Tennessee Traveler: Gypsy Wagon


KNOXVILLE, Tenn.(WVLT) -- Smack dab in the middle of a north Knoxville neighborhood is something so out of place, so out of the ordinary you'd think you might be in Romania.

Tom Walton's romantic notion while touring in the military finally became reality. His whole backyard is like its own fairy tale, complete with a turret and a large wall.

"The turret started when I tried to marry a gal named Linda. She's quite a bit younger than me -- and I told her if she would marry me, I would build her a castle. And this is the first part, and I don't know if I'll finish it or not," Walton says.

The castle captures the imagination -- you can almost see Rapunzel and her long hair. The intricate designs show a passion for a sentimental time and place.

As for the gypsy wagon, it took over a year to complete.

"This is exactly like a Gypsy wagon, most gypsy wagons were set up, all the furniture and the stove just right where they are this way, I used examples,plans that I got off the internet and I sent off to England, some of it."

While this former Retenbach construction executive sawed and carved, his wife Linda sought out antiques, colors and fabrics.

"People look at that and say well that's too fancy for Gypsy's but it's not, Gypsy's really spent a lot of money on their wagons," she says.

Knoxville might not be the most likely setting for a fairy tale - but in Tom Walton's backyard it certainly comes close.

Driving in your neighborhood, I'm Alan Williams, the Tennessee Traveler.


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