Baker Peters House

 

It was constructed in 1830 by Dr. James Harvey Baker, a local physician. He continued to own the house until his death during the Civil War. Harvey Baker was a Confederate supporter and his son Abner was a Confederate soldier. Dr. Baker was killed at the home by Union troops who traveled along Kingston Pike during a raid of Knoxville in June 1863. A marker in front of the home incorrectly claims he was killed while treating wounded Confederate soldiers in the house in 1864. There is no evidence he ever used the home as a hospital for wounded troops. In fact, Dr. Baker is likely one of the very first people killed by Union forces in Knox County according to historian Joan Markel at the McClung Museum.

The Union troops fired through a barricaded door in the home, and hit Dr. Baker. His son Abner was away at war at the time of the incident, but became a historical figure upon his return in 1865 when he shot and killed a man named William Hall in downtown Knoxville. Hall worked for the clerk of court and fought for the Union during the Civil War. Early accounts of the shooting make no mention of it being an act of vengeance. Instead, newspapers claim the fight was between two people with an "old grudge" who were on opposite sides of the war, with partisan papers mostly disagreeing on whether the shooting was self-defense. A book published in 1976 claims Abner believed the man he shot was somehow involved in his father's death. Whatever the motivation, Abner was immediately captured and jailed when the shooting occurred. That night, an angry mob of Unionists overran the jail, took Abner outside, and hanged him from a tree in Downtown Knoxville.  The Baker house was sold in the late 19th century to George Peters.  Now the home of Finn's Restaurant & Tavern.