Tennessee’s Finest Home

Surveying Knoxville’s History

A visit to Ramsey House offers the perfect opportunity to explore Knoxville’s rich history and the Ramsey Legacy.

Built in 1797 of locally sourced pink marble and blue limestone, Ramsey House was indeed known as the “finest house in Tennessee”. Because of its architectural sophistication and relative opulence, Ramsey House welcomed many diplomats and important guests through its doors. Once considered an anomaly among log cabins and wooden structures, the house stands today as a reminder of the enduring Ramsey Family Legacy.

The foundational contributions of Colonial Ramsey and his sons are significant, and include founding trustee of the institution that would become the University of Tennessee, Tennessee’s premier historian, and first popularly elected Mayor of Knoxville. Through the Ramsey’s story, you will also experience daily life on America’s first frontier and come to know the challenges faced by the sons and daughters of the Revolutionary War patriots. You will learn about the enslaved people whose lives were intertwined with those of the family, as well as, feel the deep divisions of the Civil War, which changed the course of this family forever.

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Our Stories

A Founder

Colonel Francis Alexander Ramsey

A surveyor and one of the first settlers of Knoxville, Ramsey held many important positions, including serving as Court Clerk and as a founding trustee of what was to become the University of Tennessee.

A Historian

Dr. J.G.M. Ramsey

Author of the State’s earliest history book, The Annals of Tennessee, J.G.M. also founded the East Tennessee Historical Society, was a physician, and was later exiled from Knoxville during the Civil War.

A Mayor

William B.A. Ramsey

Second son, William Ramsey was the first popularly elected Mayor of Knoxville, publisher of the Knoxville Register, an served as Secretary of State.

A Beloved Wife

Margaret Alexander Ramsey

Colonel Ramsey’s beloved wife, “Peggy” moved from wealth to a log cabin overlooking Swan Pond. She and Francis had nine children, only three of which survived to adulthood.

An Enslaved Man

Levi

Believed to have been born at Swan Pond, Levi was a trusted enslaved man, who served as carriage driver for the Ramsey Family. Freed during the Civil War, he was known to have lived through Reconstruction in the 1870’s.

Explore Swan Pond

Located on what was once Cherokee hunting grounds, Colonel Ramsey acquired the site for Ramsey House, a game-rich, beaver-damned wetland he called “Swan Pond” in 1786. Today, over 100 acres of the Ramsey’s original farmland is preserved.

Through the Ramsey’s story, you will experience daily life on America’s first frontier, come to know the challenges faced by the sons and daughters of the Revolutionary War patriots, learn about the enslaved people whose lives were intertwined with those of the family, as well as, feel the deep divisions of the Civil War, which changed the course of this family forever.

Experience History

Guided tours of the house and grounds are lead daily by trained staff, extolling the site's uniquely imported architectural style, historical significance, and the character of life in early Tennessee with the home's compelling character residents and visitors.

TOUR SCHEDULE:

Wednesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

*Hours are subject to change. Call (865) 546-0745 to confirm.
*PLEASE NOTE: We are open BY APPOINTMENT ONLY January through the end of February.

TICKET PRICES

- Adults – $10.00
- Seniors (60+), Military & Child (5-17 years) - $8.00
- Child (under 5 years) - Free
- Ramsey House Member - Free

*Special Schools and Groups options available.

Upcoming Historic Events

Basket Weaving 101
February 19
9:00 - 2:00
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Spring Marketplace
April 9
10:00 - 4:00
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Add Your Story to Historic Ramsey House

The charm of Historic Ramsey House offers an unforgettable backdrop for your wedding or special event. Beautiful grounds, plentiful parking, and indoor accommodations for up to 80 people are available with even greater capacity for out-of-doors.

Book a Wedding Book Family & Corporate Events

Sustain Tennessee’s Historic Past

Help us continue to share the Ramsey House's unique stories with a gift that will ensure the "Stone House" is sustained for generations to come.

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Contact Us

Location
2614 Thorngrove Pike, Knoxville, TN 37914 Get Directions
Kelley Weatherley-Sinclair
Executive Director
Email
Sue Jones
Museum Assistant
7 miles from downtown Knoxville to the Ramsey House
Tripadvisor
“Great spot to visit with the family, learn about our nation's great history! Protected by the Daughters of Confederacy, not many places like this left or cherished anymore.”
- Michael C.