The name Halls Crossroads may be an accurate description of the Knoxville suburb in more ways than one.
Halls Crossroads, more commonly known as just Halls, is an unincorporated community in North Knoxville, located to the north of Fountain City. The community is named for Thomas Hall, a settler who came to the area in 1796 from North Carolina.
Hall, who had been a British prisoner during the Revolutionary War, was given the East Tennessee parcel of the land by the U.S. government in recognition of his military service. Hall and his wife went on to raise 11 children here (and, hopefully, used the family’s impressive numbers to form the area’s first baseball team).
A couple of generations later, Hall’s grandson Pulaski and his wife opened a general store and inn, one of the first businesses in the area. As the story goes, the store eventually came to be known as Halls Crossroads after it was used as an outpost by both Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War.
The center of the neighborhood is near three junctions by three major roads that form a giant asphalt capital “A”. Others say it’s the intersection of these three major roads — Norris Freeway, Emory Road and Maynardville Highway (known as Broadway Avenue to the south) — for which this Crossroads puzzle is named.
But those aren’t the only forks in the road here. For some members of the Halls community, the area is in danger of becoming the epitome of suburban sprawl. For them, the community is going somewhere unpleasant in a hand basket (probably Kentucky). For others, Halls has a business-minded population that is delicately balancing economic needs with desires like keeping the neighborhood green.
In some ways that tension is the feel of Halls overall. Some areas, particularly Maynardville Highway, look like a gargantuan concrete-and-business sign monster threw up everywhere. Other sections look like the Ents from “The Lord of the Rings” are having their annual company picnic. Off the beaten path are huge chunks of residential land, with high-end subdivisions and homes that can carry price tags upward of $400,000.
Halls is isolated to some degree in that it is on the outskirts of the city. It’s difficult to easily reach other parts of Knoxville proper from the area. Residents must either drive through Fountain City to the south or toward Powell to the southeast to reach the interstate or other parts of town.
But despite the presence of retail and commercial space, there is a good deal of recreation to be had. If you’re a golfer, you may rub your eyes to make sure you haven’t died and gone to Pebble Beach. Nearby courses and country clubs include Beaver Brook Golf & Country Club, Three Ridges Golf Course and Beverly Park Junior Golf Course.
Halls Community Park is also here, with ball fields, a playground, a community building and its connection to the Halls Greenway. Or there’s the nearly 10,000-square-foot Halls Senior Center, which features amenities like a computer center, a billiards room with two regulation tables, a conference room, arts and crafts room and a multipurpose room with a kitchen.
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