Woodruff's Building (18)


424 South Gay Street

After the Civil War, Captain William W. Woodruff established W.W. Woodruff & Company, one of the city’s longest continuously operating businesses, on the site of Knoxville’s “Old Base Ball Grounds (ca. 1865).” According to local folklore, a gypsy circus was performing in the area when its prized, rare white mule passed on and left a curse on the land.

Decades later, the original building at 424 S. Gay was destroyed along with the entire city block in “The Million Dollar Fire” of 1897. Then, in 1904, a dynamite explosion ripped off much of the façade, which was rebuilt in 1905. Woodruff’s closed its Gay Street store in July 1992. Knoxville’s first brewpub was established in this location in 1994.

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