Mabry-Hazen House Museum
This elegant home was built in 1858 and was home to the same family for three generations. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features antique furniture and historic collections of fine china, crystal, and silverware. During various phases of the Civil War, the house served as a headquarters for both Union and Confederate troops--a fact that reflects the contentious history and divided loyalties of Tennessee residents during the war. Visitors to the Mabry Hazen House Museum are encouraged to visit nearby Bethel Cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place for 1,600 troops from Tennessee, along with 50 Union prisoners of war.
Backstory and Context
The Mabry-Hazen House Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located on five acres atop Mabry Hill and includes the four-acre Civil War Bethel Cemetery. This stately, elegant home of the Victorian and Civil War periods showcases one of the largest collections in America containing original artifacts including china, silver, crystal, and antique furnishings. Built in 1858 and housing three generations of the same family from 1865-1987, the Mabry-Hazen House served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. Joseph Hazen Jr. outfitted a Confederate regiment at a personal cost of $100,000 and received the honorary title of General. Alternately occupied by Union and Confederate forces, it was Confederate Gen. Zollicoffer’s headquarters in 1861, and during the Union occupation the grounds were fortified. The Bethel Cemetery contains more than 1,600 Confederate dead, including three hundred from the battle of Fort Sanders, and nearly fifty Union casualties. The colorful family appears in several literary works. In Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain described a gunfight with a local banker that killed the home’s builder, Gen. Mabry and his son, Joseph III, on Knoxville’s Gay Street. Gen. Mabry’s son-in-law, Rush Hazen, was the benefactor of Leonora Whitaker Wood, whose story was told as fiction in the novel Christy. Gen. Mabry’s granddaughter, socialite Evelyn Hazen, was the subject of a book about her sensational lawsuit against her fiance.
Mabry-Hazen House website, http://www.mabryhazen.com/Mabry-Hazen_House/Home.html, accessed 1/17/2015