Knoxville, Tenn. – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam will visit the historic “Birthplace of Tennessee” on Friday, April 20, to discuss efforts to restore and preserve the site for future generations. Blount Mansion, located in downtown Knoxville, is the 220-year-old home of William Blount, a signer of the U.S. Constitution and an American Founding Father, and has been awarded a Save America’s Treasures grant for $250,000 from the National Park Service. Governor Haslam will discuss the importance of preserving this historic site.
“The mansion was first saved from demolition in 1926 by the founders of the Blount Mansion Association,” said Patricia Brake Rutenberg, Executive Director of Blount Mansion Association. “However, the work of saving the mansion is a daily task. We are honored to have Governor Haslam join us to raise awareness of our campaign to save this important piece of American history.”
The Blount Mansion Association is currently engaged in a capital campaign to raise funds to conserve and restore the house. The Save America’s Treasures grant is one of the largest and most successful grant programs for the protection of our nation’s endangered and irreplaceable cultural heritage. Grants are provided for the preservation and conservation of nationally significant historic sites.
A recent architectural study of the Blount Mansion historic Knoxville site called the home “unquestionably one of the most historically important buildings in the state.” The mansion was built in 1792 as the home of William Blount, the governor of the Southwest Territory. The home is notable as the only home of a signer of the U.S. Constitution located outside the original thirteen states. The constitution forming the state of Tennessee was written in Governor Blount’s office on the site, earning the home its nickname as the “Birthplace of Tennessee.” It is the only historic site in Knoxville designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
About Blount Mansion Association: The Blount Mansion Association was founded in 1926 to save the historic Blount Mansion, home of William Blount. Blount was a delegate to the nation’s first Constitutional Convention, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, Territorial Governor of the Southwest Territory and Tennessee’s first U.S. Senator. The Blount Mansion Association is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to preserving Blount Mansion and inspiring an appreciation of national, state and local history through the site and lives of those who lived and worked there. For additional information about Blount Mansion, visit the association’s website at www.blountmansion.org.