Jul 22 2008
06:09 pm

Alot has been said latley about the Central St. Hookers, and I'd like them out of there as much as anybody, or more like it, the creepy men who troll the area looking for hookers. But seeing as its the oldest profession, I wonder if its solvable. Maybe we should turn one of the rehabbed buildings in the area into a brothel. Or better yet, perhaps house the hookers with the Knoxville Fellows and the fellows could help rehabilitate them, or vice versa.

R. Neal's picture

Link... Didn't she operate a


Didn't she operate a place up on North Central, providing the type of community service you suggest? Maybe they should have given her a TIF.

SteveMule's picture

To be serious for a moment

To be serious for a moment (and I have enjoyed the humor) most of the hookers/whores/prostitutes you see walking on Central Ave. are drug addicts (opiates, crack, you name it). They simply wouldn't/couldn't/don't have the disipline needed to work in a brothel. Even if all they did was earn just enough to keep themseles in dope. It wouldn't work.
Now that's not to say that a professionally run brothel wouldn't be sucessful in Happy Hollow - just not with them.

Take Care, Be Good and don't play in the street!


WhitesCreek's picture

"Community Service"

That's hilarious! I've been digging into the Roane County shootout and needed some comic relief.

Bizzy's picture

Bunny Ranch?

You mean like this one?

RayCapps's picture

It would be the historically correct choice...

to locate such an enterprise. This history of Happy Hollow is something of a cross between Storyville and Newport's Fruit Jar Alley. My father was born in Copper Ridge in Northeast Knox County but largely grew up in Happy Hollow (one of the shotgun houses just west of Central near the Freezo). He collected and returned unbroken mason jars to the backs of local businesses for a penny per. I also understand he made a little money doing something that involved sitting on a street corner and looking every which direction. It seems when he saw certain visual cues he was to casually stroll away from the corner. At this time, a gentleman would get up from his porch and casually step inside his house. Shortly thereafer, several gentlemen would not so casually hurry out the back.

Up Goose Creek's picture


Stacey, until a decade or so ago there was a U-shaped apartment building at the SW corner of Central and Scott that was said to be a whorehouse. I think it was called the Ponderosa. Something for historical preservationists to ponder.

"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse."

JaHu's picture

Shouldn't leave out the top

Shouldn't leave out the top floor of the old L&N Hotel from this conversation.

R. Neal's picture

the PonderosaThat was it!

the Ponderosa

That was it! Couldn't remember the name of it.

(Don't know if that was Hazel Davidson's operation, though.)

Up Goose Creek's picture

Hazel Davidson

I think Hazel's place was soemwhere near Hoitt Ave. Don't read any more into my vast store of knowledge other than an interest in marginal real estate. And that end of Scott Ave was pretty marginal back in the day.

"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse."

ten's picture

scott and central

that whore house was once a motel for employees of Hurbert and Hurbert trucking company untill Rose bought it and turned it into whore house, the theater was named center, the white store was owned by the McDonald family, 1201 was Sharps grocery store, barber shop with a pool room named porkys on top floor owned by D.O. Sharp our past regester of deeds on both corners were drug stores south of Anderson ave was western auto across from it was a five and dime next to it was Cas Walker super market, on the corner of Baxter was Pinky barber shop and across from the Holy Ghost Church was Sears, there was five bars and a bootlegger on every corner. not many ladies walked the streets in the old days. just a lot of drunks.

Anonymous's picture

Hazel's old house...

Her last home-based business was located on Hoitt Avenue, on the north side of I40, off Cherry Street. From there she went to live with her daughter (in south Knoxville, maybe?) or into a nursing home - I forget which.

RayCapps's picture


Less than 1 mile from where I grew up. And I thought it was a big deal having Cas just down the road.

Bbeanster's picture

I visted Hazel on Hoitt--

I visted Hazel on Hoitt-- can't remember exactly when, but a friend of mine was running a little corner grocery store down there, and took me to see Miss Hazel. She was a pretty sad case, drinking brown liquor all the time and sitting up all hours to keep an eye on her "girls," because she didn't trust anybody.

She told lots of stories, and had a big nekkid portrait of herself on the livingroom wall, a' la Marilyn Monroe. She was running wide-open, with no pretense that she was running anything besides a whorehouse, and everybody in her 'hood knew she was there. I figured she was paying somebody off.

Next thing I heard about her was she was in a nursing home in Jefferson County.

I also remember the Ponderosa. That block of N. Central has a long tradition of prostitution.

RayCapps's picture

Completely off topic, but...

Was that corner store the Handy Dandy? (Now Doan's Market). Wasted a lot of yard mowing money on hot dogs and cold drinks in there as a kid.

Anonymous2's picture


BTW Hazel had no children so no she did not go live with her "daughter" after she retired from her business.

redmondkr's picture

Had you spent that yard

Had you spent that yard mowing money at Hazel's instead you would not have been cloggin' your arteries.

Visit us at

The Home

StaceyDiamond's picture


For years I've heard stories of Hazel. The MP did a story of some other notorious hooker a year or so ago. I forget her name.

StaceyDiamond's picture


Maybe to keep with the new historic preservation boon, we could open up a spot called Hazel's. To be the so called buckle of the Bible Belt I get a kick of how Knoxville also seems to have a good toleration of stuff just outside the law, its interesting.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Bruce Wheeler

"...I get a kick of how Knoxville also seems to have a good toleration of stuff just outside the law."

For a whole lot more on this theme, don't miss any opportunity to hear UT prof Bruce Wheeler's plethora of local stories. He's gotta million of 'em!

From UT's website, Wheeler's more scholarly works include:

"A recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Fellowship at the University of Virginia, Dr. Wheeler is the author of Knoxville, Tennessee: A Mountain City in the New South (second edition, 2005); TVA and the Tellico Dam, 1936-1979: A Bureaucratic Crisis in Post-Industrial America (with Michael J. McDonald, 1986, revised 2005); Discovering the American Past (2 volumes, with Susan D. Becker, 1986, sixth edition 2007); Discovering the Western Past (2 volumes, with Merry Wiesner, Frank Doeninger, Kenneth Curtis, 1997, second edition 2002); as well as dozens of additional textbooks, anthologies, monographs, scholarly articles, and reviews. Among other projects, Dr. Wheeler is currently writing a history of the University of Tennessee."


(This post only tangentially related to whorehouses.)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is used to make sure you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.


TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

State .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Monthly archive