HISTORY OF COLONIAL VILLAGE AREA
Provided by Sharon
Webb Colonial Village resident and board member
- Year of Annexation into Knoxville for small area of
south Knox County.
- Year that construction of Henley Street Bridge
began. (September 22, 1930)
- Year that Henley Street Bridge opened. (January 1932)
- 1936 - The Knoxville City Directories still does not
list Chapman Highway.
1934, it was referred to as the new Servierville
- Colonial Village registered in city deed books - 18 Sept.
- Chapman Highway is listed in the Knoxville City
Directory -- all the way to
block. (Intersection of Colonial Road)
-In what would become Colonial Village, these were the
only residential section
at this time: Stone, Magazine, Neubert Springs, Old
Valley, West Ford
Colonial, West Redbud and Mapleloop Roads, also
Heights, Lakeview and Brandau Drives.
- The area between West Ford Valley and Chapman
Highway, was still an
SAMUEL A McCALL FARM
area of the 6000 block of Chapman Highway, was a part of the
original 200 acre farm of Samuel A McCall (1856-1934). The
new highway, went through the middle of his property. This
proved to be disastrous for Mr. McCall. On October 28, 1934,
while attempting to cross the new road to get to his barn to
feed his livestock, he was struck by
an automobile and died later that evening at Ft.
Sanders Hospital. Note: When Mr.
McCall wrote his Will in 1932, he stated he had
seventy-three and one-half acres left to distribute to his
rural area did not stay vacant for long. Progress came and
commercial development was flourishing along this main
route. The residential development became fast growing into
a beautiful little neighborhood and eventually with four
churches, (Meridian Baptist Church, Colonial Heights
Methodist Church, South Knoxville Church of God and Moorland
Heights Baptist Church) one elementary school (Mooreland
Heights School) and one city park. The park, named for the
former Knoxville city councilman for our district, is the
Gary Underwood Park and Greenway and is located on Moore
Road. At this same park is the Ras P. Neal Soccer Field and
the South Knoxville Optimist Club Building, which serves as
the voting precinct for the 27th Ward. However, just on the
edge of our district is a second park, and that is the 26
acre Charter Doyle Park, that in 1984, was donated to the
city and county by former long-time Superintendent of Knox
County Schools, Mildred Doyle. This parcel of land was part
of a land grant issued for his service to his country, to
Pvt. John Doyle, Mildred's Revolutionary War patriot
ancestor. He is buried in a family cemetery on the hill in a
fenced area of the park.
popular Butterfly Lake at the entrance to Colonial Village
is currently a privately-owned body of water bounded by
Easton Road and Manchester Road. Formed by a series of
sinkholes and fed by natural underground springs and
aquifers, it, along with its sister lake Giffin on the east
side of Chapman Highway, and a third body of water once
located in the vicinity of the Lakeview Motel, were once
watering holes for native and migratory wildlife and the
domesticated barnyard animals that inhabited Sam McCall’s
farm. While impossible to prove, there is an outside chance
that the outlaw Harry Logan aka Kid Curry may have watered
his stolen horse here after escaping jail and fleeing across
the Gay Street bridge into South Knoxville in July of 1903.
Then, as now, Butterfly Lake acts as a watershed, collecting
and funneling rain runoff for the fifty contiguous acres
surrounding it. In fact, there is a large culvert that aids
runoff from W. Ford Valley and the surrounding streets of
Arcadia, Hartford, and Manchester.
When the Colonial Village community was established in 1940,
the lake was cozily surrounded by the verdant growth of
weeping willows, overhanging privet, wild honeysuckle, and
other natural growth that provided ample shade and cooling
for the water. At that time, Butterfly Lake remained a home
to Sam McCall’s flocks of muscovies, ducks, geese, and
several pairs of elegant swans. Descendants of these
muscovies and some of the ducks continued to inhabit the
water until 2016 when a resident privately contacted an
out-of-state conservancy and oversaw their removal and
relocation, creating much displeasure among longtime
residents who viewed this act as a theft of neighborhood
history. Amidst the few domesticated water fowl that remain,
we often glimpse migratory Great Blue herons, Great White
egrets, Canadian geese, mallards, etc. along the water’s
Fish abounded in these waters as well, especially catfish
and bass. Some of the largest catches in Butterfly Lake
history include ten-year-old Alan Gilbert landing a 30 pound
catfish on July 1, 1965, John Vaught hooking a 25 pound
channel catfish on March 13, 1988, and Chris Flynn and
Kristian Dennis catching a 50+ pound flathead catfish on
July 27, 1985. Fourteen-year-old Randy Tuggle hooked the
largest recorded bass in Butterfly Lake history on April 6,
1977. It was a 5 pound 8 oz. largemouth. On August 11, 1970,
twelve-year-old Lance Sergeant caught a 4 pound 11 oz. carp.
