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Antebellum mansion, tucked amid Knoxville's sprawl, sells for $2M

Knollwood dates to 1851. It once served as headquarters for a Civil War general.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — One of Knoxville's most historic mansions -- built before the Civil War and a survivor of the city's sprawl -- has sold for $2 million, records show.

Knollwood on Bearden Hill formally changed hands Nov. 15, according to Nick McBride, Knox County register of deeds. Longtime owner Schaad Commercial Investments LLC sold the property at 150 Major Reynolds Place to Knollwood Historic Preservation LLC, which had an initial filing date of Nov. 1, according to Tennessee Secretary of State records.

Credit: WBIR
The brick mansion has seen a lot of history.

The look of the property has changed significantly over the last 20 years. Some drivers passing below on Kingston Pike might not even notice it.

Until the mid to late 1990s, when the property was redeveloped, it stood by itself on the broad, steep hill with a sweeping view toward the Appalachian Mountains. The brick house now shares space with a bank, an Italian restaurant and a Japanese restaurant.

It sits on property once owned by James White, according to the Center for Transportation Research.

Credit: WBIR
Schaad Companies occupies the mansion.

Knollwood also has been referred to as the Maj. Reynolds House, a reference to Maj. Robert Bannon Reynolds, who had it built starting in the late 1840s while he was away in the U.S. Army.

During the Civil War, Reynolds let an old comrade, Confederate Gen. James Longstreet, use it before the siege of Knoxville. Confederate troops are believed to have camped around it.

The house was among of string of historic properties that sat along Kingston Pike, including the Baker-Peters House a few miles to the west.

Credit: WBIR
Interior of stairway at Knollwood circa 1998.

From the late 1880s until the present, the house and surrounding land changed hands several times, according to the Center for Transportation Research.

After its initial construction, subsequent owners added a porte chochere on the west elevation, a sun room on the east side and a distinctive two-story front porch, according to Knox Planning records.

In February 1997, archaeologists from the Transportation Center at the University of Tennessee surveyed the property, conducting 111 "shovel tests" at various spots outside the house.

Among the discoveries: a stone and brick "cool cellar" and a shallow trench roofed with concrete, stone and metal slabs in a depression within a clump of bushes north of the house, according to a Center for Transportation Research summary.

Schaad Companies has used the house as its headquarters.

Knollwood is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Credit: WBIR
Knollwood in the late 1990s as it was being repaired.