The East Tennessee Historical Society

Visit The Award-winning Exhibits

The East Tennessee Historical Society is a non-profit organization devoted to researching East Tennessee’s history. They’ve won plenty of awards for their exhibits and educational programs, which attract visitors from all over the country.

The exhibits are popular because they depict how people lived throughout history using artifacts donated or purchased from across the country since the museum’s inception.


Established in 1834, the East Tennessee Historical Society is both a historical museum and a shop. The society was founded 38 years after the state of Tennessee became an official entity. Its mission is to document the area’s history through exhibits, research, and educational programs. 

The society collects, preserves, and catalogs the papers and correspondence of the state’s pioneers to be archived for future generations. These documents detail how life was lived during that time period – from medicine, politics, education systems, and religion – allowing visitors from all over the Knoxville area to learn everything they need to know.

The East Tennessee Historical Society has been publishing its annual journal since 1929. In addition, the society publishes books to provide the general public with information about the society’s history.

In 1976, the society released a book that delved deep into the history of Knoxville.

Visiting The Society

The East Tennessee Historical Society is located at 601 South Gay Street in Knoxville, TN 3790.

The society is only 1.3 miles from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Drive east on Lake Loudoun Blvd toward Neyland Dr, then turn left at the first cross street onto Neyland Dr, and then left again onto Walnut St. Finally, make a right onto Main Street SW, then a left onto S Gay Street.

The East Tennessee Historical Society is just 0.2 miles away from Knoxville Walking Tours, so visitors can easily combine the two activities without having to travel far!


When it comes to learning about Knoxville’s and East Tennessee’s history, the East Tennessee Historical Society is a true treasure. The incredible exhibitions are sure to wow both adults and children! So, if you’re looking for something educational and entertaining to do in Knoxville, pay a visit to this prestigious society.

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