Photo: Nicholas Gibbs House, circa 1793, located at 7633 East Emory Road, Corryton. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Photographed by User:Brian Stansberry (own work), 2010, [cc-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed October, 2023.
The Old Knox County Courthouse is located at 300 Main Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902; phone: 865-215-2385.
Knox county was created in 1792 from parts of Greene and Hawkins Counties. The county seat is Knoxville.
Over 200 years ago, pioneer families made decisions that shaped the future development of Knoxville and Knox County. Early settlers acted as town planners and developers, locating and laying out new settlements, adapting old Indian trails and military roads, and giving names to communities, ridges, roads and creeks. [†]
Their planning legacy is still with us today. Locating Knoxville on a bluff above the Tennessee River, laying out the new city with a gridiron street pattern, and making transportation connections to places such as Asheville, Kingston, and Tazewell were all conscious, deliberate decisions. These decisions were based on a sound planning process: look around to identify problems and opportunities; develop some alternatives; make a decision, and take action.
It is unlikely that these pioneers could have imagined that Knoxville and surrounding hamlets would one day grow into a metropolitan complex with nearly 400,000 inhabitants spread over 525 square miles. It is even less likely they could have foreseen that each year a land area more than 50 times the size of the original Knoxville town site would be developed.
† Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission, Knoxville-Knox County General Plan 2033, 2003, archive.knoxplanning.org, accessed October, 2023.