The Customs of Knoxville’s Custom House

A Zoom Brown Bag Program by Joe Jarret

May 5, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. EDT

Join the East Tennessee Historical Society on May 5, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom as we welcome Dr. Joe Jarret, Attorney at Law and Lecturer with the University of Tennessee’s Department of Political Science, as he tells the story of the United States Custom House and Post Office, which serves today as the East Tennessee History Center in downtown Knoxville. 

Joe JarretA federal custom house was traditionally a building that housed government officials who oversaw the functions associated with importing and exporting goods into and out of a country. What you will learn during this presentation is that Knoxville’s Custom House was so much more than that! Built in 1874, the Custom House served as home to Knoxville’s U.S. Post Office and offices of the Treasury and Justice Departments, including federal court, as well as various other federal offices tasked with regulating trade along Tennessee’s navigable waterways. The building’s rich history reflects a bygone era when law abiding citizens and scoundrels competed for control of the riverboat commerce that helped shape the soul of a community and region.

This program is one in a series of Zoom Brown Bag programs and Saturday lectures to be offered this spring and summer. Sponsored by the Albers Family Foundation in memory of Harriet Z. Albers and by Gentry-Griffey Funeral Home in Knoxville, the East Tennessee Historical Society is privileged to share the good work of history being done around East Tennessee, by East Tennesseans, and about East Tennessee’s story with our members and the public.

“The Customs of Knoxville’s Custom House” program is free. We do ask that those interested in participating in the live Zoom program email to register. We will share the Zoom link in an email just prior to the program.