
  • Heart-shaped Fountain City Lake, aka the duck pond, was built in the 1890s as an amenity for the luxurious resort known as Fountain Head Hotel, and is almost all that remains of that era.
  • Samson Devine is one of many intrepid fishermen who match wits with Fountain City Lake, which really does host some sizeable fish.
  • A few older homes still overlook North Broadway.
  • Hotel Avenue, named for the long-gone Fountain Head Hotel, hosts the Creamery Park Grille and other businesses. It once greeted passengers from the short-line train from Knoxville.
  • The Fountain City Art Center, along Hotel Avenue by Fountain City Park, hosts numerous amenities for both aspiring artists and art shoppers.
  • Danae Oglesby (center) helps Pat Muncy with her precious-metal clay making at the Fountain City Art Center.
  • One of Knoxville’s most appealing oddities, Savage Garden. English-born industrialist Arthur Savage (1872-1946) whose marble-milling machinery factory was in downtown Knoxville, built this garden around 1917, inspired by Japanese examples during the art-nouveau period. He and his wife, Hortense, lived next door. After surviving a tornado and periods of neglect, the privately owned garden has recently been renovated.
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  • Garden Montessori School, which offers a toddler through 8th-grade program, is named for Savage Garden, which is next door.
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  • Hardy Johnson, 85, has been repairing shoes and leather goods at Custom Shoe Rebuilders on Broadway for nearly 60 years. Johnson recently sold the story to his son, Jimmy, but still works at the store.
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  • Organized in 1845, Smithwood Baptist Church is a Fountain City landmark. Its cemetery is the resting place of refugees from the 1876 yellow-fever epidemic in Memphis.
  • Sandi Sanders, owner of Le Caniche Rose Pet Spa & Boutique, brushes and grooms a minature poodle.
  • Pratt’s Country Store is Fountain City’s best-known farmer’s market.
  • Working the counter, Greg Rodger, left, and Perry Pratt tend to customers.
  • Charlene and Don Tillman, owners of Boyle’s Vacuum on Broadway, examine a vacuum cleaner before they repair it.
  • Two skateboarders enjoy Fountain City Skatepark, opened in 2010 on the corner of Maple Drive and Knox Road.
  • Holbrook Drive, alongside First Baptist Church, evokes the name of a teachers’ college that closed more than a century ago.

Photographer Shawn Poynter explores Fountain City.

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