Historic Ramsey House
Knoxville’s first builder, English architect Thomas Hope, completed Ramsey House in 1797 for Colonel Francis Alexander Ramsey. The two-story home, regarded as one of the finest of its time, is constructed of Tennessee pink marble and blue limestone. Until the U. S. Civil War, the Ramsey family operated a sizeable plantation on the property. Today, the home remains significant for its original interior and exterior architectural features, as well as its period decorative art collection.
The Ramsey family was among the first to settle the Knoxville area. They played vital roles in developing civic, educational, and cultural institutions. Colonel 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, and formed the East Tennessee Historical Society, still in existence today. Another son, William B. A. Ramsey, became the first elected mayor of Knoxville and later the Secretary of State for Tennessee.
Historic Ramsey House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of 14 Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities sites.