Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Knoxville School that was used as a prison

Every Fall, as we returned to school, a classmate, who had probably never seen the inside of a jail, much less a prison, would remark that being back in school felt like being in prison. I don't think I would go that far, but I understand the sentiment. Here we were, stuck inside a classroom and only able to enjoy the beautiful Fall weather though the classroom windows.

However, some Knoxville students actually did go to school in a building that was used as a prison during the Civil War. The Bell House School, which was the Bell House Hotel at the time, was one of the more prominent establishments in Knoxville housed a number of Unionist prisoners. (Source: A Unionist in East Tennessee: Captain William K. Byrd and the Mysterious Raid of 1861, Marvin Byrd,The History Press, 2011, p. 71) This is mentioned in other sources as well.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I attended Bell House from 1950-56 and knew it was originally a hotel, but never knew of its history as a prison. I wish it could have been preserved as a historic building, it really should have been. Lots of great memories there.