Eric Johnson is ‘Good Neighbor’

Susan EspirituOur Town Neighbors, South Knox

The Diana Conn Good Neighbor of the Year Award for 2023 went to Eric Johnson of the Vestal Community Organization.

Outstanding community members and neighborhoods were honored at the city’s Neighborhood Awards Dinner on March 2. Each year, the Office of Neighborhood Empowerment accepts nominations for this award which is presented annually to a city of Knoxville resident who has devoted time and talent in service to his or her community.

South Knoxville Kern’s Bakery Building

Last week we visited the Smokey Mountain Market on our tour and then it was razed, a victim to progress, leaving all its shared memories behind. Glad we highlighted it first. Also, let me correct my idea of tour, because I am an abysmal tour guide as my family would attest.

I am directionally challenged in my own house. So, enjoy the read and be glad we aren’t driving. This week we are at the Kerns Bakery building. See our earlier story here.

Oh, if the walls could talk, the Kern’s Bakery Building could keep us spellbound. While it is now rebranding itself into a mini-mall of sorts, it began in its current location on Chapman Highway as a bakery production facility in 1931 when it relocated from its original home which now houses The Oliver Hotel and the Peter Kern Library speakeasy.

Founder Peter Kern and a partner established the bakery, but once Kern bought out his partner, the business expanded to include other offerings and became the center of social life in downtown Knoxville. Kern served as mayor and alderman for the city as well which solidified his place in the community. After his death, the family focused solely on the bakery production until they sold the business. Eventually, the business moved to the Chapman Highway building.

This one-of-kind building with its unique architecture was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017 and is one of Knoxville’s best-known landmarks.

Our next stop is Stanley’s Greenhouse, a favorite spot for many of us!

Events at Ijams Nature Center

Join Ijams’ naturalist for an immersive beginner Fungi ID Workshop at 2 p.m. on the basics of fungi and lichen anatomy, identification, and their pivotal role in our ecosystems.  Cost is $12. Register online. Info: Ijams Nature Center at 865-577-4717.

Stanley’s Easter Egg Hunt

Mark your calendar for this fun event on Saturday, April 8, starting at 9 a.m. at Stanley’s Greenhouse. Find an Easter egg and get 10 percent off your purchase, a free plant or another prize. Only one egg per customer please, so as many people as possible can join in the fun. The Easter egg event will be in effect all day – or until we run out of Easter eggs!

Got information to share? Send to [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *