Fountain City businesses revive Town Hall train

Beth KinnaneFountain City, Our Town Neighbors

Though the weather last Monday morning was looking less than ideal, the clouds parted and Honor Fountain City Day in the Park made a triumphant return to Memorial Day festivities after a five-year hiatus. The day was filled with food, games, vendors and honors.

Charles Harrington, board member of Fountain City Town Hall, received the chair’s award

Among the favorites on the day was the Fountain City Town Hall train, on hand to escort the littles around the walking path through Fountain City Park. Town Hall member Carlene Malone said the board and members wanted to recognize the folks who donated their time and services to get the Little Gray Engine That Could back on track.

“Fountain City Wrecker Service and Fountain City Auto Clinic came to our rescue and got the train running for Honor Fountain City Day in less than two weeks,” Malone said. “On May 13 we got the keys to the trailer. It had four flat tires and the train had not been operated in years. These two companies got it going without charging FCTH one cent. Fisher Tire is going to replace the trailer tires for us.”

The wrecker service has for decades been referred to simply as “Smutt’s,” after the company’s late founder C. T. “Smutt” Smith. The business has been carried on by his sons Joel and Steve, whom Malone said were “incredible” along with their staff in helping get the trailer hauled to Fisher for new wheels.

Fountain City Auto Clinic for several decades was owned and operated by Jerry Scott, who passed away in 2016. Now managed by his daughter, Tammie Rouse, and widow, Nelda Scott, clinic staff worked to get the 50-year-old engine on the train up and running again.

The Town Hall honored the following Fountain Citians for their community contributions:

  • Man of the Year: Dr. Kenton Page
  • Woman of the Year: Kim Day
  • Commercial restoration: Sweet P’s Uptown Corner
  • Residential restoration: Reese and Retha Cloar
  • Residential Landscaping: Timothy and Stephanie Ogden
  • Friend of Fountain City: J. D. Lambert
  • Chair’s Award: Charles Harrington

Check out these videos, compliments of our colleague Thomas Mabry, of the train leaving Fountain City Auto Clinic for a test drive, posted on Knox TN Today’s YouTube page:

Beth Kinnane writes a history feature for It’s published each Tuesday and is one of our best-read features.

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