In addition to being a popular summer fishing hole over the
years, Butterfly Lake became the place to ice skate and the
venue for an impromptu game of ice hockey during extreme
Today, Butterfly Lake is not as healthy as it once was.
Longterm droughts over several years beginning in 2000, have
negatively impacted it. The lush vegetation which once
surrounded, protected, and cooled the water is now sparse in
some areas and barren in others. Through natural erosion and
the lack of adequate rainfall, some of the limestone beds
below the surface of the lake have collapsed, rerouting and
reducing the flow of the natural underground springs and
aquifers that have maintained the water levels over the
years. The improper feeding of bread to the water fowl that
inhabit the lake has resulted in an overgrowth of algae at
times from the indigestible yeast product in their waste.
The depleted oxygen levels in the water that result have
caused several multiple fish kills over the years, most
notably in 1993, 2008, 2012, and 2016.
Due to severe drought conditions in 2007, the lake’s water
level receded significantly, motivating resident Patti
Thigpen to act. After receiving permission from the five
government entities that must approve the refilling of a
lake as well as approaching and receiving permission from
the lake’s owners, and appealing to KUB to purchase the
water at a reduced rate, she proceeded to raise donations to
fill Butterfly Lake. When the lake level fell again in 2008,
Patti partnered with Greg and Kenlyn Stewart’s Over Your
Head productions to raise money for a second lake fill
through t-shirt and sweatshirt sales. Part of the 2008 lake
fill was financed by KUB, due to the controversy that a
sudden drop in the water level may have been attributable to
some excavation work in the area that likely impacted some
of the underground springs. Lake levels remained somewhat
stable until another drought in 2016. Patti once again
raised funds for what proved to be a very short-lived
refill, for a few months later the water had receded again.
Butterfly Lake is a much-loved and treasured part of
Colonial Village life. We know its needs: (1) Sufficient
rainfall to fill the aquifers and natural underground
springs that maintain its water level. (2) More plantings
like willows and overhanging shrubs to shade and cool its
surface. (3) Trenching out accumulated silt and excrement to
deepen its water levels and cool its surface. (4) Educating
residents and visitors on the proper feeding of water fowl:
regular bird seed, bird chow, chopped lettuce, and peas,
instead of bread and its products! For healthier ducks = a
While most of these things are beyond are capabilities at
present, it is our fervent hope to one day see this
privately-held piece of property donated to Legacy Parks for
preservation and upkeep.
By the late 1950's,
the Chapman Highway Dogwood Trail was etched into the
neighborhood by the city traffic engineers. The problem of
folks being able to take the scenic tour without a guide, was
solved with an ingenuous plan of painting the street with
white markings on the pavement. The only change in that plan
is what it is now painted pink.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
for David C. Chapman, who is called the "father of the
Smoky Mountains National Park".
West Ford Valley Road
for early Knoxville settler, Joseph Ford.
Neubert Springs Road
for Neubert family & Neubert Springs Resort.
burned down in 1922)
magazine for a plant run by Atlas Powder company that
the powder used in blasting Chapman Highway.
for Cecil V. Stone, magazine keeper for Atlas Powder Company.
Mooreland Heights School Road
for local man, William Carrick Moore, an entrepreneur in the
iron stove industry.
for William A. Catlett, Colonial Development Company.
Judith and Larry Drives
for the children of developer, Jay Henry
Undated Photo of Colonial Village (its
big! - Slow Modem User Beware) before