Millennium Manor – the odd stone castle in Alcoa – has its annual open house on Memorial Day.
The stone and cement house was constructed using Roman techniques, and was meant to last 1000 years. The rooms have arched roofs. When we visited the Castillo San Marcos fort in St. Augustine we saw the same type of rooms and roofs.
This BlountWeb link is down at the moment, but it has the best information I’ve found. Here’s a cached copy. This 1957 Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times story interviews builder and original owner W.A. Nicholson, and is the best source for his religious motivations for building the structure. Nicholson was 61 when he began construction, and worked on it in his spare time while working a full-time job at the aluminum plant.
This Oak Ridger story interviews the current owner, Knoxville firefighter and paramedic Dean Fontaine.
The manor is also known as Darby’s Castle, after a Kris Kristofferson song. The Knoxville Grass re-recorded the song on their album of the same name, and used a picture of the manor for the album cover.
I went to the castle as a kid when the JayCees used it as a haunted house. Melissa and I toured it Memorial Day a couple of years ago and met the current owners. Admission was free, with donations encouraged. The manor is at 500 North Wright Road, not far from the duck pond.