New to the Collection in 2023

Throughout the year, ETHS acquires objects and artifacts that help continue to tell stories of the people of East Tennessee. These objects come by way of gifts, purchases, or transfers. In 2023, ETHS saw 142 “new” objects added to the permanent collection, bringing the total to 16,420 Thank you to generous individuals who gifted items or donated to the Artifact Acquisition Fund.

Rebecca P'Simer | Curator of Collections
Authored By Rebecca P'Simer on January 25, 2024


Dale Baldwin – pocketknife owned by Albert Glenn Baldwin (1920s), University of Tennessee ROTC belt owned by Walter Scott Baldwin (1940 – 1942), The Acme Thunderer whistle, dog tags, ID case owned by Elbert Windsor Berry (1917 – 1919), Photograph of Elbert W. Perry and Co. C. 117th Infantry members (1917 – 1919), Camp Sevier letter and photograph (1918).

Alfrey Family – cigar box, eyeglasses case, ring with case from Knoxville businesses, “Drink Royal Crown” clip, Gold Rebel Railroad charm bracelet.

Family of Hugh Elmer and Marie (Lizzie) Harris – thermometer used by Marie Elizabeth (Parks) Harris, Masonic society fez cap belonging to Hugh Elmer Harris.

Greg Weinstein – Magnavox VideoWriter

Spring Place Presbyterian Church – Sunday School flags labeled “The Sabbath School That Never Closes” and “Spring Place S. School 1845”.

Anonymous – protest signs regarding Drag Show at the Tennessee Theatre labeled “I ‘heart’ (love) Drag Queens” and “Knox ‘hearts’ (loves) Drag Queens”.

Joan McGinnis – piano tuning book in brail, along with record cutter and microphone owned by donor’s uncle, Mark Wallace.

Edwina Church of God in Jesus Christ’s Name – three folk art paintings by Pastor Jimmy Morrow.

Rhys (Bebes) Claiborne – framed Diane Tunkel Hanson napkin, keepsake from the Greater Knoxville Arts Council launch event, donor was president of the Arts Council.

Jeffrey Clayton – induction certificate for Hugh Elmer Harris into the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, admission into freemasonry, and certificate of “Master of the Royal Secret” and “the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite”, 1924 incoming class photograph inducted into the “Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite”.

Lisa Oakley – posters related to the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair and 1984 Dogwood Arts Festival.

Merikay Waldvogel in Memory of Linda Claussen – Raw edge applique titled “A Memorial: Linda Claussen” made by Bets Ramsey; patches were made by Linda Claussen and pieces cut out by her for her work, 2021.

In Memory of Linda Claussen – “Little Women” quilted by Linda Claussen, 1950.

William J. Geiger – Six pieces of Gorham Silver flatware from John W. Green engraved with initials of his wife, Elenor McClung Green (1888 – 1991).

Steve Smith – Black waist shirt belonged to Edith Hazel Renow/ McDaniel (1894-1945).

Deborah Patton – Annual catalogue of the Science Hill Institute (Session 1884-’85), Programme of Science Hill Institute (1885), Letter to the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General, Letter to D.M. Patton.

Melissa Newborn – “Madonna and Child” print by Frank McCrary, 1906

Anonymous – jewelry boxes from local businesses on Gay Street, 1930s.

William Louis and Bertha Louise Hobson Shoun Collection – Trousseau night gown that belonged to Bertha Louise Hobson Shoun, 1927.

Christa Gerkin Bryant, great granddaughter of Sarah Cogdill Williams – mourning coat worn by Sarah Cogdill Williams, 1900.

Jan Loveday Dickens – T-shirt given to teachers in Knox County to wear on their first day back after the pandemic.

John N. Fain, Jr. –coverlet, bedspread, shawl, child’s dresses, collars, bonnet, stockings, and other miscellaneous textiles belonging to Ann Duff Fain and Lynn Duff Robinson.

Les Williams – business advertising, glass plate, postcard folder featuring Bruce Leslie in a grove of ferns, view camera and tabletop used by photographer Bruce G. Leslie.

Victoria Elaine Mayes – watch and ring with freshwater pearl from Clinch River; items belonged to donor’s great aunt, Lucy Lucretia Mayes Burch (1888-1980). Father, Sterling Emery Mayes, was an elected member of the Knox County court for 45 years.

Mike Williams – McKenry Produce Co. and Knoxville Business College advertisement materials, TVA magnifying loop, and masonry line pins that read, “Knoxville/ Volunteers”.

First Friends Church – Cornerstones engraved “First Friends Church Organized 1908 Erected 1979; Ye are my friends if ye does whatsoever I command you.”; commemorative plate “Knoxville Friends Church”.

Judge Carroll L. Ross – folk art paintings by Lucile Smith

Anonymous – pocket watch and black wooden case, watch engraving reads, “Dr. John W. Cates to His Son Reuben Louis Cates 1906”.

Augusta Lay and Frank Bailey – Knoxville High School doll with assorted clothes and stand, graduates won at a reunion raffle, the couple were 1938 class graduates.


Funded by the Frank and Virginia Rogers Foundation – Oil on canvas portrait of Robert James McKinney by Lloyd Branson in 1887.

Two cherry candlesticks made by James Hooper.

Edward Hurst (1912-1972) oil on canvas group portrait painting depicting three young members of the Howard family playing baseball overlooking Lyon’s Bend.

Black Americana related collectibles: Cotton Belt Route deck of playing cards, cast iron paperweight of a child riding a crocodile, boy eating watermelon collectible, Lucky Joe glass bank, three handmade dolls.

Purchase funded by anonymous donor – Dog tag of Percell L. Moore from Clinton, Private First-Class African American who fought in France during WWI.

Lloyd Branson (1853-1925) oil on canvas, [The Marble Haulers or The Toilers], 1919.

Framed Sammie Nicely African Mask Ceramic Plaque (1947-2015), Lloyd Branson Oil Still Life with Citrus Fruit (1861-1925), Mary Ellen Hornsby Garrett O/C Landscape with Farmer (1869-1962), Blazing Star Pattern pieced quilt by America Waller Goodwin (1835-1893), Full Blown Tulip Pattern pieced quilt by America Waller Goodwin (1835-1893).

Emily Cates Estate – collage by Emily Cates and folk-art paintings by Lucile Smith


McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture – Various materials from their Civil War exhibit including Colt Model 1851 “Navy” Revolver, Confederate drum used by Longstreet’s men at siege of Knoxville (found December 1863), Army circular tin canteen (1861), Winter hood (Balaclava) worn by Major. Gilmore (C.S.A. Army, Gen. Kershaw’s staff), Union Army jacket worn by Corporal John Watkins, 19th Battery of the Ohio Light Artillery (1863), Collapsible telescope (1863), and more.

La Porte County Historical Society Museum – Collection of five postcards depicting various landmarks (a typical cabin, the Snodgrass House, Missionary Ridge, he Church of the Immaculate Conception, the Post Office) in Knoxville.

Rebecca P’Simer

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From the Collection

June Artifact of the Month

Lewis C. Buckner (c.1856-1924). Sevier County cabinetmaker, carpenter, and housebuilder.