History of Ramsey House
Ramsey House was built in 1797 by Knoxville’s first builder, Thomas Hope, for Francis Alexander Ramsey. The home is constructed of Tennessee pink marble and blue limestone. It was known at that time as the finest home in Tennessee. The structure is significant for its original interior and exterior architectural features and its period decorative art collection.
The Ramsey Family was one of the first families to settle the Knoxville area. They played vital roles in developing civic, educational and cultural institutions. Colonel Francis A. Ramsey was one of the founding trustees of Blount College, now the University of Tennessee. One of his sons, Dr. J.G.M. Ramsey authored an early history of the state, The Annals of Tennessee. Another son, William B.A. Ramsey, was the first elected mayor of Knoxville and the Secretary of State for Tennessee.
The historic house was bought in 1952 by the A.P.T.A., along with one acre of land. Today, the site consists of 101.5 acres; a historic house restored and furnished to the period of Francis A. Ramsey’s occupancy (1797-1820) and a Visitor Center located in a beautiful country setting.
Historic Ramsey House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Photos From Ramsey House
Built in 1797, Ramsey House is the first stone home in Knox County. Thomas Hope, the architect of the home, was English-born and trained in Charleston, South Carolina.
This scrolled, wood detail along the First Floor Staircase became the signature of the architect.
Upstairs in a doll cradle are two Penny Wooden Dolls. They are hand carved and hand painted.
Bright and cheerful period coverlet and furniture in the Children’s Room.
This table setting in the Kitchen was most likely used by enslaved Africans rather than the Ramsey Family, who would have dined in the Great Hall.
Exhibits in the Visitor’s Center includes a collection of handmade dolls in Ramsey period dress, farming utensils and archaeological finds from the property.
Ramsey House boasts the first attached kitchen in Tennessee, which was added five years after the home was built. The attached kitchen replaced the typical “dog-trot” style of the South where the kitchen was typically stand-alone with a breezeway between it and the house.
Purchased in South Carolina, a pair of Chippendale chairs was a gift from Peggy Ramsey’s father to Colonel and Peggy Ramsey upon their marriage.
Child’s Period Leather Shoes.
This silver tea service was a wedding gift to Colonel Ramsey’s son J.G.M. upon his marriage to Peggy Barton Crozier, from her family in 1821. The set is Forrester & Gardner from Boston, dating from 1800 – 1813.
View of Kitchen outfitted with period furnishings and tools.
View from the second floor landing into the first floor’s central passage.
Historic Ramsey House is a museum for the fact that the home is entirely furnished with period furniture and housewares.
Period coverlet over a rope bed in the Children’s Room.
Lovely period secretary in the Parlor.
In the Visitor’s Center–This Piano Forte dates to 1770. It was crafted by Christian Bauman, Mozart’s piano maker.