Local Lore: 2633 Kingston Pike

Photo courtesy of the McClung Historical Collection

Photo courtesy of the McClung Historical Collection

Perched on the high side of Kingston Pike, between the campus area and Sequoyah Hills, is this elegant Neoclassical home with an elaborate history, from a private residence to a hospital to a motel to a nursing home.

The house was the home of the Henry H. Thrasher family during the early twentieth century. Mr. Thrasher, along with a son, Henry Thrasher, Jr. was a marble industrialist. A rural location during the early twentieth century, the land across the street from the Thrasher home  (now Sorority Village) was then owned by the University of Tennessee. The University President's home was listed as being located on that land.

Marguerite Thrasher, a daughter, grew up to become a renowned golfer. A 1923 local newspaper article described her seventy-seven golf trophies, including one from her win at the Western Championship, the second highest golf honor in America at the time, second to the National Championship. She won more prizes and trophies than any other women in the south and southwestr during her time.

The location of the home became more suburban with the development of the Sequoyah Hills neighborhood and more homes built along Kingston Pike during the 1920's. Tyson Junior High School was built nearby in 1936. 

The house served as the Howard Henderson Hospital from the late 1920's until the mid-1940's. The hospital was owned by Dr. Benjamin V. Howard and Dr. J. Victor Henderson. Dr. Henderson lived at the home at 2806 Kingston Pike. He and his wife celebrated their 50 year wedding anniversary in 1957 with his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. ad Mrs. Robert Ashe, and guests, at the Ashe home on Melrose Avenue. Dr. Howard lived with his family at 4150 Lyons View Pike. He died in 1942. The house at 2633 Kingston Pike was sold and continued as a hospital until the mid-1950's as Kingston Pike Hospital.

Original postcard from the Kingston Pike Motel

During the mid-1950's, with the popularity of automobile travel, especially along Kingston Pike in Knoxville, the house served as the Kingston Pike Motel. Kingston Pike was the main highway from the west to town. By the mid-1960's, with freeway construction and decreased tourism along Kingston Pike, the house became Kingston Pike Nursing Home.

Original postcard from the Kingston Pike Motel

Original postcard from the Kingston Pike Motel