Concord, an unincoporated community just beyond Knoxville’s city limits to the west, is roughly the area around Concord Park, an almost nautical region alongside a broad part of Fort Loudon Lake. Marinas, causeways, bait shops, and waterfront restaurants are part of the landscape around a lake so broad it can seem like a maritime bay, and often the wind can work up some almost ocean-like waves. The lake, an impoundment of the Tennessee River, has existed only since TVA completed Fort Loudon Dam in 1943. But after more tan 75 years, it seems as if it’s been there forever, and thousands of locals have grown up in and around boats.
Old Concord intrigues visitors who can see it across the inlet from the park. In a suburban area where almost everything is new and aimed at the affluent, it’s a secluded bit of 19th century America. Concord was a coherent rural community with its own railroad depot and post office by the 1850s, with an economy partly driven by nearby marble quarries. Concord’s original street grid, and some of its historic homes, and commercial buildings–like the long-closed but still identified “BANK”–survive in the 21st century, but it’s mainly a residential community with few specific attraction for visitors other than the Presbyterian church, the Masonic Lodge, and an art gallery or two.
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