Fountain City Town Hall to honor Dohm, Cooper, Saunders

Shannon CareyFeature, Fountain City

Kelly Ellenburg, board chair of Fountain City Town Hall, has announced two more awards to be presented at Honor Fountain City Day, set for Memorial Day, May 28, in Fountain City Park.

Bill Dohm and Patty Cooper will receive the Town Hall Chair’s Award for their contributions to the Fountain City community. Dohm and Cooper are the owners of the historic Savage Garden and nearby Garden Montessori School on Garden Drive.


When Dohm and Cooper purchased the garden and adjoining house, built in 1917 by the late Arthur and Hortense Savage, the garden had been on the decline for years. That was 1986, and the Realtor who sold the property suggested that Dohm and Cooper demolish the garden, build condos, and keep the iconic stone walls “for character.”

Instead, the couple set to work restoring the house, greenhouse and garden. The garden hosts four state champion trees and participates in the Dogwood Open Gardens each spring.

Finbarr Saunders

Knoxville Vice Mayor and at-large city council member Finbarr Saunders will receive the Friend of Fountain City Award, which honors people who don’t live in Fountain City but have still made tremendous contributions to the community.

Saunders has served on Knoxville City Council for seven years and has worked with community leaders on a variety of issues.

“I’m really honored, and I was kind of stunned,” said Saunders. “When I started running for office, I rediscovered the incredible neighborhoods that we have throughout the entire community. There are a lot of really neat neighborhoods, and Fountain City certainly has its share. There’s a bunch of people out there who have been involved and very active in that community. For people like me, they’re very helpful.”

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