KNOXVILLE, Tenn.(WVLT)--Knoxville's downtown is relatively quite nowadays with restaurants and entertainment venues along the way but go back a ways and it was wild.
Laura Still conducts the Gunslinger Tour,
"People don't realize what a frontier town Knoxville was.
In fact there were frequent gunfights right down Gay Street".
One of those is on the third floor of the now East Tennessee Historical Society and Museum. It was a federal courtroom at that time and it was like a rock star was in town.
Laura says,"Back in 1901 and 1902 this was the scene of a famous trial in Knoxville I tell the first part of the story about his arrest,
but Kid Curry was arrested in Knoxville and the Knoxville Police Department was famous all over the country because they've been looking for years for this guy all over the west.
He was arrested and tried for a train robbery".
You probably remember Kid Curry as part of the Hole in the Wall Gang with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
"There were people lined up outside of the jail, a thousand people at a time lined up wanting to just look at this guy, touch him, give him a cigar".
Take the tour and you can hear the exciting conclusion.
Next up, 612 Gay Street, the old Mechanics Bank and Trust Company
"The bloodiest spot in Knoxville believe it or not"
The sight of an internationally known triple homicide back in 1882.
"The gentleman across the street was the president of the bank, richest man in town, the man lying here was actually the man who donated the land for Market Square,
The third homicide was his son."
His name-Joseph Mabry Senior as in the Mabry-Hazen house on Dandridge Avenue. . The murder was even mentioned by Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi.
It's onto North Gay and Jackson Avenue
"This story is one you don't hear in history"
You've heard of the Hatfield and the McCoys, how about the Howards and the McGhee's?
"It was the Six Feathers Saloon and Shooting Gallery"
The gentleman who was involved was a Mr. Tom Howard, he was actually a city police officer at the time, they didn't check references back then".
It all ended in an old fashioned shootout. Family feuds, duels and lynchings, a part of Knoxville's past that's come alive in the Gunslinger Tour.
Driving in your neighborhood, I'm the Tennessee Traveler.
For more information you can find the tour at:
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