The oldest home in Knoxville  is found at James White Fort (205 E. Hill Ave., 865/525-6514, www.discoveret.org/jwf , Apr.–Dec. Mon.–Sat. 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Jan.–Mar. Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., adults $5, children 5–17 $2). Gen. James White acquired more than 1,000 acres of land in 1783 under the so-called Land Grab Act passed by the North Carolina legislature.
White and his wife, Mary Lawson, moved to the frontier in 1785 and constructed a log cabin near the junction of the French Broad and Holston Rivers, to the west of First Creek. Soon, White built additional log structures and protected them with a stockade; he called the place James White’s Fort. Later, William Blount chose the location as the first capital of the Southwest Territory and renamed the fort Knoxville .
White hired Charles McClung to survey his 1,000 acres, and in 1791 he sold lots in the new city of Knoxville for $8 each. White donated lots for a town common, church, and cemetery, and he sold lots for Blount College for a nominal amount.
As Knoxville  grew, White’s rough-hewn log cabin was threatened by development. In 1906 a local citizen, Isaiah Ford, bought the fort, and carefully moved the structures to a site on Woodland Avenue. In 1960, the fort was moved again to its present location on Hill Avenue. Visitors will learn about White, the establishment of Knoxville, and the rugged way of life on the Tennessee frontier.