The neighborhood once most associated with old money, is also, arguably, the city’s most public neighborhood. Sequoyah Hills includes Cherokee Boulevard, a favorite walking and jogging path (and always a key part of the annual Knoxville Marathon), as well as a broad expanse of riverfront parkland, with hundreds of acres of mown grass, some interesting paths through copses of trees, a boat launch, and perhaps Knoxville’s closest approximation of a beach. As early as the 1930s, it was a notorious place for lovers to “spoon.” On summer afternoons today, you might find volleyball, horseshoes, bocce ball, and lots of dogs.
This river peninsula was known from the 1790s as looney’s Bend–that label still appears on riverboatmen’s charts, and for barges, it remains one of the river’s most hazardous turns. Sequoyah Hills developed in 1925 as one of Knoxville’s first automobile suburbs–one of the first generation of neighborhoods designed for people who didn’t necessarily have to walk to work or catch a streetcar. Cherokee Boulevard, a little more than three miles long, follows the outer contour of the peninsula. Roughly in the middle, the boulevard’s median widens to make way for the worn remnant of an Indian mound, which may have suggested the Native American theme for the neighborhood–although the mound builders preceded the Cherokee by several centuries.
Today, Sequoyah boasts some lovely features, including a cluster of stores near old-fashioned apartment buildings, and is home to a few multi-millionaires, many affluent professionals, and UT students alike. The riverfront field originally envisioned as a polo grounds rarely served that purpose, but is best known today for Little League baseball.
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