By Sarah Baker
We have known for quite a while here at The Knoxville Focus that our beloved Tasha Mahurin is something special. As a young mother of two toddlers, she bought The South Knox/Seymour Times, which she successfully ran for two years before selling it to The Focus. She is a sharp professional, an enthusiastic wife and mother, and she is now a book author. “South Knoxville” is co-authored by Tasha and her husband, Dr. Shannon Mahurin, a physicist at an Oak Ridge research facility. Shannon’s exceptional research skills and Tasha’s gifted writing style, along with their shared love of history, make for an impressive account of South Knoxville’s rich heritage.
Tasha grew up in South Knoxville and her love and respect for the region are evident from her selection of more than 200 vintage photographs contained in the book. There is currently a tremendous push to revitalize the South Knox area and it is an effort dear to Tasha’s heart. “I thought that by combining my love of history with my passion for the South Knox community, I might in some way contribute to that effort,” she said.
“From the closure of the Henley Street Bridge to the opening of the Urban Wilderness South Loop, and the inception of the Urban Wilderness Arts and Trade District, South Knoxville has the brightest future, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to document its past,” Mahurin explained.
“South Knoxville” tells the story of the region through amazing rare photographs that the Mahurins collected from the community. Each one tells a story by itself. Readers from all over Knoxville will enjoy these treasures discovered in the personal collections and private archives of South Knoxville. Highlights of “South Knoxville” include community, early history, industry, education, religious life, and recreation. Home to Ijams Nature Center, Fort Dickerson, Fort Higley, Fort Stanley, and the Gov. John Sevier Home, South Knoxville’s story is certainly one worth knowing. “South Knoxville has an interesting history that really hadn’t been documented, and, as we began to research the area, I developed a profound respect for its unique history and those who contributed to it,” explained Shannon Mahurin.
Tasha’s book features a forward written by Focus historical columnist Ray Hill, who is also a native South Knoxvillian.
“When Tasha asked me to write the forward, I was obviously quite flattered,” Hill said. “I think preserving our history for future generations is mighty important. Tasha’s book is beautifully done and I think anyone interested in Knoxville, South Knoxville and our past will want a copy.”
Nick Pavlis, Vice Mayor and South Knoxville’s representative on the Knoxville City Council, praised Tasha for her efforts.
“I’m very proud of Tasha and her husband Shannon for working so hard to write a book of great significance to South Knoxville and our city,” Pavlis said. “Tasha and Shannon have put together some truly incredible pictures with a text that are interesting and fun.
“South Knoxville deserves a book detailing the history of our community and the Mahurins have completed a book that is worthy of its subject.”
“South Knoxville” will surely give a lot of people the same respect for history. It is well-organized, well-written, and captivating to the eye. Published by Arcadia Publishing, the official on-sale date is Monday, September 10. It will be available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com. Pre-orders are now available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.