Namesake: Tuckahoe in Knox County

11:00 AM, Dec 10, 2010   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
Related Links
  • Tuckahoe Trading Post - Facebook Page
  • In the southeastern portion of Knox County near the Sevier County line sits the small unincorporated community of Tuckahoe.  In many respects, it is difficult to know where Tuckahoe begins and ends.

    "There are not any clear boundaries," said Kim Worley, owner and cook at the Tuckahoe Trading Post on Kodak Road.  "We're south of Midway, north of the Holston River, just west of Sevier County, and near Kimberlin Heights."

    Worley and her mother purchased the small grocery store and restaurant about six years ago and changed the name to Tuckahoe Trading Post.

    "Tuckahoe is the name of this community.  The correct pronunciation most places is 'tuck-uh-ho' but a lot of the folks around here call it 'tuck-E-hoe.'  I guess it just depends on who you ask," said Worley. 

    Patrons who visit the small store should come with a big appetite.  The Tuckahoe Trading Post serves homemade meals from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. with a menu consisting of cornbread, beans, brown gravy, pork chops, chicken and dumplings, and a daily rotation of around three different desserts.

    "The boys who come in here for lunch love the pineapple upside-down cake," said Worley as she poured hand-whipped batter into black cast iron skillet.  "We try to keep them happy.  It's a tight-knit area and everybody in here is like family.  The old men sit at these tables and eat and spin stories.  A lot of the stories are so exaggerated that we tease people and tell them they need waders when they come in here."

    Ask residents throughout the area where the name Tuckahoe comes from and they can all seemingly lead you knee-deep into a tall tale regarding the moniker's origin.

    "Everybody here was always told the same story growing up," said Worley.  "There was a farmer doing some work in his garden and his hoe was missing.  He saw an Indian with a hoe and asked him if he stole it.  He said, 'No, I took a hoe.'  That's what we were consistently told by adults."

    One resident near the Tuckahoe Baptist Church said the story was actually of a white man who stole a hoe from the Native American.  The Native American accused the white man of theft by saying he "Tuck-ah-hoe."

    The only shred of truth in either rendition of those tall tales is that the name Tuckahoe comes from Native Americans.  The first known documented use of the word was in 1612 when Capt. John Smith included the word on a map. 

    Tuckahoe was used to mark the marshy areas where starch-filled plants were used by the Native Americans to make bread.  The word is most commonly associated with arums such as Green Arrow Arum or certain types of truffle-like fungi that flourish in the wet soil.

    Communities, regions, and bodies of water throughout the eastern seaboard were frequently named Tuckahoe.  Our research was unable to find any clear documentation as to exactly when and why the Knox County community adopted the name. 

    The area was originally called Greene's Station.  Its name changed to Manifold's Station in 1797 when Benjamin Manifold established a mill and trading post.  A 1951 article from the Knoxville Journal said Manifold was killed when the "cape of his coat was caught in the machinery and caused him to receive fatal injuries September 23, 1820."  A stone marker at the corner of Kodak Road and Denton Hollow Road stands in honor of Manifold's contributions to the area's early settlers, saying he offered them safety and "hope."

    Sometime between Manifold's death and the end of the century the community took on the name Tuckahoe.  The government recognized the name by opening the Tuckahoe Post Office in 1891. The post office closed in 1906 according to the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

    The Tuckahoe name flourished again in 1915 on bags of flour.  That was the year B.G. Peters built his mill and trading post in Tuckahoe.  An old 12 pound bag of "Belle of Tuckahoe" brand flour from Tuckahoe Mills is on display in the current Trading Post.  The bag features an image of Mrs. Peters as the aforementioned Belle.

    The remnants of the old mill were recently torn down.  However, the name Tuckahoe remains with the Trading Post, the local Baptist church, and with the body of water that flows through the area.  Tuckahoe Creek begins in Kodak and flows south into the Holston River.

    "Tuckahoe is not a word that you hear every day.  For us it is home.  The families stay very close.  A lot of the children who grew up here build houses here near their parents.  It's just a beautiful place," said Worley.

    Send your Namesake suggestions

    If there is a place or landmark with a name you would like us to research, send your suggestions to 10News reporter Jim Matheny using the "Namesake Suggestions" form on this page. Be sure to include your name and a note on how to pronounce it in case we use your suggestion on-air. Likewise, please let us know if you do not want us to use your name on-air.

    You can also submit suggestions on Jim Matheny's WBIR Facebook page as well as on Twitter @jimmatheny.

    Note: Namesake is the renamed title of the series formerly known as 'Why do they call it that?'

    Other Namesake Segments

    Most Watched Videos