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Knoxville -- Savage Garden

Object Details

sova.aag.gca_ref32896
GUID
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kb687b96b2a-5501-47f5-98c0-c5692a7d2b7d
General
The Savage Garden as it exists today is a large (1.7 acres), densely planted garden located in Fountain City, Tennessee, a suburb of north of Knoxville. The historic garden was established in 1917 by Arthur Savage, who emigrated from Leamington Spa, England to Knoxville in 1886. In 1895, Savage married Hortense Garrett and moved into a bungalow style house in Fountain City in July 1917. Soon after, Hortense planted a garden behind the house. In 1920, Savage hired Charles Davis, a master stone mason and gardener to construct a sandstone perimeter wall. By 1921, two 18-foot stone water towers and a series of pools and ponds were constructed, to be joined later by streams connecting 3 additional ponds. By 1926, a sandstone Asian pagoda was built to house a 30-foot cistern and electric water pump. Pergolas and arbors led to the pagoda, followed soon after with a circular seating area, a stone tool shed, and a free standing sandstone arch overlooking the pagoda and pools. In the botanical garden, Savage collected a variety of plants, notably a Chinese pistache, a pond cypress, a fern-leaf beech, a Chinese parasol tree, and a Chinese fir. Savage's company produced machinery to cut stone, and this may explain why all of the garden's benches, steps, walls, water towers, outbuildings, and follies were made of stone. In 1986, Bill Dohm and Patty Cooper purchased the property with the intention to restore and preserve the garden. Dohm ad Cooper restored the stone walls and borders, the Asian Pagoda, and other outbuildings. Architect Bill Barth used photos of original structures to redesign the arbors and entrance gate. Dan Duncan replicated the structures, which were fully installed by 1993. In 2018, gardeners at Savage Garden planted 12 pickup truck loads of trillium, Twin Sister daffodils, and 20,000 snowdrops. The garden rooms are connected by pathways lined by stone with each room layered with wildflowers, bulbs, and perennials, depending on the season. Persons associated with the garden include: Arthur and Hortense Savage (former owners, 1917-1946); Hortense Savage (former owner, 1946-1953); Pearl Savage Laughtery (former owner, 1953-1986); Bill Dohm and Patty Cooper (owners, 1986-present); Charles Davis (Stonemason and gardener, 1920-1937); Bill Barth (Architect, 1990-1995); Dan Duncan (Master woodworker, 1990-1995); Eric Fortenberry (gardener and designer, 2007-present); Terumi Watson (gardener and designer, 2008-present).
Provenance
Knoxville Garden Club
Former owner
Savage, Arthur
Savage, Hortense
Savage Laughtery, Pearl
Present owner
Dohm, Bill
Cooper, Patty
Stone mason
Davis, Charles
Architect
Barth, Bill
Woodwork designer
Duncan, Dan
Garden designer
Fortenberry, Eric
Watson, Terumi
Collection Creator
Garden Club of America
Place
Savage Garden (Knoxville, Tennessee)
United States of America -- Tennessee -- Knox -- Knoxville
Topic
Gardens -- Tennessee -- Knoxville
Provenance
Knoxville Garden Club
Former owner
Savage, Arthur
Savage, Hortense
Savage Laughtery, Pearl
Present owner
Dohm, Bill
Cooper, Patty
Stone mason
Davis, Charles
Architect
Barth, Bill
Woodwork designer
Duncan, Dan
Garden designer
Fortenberry, Eric
Watson, Terumi
See more items in
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / Tennessee
Sponsor
A project to describe images in this finding aid received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care Initiative, administered by the National Collections Program.
Extent
17 Digital images (color, JPEG files. )
Custodial History
The Knoxville Garden Club facilitated the submission of this garden's documentation.
Archival Repository
Archives of American Gardens
Identifier
AAG.GCA, File TN121
Type
Archival materials
Digital images
Collection Citation
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
Collection Rights
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Bibliography
This property is featured in "Preserving a fragile beauty," by Lynn Hutton in Halls Shopper News, Knoxville, August 3, 2009; Fountain City: People that Made a Difference, by J.C. Tumblin, Knoxville, 2006; "Coming back to life," by Ed Marcum in Knoxville News-Sentinel, May 9, 1990, pg. N1 and N2.
Scope and Contents
17 digital images and 1 folder.
Collection Restrictions
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Related Materials
The Knoxville News Sentinel Newspaper Articles/Subject Files at the McClung Collection in the East Tennessee History Center.
AAG.GCA_ref32896
Large EAD
AAG.GCA
AAG
Record ID
ebl-1643208220039-1643210186976-0
Knoxville -- Savage Garden
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