Sequoyah Hills is an idyllic neighborhood. Thoughts of Camelot come to mind, where no strife exists and only peace abounds. One could say it is Knoxville’s paradise and playground as well. Most people of Knoxville have either driven, walked, run, cycled or walked their dogs in this big comfortable neighborhood.
Many Knoxville residents have enjoyed its gorgeous flower and tree-lined boulevard, looked out over Ft. Loudon Lake, and maybe even had a basket picnic in the large and welcoming parks. It is located on a peninsula created by a bend of the Tennessee River known as Looney’s Bend. The neighborhood dates back to the early 1900’s and the history of the area is filled with more intrigue than a Shakespearean tragedy.
Originally developed in the 1920s by E.V. Ferrell, Sequoyah Hills features numerous homes designed by respected local architects such as Charles Barber, Benjamin McMurry, and Francis Keally. Roads were designed to follow the contour of the land, trees were conserved and streets were lighted. The neighborhood was named for Sequoyah, the creator of the Cherokee Indian alphabet. There is believed to be a prehistoric Indian burial mound in the median of Cherokee Boulevard.
In 1926, Robert Foust began the development of Talahi along the west side of Cherokee Blvd. Talahi includes entrances at each end of the neighborhood, two fountains [Sunhouse and Panther], Papoose Park, and concrete roads. In 1979, the Talahi Improvements, which consist of several early landscape elements from Foust’s Talahi development, were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sequoyah Hills, as we know it today, has a number of additions to the original tract – Montview, Elmwood Place, Ardilla Point Addition, Scenic Drive, Alta Vista, Wood Hill, Hillvale, Spreading Oaks, Evergreen, Anteelah, Kingston Park, Lakeview, Talahi, Cherokee Gardens, Cherokee Hills, Shawnee Wood, Havenwoods, Lake View Point and Terry Arnold Addition. Sequoyah Hills also includes several multi-family properties – Sequoyah Square Condos, Sequoyah Terrace Condos, and Sequoyah Hills Apartments.
Sequoyah Hills remains amongst the oldest, premier neighborhoods in the city. Its proximity to the University of Tennessee, UT Medical Center, and business center is a huge part of its appeal. Cherokee Boulevard was home to Knoxville’s first Dogwood Arts Trail, which was established in 1955.
Lying between Cherokee Blvd. and the Tennessee River is the 87 acre Sequoyah Park. “The Boulevard”, as it is known to locals, is a favorite of walkers, runners and cyclists. The crushed stone path that winds along the median is perfect for walkers and runners, while cyclists ride the paved main thoroughfare. This is a pedestrian and non-resident friendly neighborhood. The people who enjoy these parks and green spaces are welcomed even though they may not live there.
While every season will delight you with color in Sequoyah Hills, spring rolls out the red carpet, from flowering dogwoods and spectacular individual flowerbeds to the line of ancient cherry trees along Cherokee Boulevard. It is a gardener’s dreamland.
The neighborhood is currently zoned for Sequoyah Elementary, Bearden Middle and West High School.