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Museum sells DVD to help preserve history of Concord

Old Concord is filled with history and one resident, Dave Russell, is intent on helping to preserve that history for future generations.

Russell has created a DVD, which can be purchased at Farragut Folklife Museum, depicting Concord as it is seen today.

Russell said, “We have a residents association, which is the old Concord Residents Association, affectionately, called OCRA.

“Those of us who are active in that organization are interested in Old Concord’s historic value.

“It is the only historic district in Knox County outside of the city of Knoxville,” he added.

Russell and his daughter, Laura Benner took photographs of each home and building located in Concord. Russell then put the photos together to make the DVD.

“I built it in an Apple program called Keynote and then converted it. I bought a music track and edited it down, the appropriate part of, and that is what the music is behind it,” Russell said.

“I think every house in Concord is in that D-V-D with the exception of one, so everybody’s property is represented,” he added.

“It shows some of the unique architecture that we have. And then there are some little houses there that are not necessarily special, yet they are cute and they are pretty and they are shown off in there.”

Russell said the people of Concord just want everyone else in Knoxville to see what a special place Concord is.

“We just think that Concord is unique to Knox County. It went through a state of decline back when the lake came in and then in recent years people have started to move in and started sprucing houses up and it is just a real attractive little place down by the lake.

“There are so many little nooks and crannies in Concord that most people never see.

“Most of Knox County has never been back there. No one knows we exist. Everyone knows they live in [or near] Concord but they have no idea what Concord is,” he added.

Concord is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Concord was founded in 1854 and developed rapidly after the arrival of the railroad.

The town’s growth was accelerated in the 1880s when large marble deposits were discovered. By 1887 Concord was Knox County’s largest town.

Unfortunately, in 1944 Tennessee Valley Authority flooded the town. This, combined with The Great Depression, caused the downward spiral of Concord as a town.

Concord today is called, by those who live there, a village. Russell describes it as being a close-knit community.

“It is a diverse neighborhood, everyone from tradesman to someone who is a [former] ambassador [to Oman] live there,” he added.

Mike Karnitz, interim museum coordinator at FFM, said the DVD is selling well.

“The only place we are selling them is in the gift shop,” Russell said.

“The gift shop is able to make a profit on it and the rest of it goes into the OCRA fund for snacks and things like that that we have at our meetings, so it is not a big money maker,” he added.


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