Local Lore: The Martin Russell House

This Federal style home sits near the corner of Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road as a vestige of the local history of Farragut and Kingston Pike. 

The Federal style, also known as Adam style, was popular between 1780 and 1830. Other overlapping style trends included Georgian and Classical Revival. The Federal style was popular during the historical Federal Period, 1789-1801. The Federal Period was marked by the expansion of Federal government, most notably with the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and the location of federal government in Washington, D.C.

The structure was built by Samuel Martin as an inn, probably around 1835. The inn has been reported to have been visited by such notable dignitaries as President Andrew Johnson and Louis Phillipe, later King of France.

Russell House  is located on the site of a stage coach station, a block house, built in 1787 by Colonel David Campbell, previously a captain in the Virginia militia that led the fight against King's mountain. Campbell families were the first permanent settlers of European descent in the area. 

Samuel Martin had sold the property to Avery Russell, just before the Civil War . The house remained in the Russell family for six generations.

The Russell house was used as a hospital during the Civil War. Blood stains are said to be visible in the pine floors.

Kingston Pike was developed around the time that the Campbell family was settling in the Farragut area as a route between Knoxville and Kingston, Tennessee. Standing examples of antebellum architecture, like the Martin Russell house, built along Kingston Pike include Crescent Bend and Bleak House, near downtown Knoxville, the Reynolds house, on top of Bearden Hill, and the Baker Peters house, at the intersection of Kingston Pike and S. Peters Road. The route was the site of many Civil War skirmishes, shortly following Russell's purchase of the property.

The history of Kingston Pike evolved as a city street and, eventually, the main tourist thoroughfare west following the Civil War. By 1913, trolley tracks extend as far as Lyons View Pike from downtown Knoxville. The route was paved in the 1920's for automobile use. Tourist camps and restaurants began to locate along Kingston Pike to serve travelers. By the 1940's, the city street was four lanes. 

U.S. 70, the Dixie Highway, and U.S. 11, the Lee Highway merge on Kingston Pike. These routes are part of the federal highway system, the main tourist routes prior to construction of the interstate highway system in the 1960's. The 11-70 Motor Court, near the corner of Lovell Road and Kingston Pike, is a standing example of tourist courts, developed along the Dixie-Lee highway. Following construction of the Interstate 40 route, roughly parallel to Kingston Pike, and especially after extension of the city limits beyond the western end of Sequoyah Hills in 1961, the Dixie-Lee highway route evolved to serve as a suburban thoroughfare.