The improvements that come with a $5 or $6 million price tag will include a new entrance way, parking lot improvements, restrooms, a dock, a concession stand and lockers for kayaks and canoes, Walsh said.

More than $5 million in improvements planned at Fort Dickerson Park

bizgrrl's picture

Is swimming allowed in the

Is swimming allowed in the quarry now?

Up Goose Creek's picture


Yes, swimming has been allowed for a couple of years.

jbr's picture

I would like to see an

I would like to see an incline rail from the waterfront to Fort Dickerson.

JaHu's picture

I appreciate the recreational

I appreciate the recreational improvements to the park, but it would be nice to see work done to the actual historical aspect of the fort. It appears that originally there was a wooden fortress built on the site. When visitors come to our city, it would be nice if there were something more to see than just a dirt mound. It'd be nice if it were to become more of a historical destination than just a place to visit just out curiosity.

jbr's picture

I dint know there was a

I dint know there was a wooden fort there. Adding more historical features would be good. Maybe with weekend staff there for a few hours to give tours, answer questions. Then maybe rotate the staff to other historical venues for the same purpose.

JaHu's picture

If my recollection is

If my recollection is correct, there's a board on site with a sketch of wood timber walls built up on the inside of the fort to hold back the dirt mound. Surely there were other types of buildings constructed during the period that were used for different purposes. Even if there were none known to exist at Fort Dickerson they could incorporate some that were known to exist in other parts of the county to give it a little more feel of the time.

Fort Dickerson could become a real treasure for tourism for south Knoxville if done right.

barker's picture


Unlike frontier outposts such as Fort Loudoun and Fort Southwest (which have been reconstructed), Fort Dickerson was an earthen fort or redoubt. Reconstructing it would consist of moving dirt, not building a palisade, and doing so would obliterate any traces of the original fort.

JaHu's picture

What I was saying... Going by

What I was saying... Going by an artist rendering of the site, it wasn't entirely an earthen fort.

barker's picture


I haven't seen a rendering of Fort Dickerson, but most earthen forts during the Civil War had a moat in front of a scarp (berm) that was reinforced by planks or logs to keep the scarp from collapsing inside. My understanding (I could be wrong) is that Fort Dickerson was an artillery emplacement and there were no structures inside the fort other than something for ammunition storage.

As with any historic site, the question is should it be left as an archaeological remnant or should a new structure be constructed? I doubt very seriously that a reconstructed Fort Dickerson would be much of a tourist draw - its importance derives from the historic accident of the site never being developed. Fort Sanders, had it never been developed, would have been a better candidate, since it was the site of the main battle of the Knoxville campaign. But I'm open to persuasion on what to do the the park. It's a treasure.

fischbobber's picture

Fort Dickerson

It's my understanding that the primary purpose of the fort was an illusion. What we were taught was that, short on artillery, the commander ordered logs painted black on placed so to resemble cannon barrels. Upon seeing the emplacement, the powers that be elected to skip the battle of Fort Dickerson.

If that was indeed the case, something could probably be set up.

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