This is quite a book. It starts with Chisholm’s Tavern, established in the early 1790s by Patsy and John Chisholm. It was not only Knoxville’s first eatery, but also its first business. From there, Paula A. Johnson, the author, follows the history of Knoxville covering Cal Johnson who was born a slave in 1844 and was one of the wealthiest men in Tennessee when he died in 1925. Starting as a bartender who eventually owned a saloon, then two, then three saloons, then a racetrack. When prohibition shut down his saloons, he opened a movie theater and donated a building to house an African-American YMCA. His building that housed the Knoxville Overall Company is still standing. This book provides a fascinating window into Knoxville history in general and its foodways in particular. An East Tennessee native, Paula A. Johnson has led over 800 food tours of Knoxville and partnered with the University of Tennessee and WDVX to illuminate the city’s culinary history.
Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2017. 219 pages with a foreaord by Grady Regas, a Bibliography, and photos. Trade paperback,