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The “Heart” of Fountain City

Over the last few years, Knoxville has been booming. People from all over the country are coming to Knoxville for its beauty and rich history. Within the greater Knoxville area are many small towns. Each has its own backstory, hidden gems, and stories that most have not heard about. Fountain City is one of those little towns right on the outskirts of Downtown Knoxville. Fountain City’s claim to fame is Litton’s, one of the best American diners in the United States. Across from Litton’s, there is a lake with a unique origin story built into its foundation. It’s a great place to visit and appreciate!

Photo of the heart-shaped Fountain City Lake.

Photo of heart-shaped Fountain City Lake taken by Chris Alleman

How it Began

Back in the 1890s, Colonel J.C. Woodward moved to Fountain City, known at the time as Fountain Head. Fountain City provided an opportunity to create a beautiful place for people to visit and stay for a while. He planned and built the Fountain Head Hotel which was a deluxe hotel with top-of-the-line amenities at the time. When the hotel was complete, he wanted scenery that was luxurious and romantic for his guests. He hired Felix G. Phillips, a well-known engineer, to construct a heart-shaped lake. Once completed, people from all over would come and stay at the resort and relax by the lake. The lake had a lovely gravel path surrounded by flowers. People would take evening strolls to enjoy the scenery. After some time, someone even built a carousel and established a mini zoo next to the lake to add on to enhance the experience of the resort residents.

Fountain City Lake Today

Today, the lake still stands but it has gone through many changes throughout the year. The path looks very different today. New fountains have been put in and the carousel and mini zoo were sadly removed. That doesn’t stop people today from enjoying its beauty though. People still go to visit the Fountain City Lake daily to feed the ducks, fish, picnic, or just walk around the romantic heart path with their loved ones.

If you would like to read more about Knoxville’s history check out these articles written by our other authors!

How The “Scruffy City” Got Its Name

How Tennessee Became Known As The Volunteer State

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