Over four years ago the idea for the KNOXVILLE HERITAGE website was spawned. In August of 2013, almost three years ago, it became a reality when we launched the site with over 15,000 pages of historic and memorable content. These pages cover many aspects of almost six decades of Knoxville history dating from 1908 through the late 1960s. The segments include; yearbooks, school newspapers, class photos, reunion pictures, youth sports teams, and occasional blogs and videos that connect us with some simpler and memorable times from our past. A few months after this inaugural formation, we also launched a similar WW2 website http://worldwar2collection.com/
Our goal was and continues to be: “provide a virtual museum for historic school related material that allows anyone to connect with printed history of family and friends 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere across the globe…AT NO COST TO ANY VISITOR.” Since our launch, we have almost doubled the volume of content on our site…THANKS TO SOME KIND LIKE-MINDED PARTNERS who have loaned us items previously hidden in attics, trunks, files and boxes. When items are provided and/or purchased, we up-load and make them immediately available for all to enjoy.
We are thrilled to report the addition of three complete years of Knoxville High School, “Blue and White” newspapers from the years 1945-1948. These valuable connections to the latter years of Knox Hi history were made available to us through the kindness of Bob Danner and his family. Bob’s wife, Sarah McEver Danner (5/4/31 – 8/26/86) was on the Blue & White staff at KHS and editor during her senior year. Sarah and her family kept and protected these cherished documents for the 65 years since their graduation.
Gale Gardner, who graduated from Knox High in ’48 with Bob and Sarah, introduced Bob to our virtual museum. Gale is the son of Mr. Gale Gardner, the much beloved principal of East High School following the retirement of Mr. W.E. Evans in the mid fifties. I first met Bob in 1953 when he was working at the Knoxville Y.M.C.A. following his graduation from U.T.
When they contacted me about the treasured documents from their past it not only gave an opportunity to make a significant addition to KNOXVILLE HERITAGE, it also allowed me to make re-connections with my past that would probably not have been possible except for the website.
Almost weekly we get emails from people who have seen pictures of their mother, father or grandparents…that they have never before seen, and would NEVER see, except for KNOXVILLE HERITAGE. These notes and calls are the rewards that keep me and the our staff on our continual quest to find the missing items that will add to our member’s and visitor’s ability to, in this small way, connect with their history.
The items we need to “fill in these gaps,” do exist…I know they do. Tom Evans, son of Mr. W.E. Evans, longtime principal of both Knox High and East High, is a staunch advocate of what we are doing at KNOXVILLE HERITAGE and assisted us greatly in borrowing from the Knox High Alumni group many of the documents that are a part of our collection. Since his initial assistance and against his current protestations, we have been thwarted in our attempt to borrow the remainder of the items to complete our collection. So…we are, thereby, relegated to searching for these items in a more pedestrian manner…asking for help from readers, searching on-line, buying on eBay, at flea markets and from vintage document dealers across the country. It’s time consuming, costly and frustrating…but we will continue to do so. It is important to us and we hope to you.
We take seriously our responsibility and even obligation to help people enjoy these pieces of history…if we possibly can. Many people are prevented from this enjoyment because of; lack of access, distance from the location of these items and even knowledge that these items still exist. We are trying hard to overcome these impediments through this website.
We respectfully ask for you to help in this search. Please go to the yearbook http://knoxvilleheritage.com/high-school/yearbooks/ and newspaper http://knoxvilleheritage.com/high-school/class-newspapers/ sections of this website. Click and see which items are missing and become a contributing partner to help us expand the material we can make available to our partners, members and visitors. It’s easy to see that we currently have 68 high school yearbooks available on-line…all of Knox High’s and East High’s Yearbooks and 13 from Central. We are adding to Holston’s and Fulton’s. We are still missing “Blue & White” newspapers from Knox Hi and a few “Blue & Gray” from East. Also I must add that we have never sold any item or copies from the material loaned to us.
E-mail us and let us know what you have and let’s work together to make KNOXVILLE HERITAGE an even greater success. And here’s a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Bob, his family and Gale and to all others who have already joined with us in this very worthwhile quest.