Photos by Shawn Poynter

  • Kevin Faddis, captain of the Lonsdale Fire Station, left, waits for a call to come in. Firefighters work 24-hour shifts, easting, sleeping, and entertaining themselves in the downtime.
  • Javonta Brown, 7, practices his jumper with friend Kevin Johnson at Lonsdale Park.
  • Gabino Felipe maintains a garden that fills most of his yard, including an amazing patch of corn. Yard corn is more abundant in Lonsdale than in any urban neighborhood we know of.
  • Bulgarian-born steel executive Ivan Racheff created lush Racheff Park and Garden in 1947 as an entrance to what is now the Gerdau Ameristeel factory.
  • Businesses at the intersection of Keith Avenue and Proctor Street, a very short street that turns into Schofield.
  • The Gerdau Ameristeel plant, a descendant of the 19th-century Knoxville Iron Company, turns scrap metal into rebar.
  • Corey Humphries, owner of Corey’s Used Tires on Johnston Street, right, and his father, Alan, on the job.
  • Much of Lonsdale is located in a sort of cove, making the place seem secluded, but lofty Vermont Avenue, former address of long-defunct Rule High School, offers this view of downtown, to the southeast.
  • Boarded up for a couple of decades, Rule High School, named for William Rule, Union veteran, two-time Knoxville mayor and founding editor of the Knoxville Journal, taught Lonsdale-area kids from 1927 to 1991.
  • Early 20th-century homes on Tennessee Avenue, once a busy street.
  • Go Vols! Still visible on the side of one of Gerdau Ameristeel’s industrial buildings, a power T may date back to the days of championship seasons.
  • A hand-painted sign on a tune-up and oil-change business on Burnside Street.
  • HAUNTED HOUSE: This dilapidated shack on a hill captured Amy Greene’s attention as she drove past it week after week on the way to her sister’s house. She started imagining a story as to how the house got that way. The story became her first novel, Bloodroot.
  • As a child, Amy Greene she spent her time roaming the hills behind the house and pacing the banks of creek nearby.
  • HOME SWEET HOME: Amy Greene’s parents still live in the modest white house that her grandfather built in Bulls Gap in 1944.
  • FRAMED–UP: Amy Greene’s Russellville home is decorated with prints of covers of famous novels, like To Kill a Mockingbird, as well as covers of her own two books.
  • 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.
  • Sandi Sanders, owner of Le Caniche Rose Pet Spa & Boutique, brushes and grooms a minature poodle.
  • Charlene and Don Tillman, owners of Boyle’s Vacuum on Broadway, examine a vacuum cleaner before they repair it.
  • Working the counter, Greg Rodger, left, and Perry Pratt tend to customers.
  • Pratt’s Country Store is Fountain City’s best-known farmer’s market.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Two skateboarders enjoy Fountain City Skatepark, opened in 2010 on the corner of Maple Drive and Knox Road.
  • Garden Montessori School, which offers a toddler through 8th-grade program, is named for Savage Garden, which is next door.
  • Danae Oglesby (center) helps Pat Muncy with her precious-metal clay making at the Fountain City Art Center.
  • The Fountain City Art Center, along Hotel Avenue by Fountain City Park, hosts numerous amenities for both aspiring artists and art shoppers.
  • 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.
  • Holbrook Drive, alongside First Baptist Church, evokes the name of a teachers’ college that closed more than a century ago.
  • Samson Devine is one of many intrepid fishermen who match wits with Fountain City Lake, which really does host some sizeable fish.
  • 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.
  • A few older homes still overlook North Broadway.
  • SO CLOSE: Flying Anvil Theatre creative director Jayne Morgan and board member David Dwyer hope to not only bring edgier off-Broadway-style theater to Knoxville, but also help launch a mid-sized theater venue with an Indiegogo campaign intended to raise $100,000. The venue appeared in the form of developer Tim Hill’s new Jewel on North Gay Street—but the funding did not.
  • IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS: Gregory Spaw, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design,  designed a carbon fiber bottle opener with his brother Michael and put it on Kickstarter for production funds. Their campaign blew past its $2,400 goal in two days, eventually becoming “1217% Funded.” (Note: the Airstream trailer seen here is not the same one as Adam Crawford’s—this one’s part of a student project at UT.).
  • FIRST LADY OF PIES: Daley Mackey had already cornered the local market on gourmet fried pies, but she hasn’t been able to cook the pies on-site. So she turned to Kickstarter and discovered that at least 147 fried-pie lovers supported her plan to convert a trailer into a mobile kitchen—which she hopes to unveil in the spring.