Bobby Smelcer was born in and has lived his entire life in south Knoxville, Tenn., according to Inside of Knoxville.
It’s a fact he’s proud of and, as a result of those years, he knows quite a bit about that part of the city over the last six decades. He loves it so much he’s collected the property that traces his history there, and more. He owns the two homes he grew up in, as well as another couple. He owns the church building where he attended as a child and was later married. It still functions as a church, though for a different congregation.
Surrounding that church and an adjacent home is twenty-two acres of mostly undeveloped property located just off Chapman Highway and just south of Fort Dickerson. Much of the hillside he owns borders public land and will remain undeveloped. Trails lead from his property to the greenway, which then leads to the Urban Wilderness. Other trails lead to the quarry itself.
He’s dreamed of having a campground on that hillside for decades and he appears near to working out details with the city to make it happen with Camp Quarry Trails. Campsites are ready and amenities are being built. “I always thought this would be a perfect place for a campground because of the quarry.” He bought the first parcel of the larger property in 1997 and has steadily added to it over the years, but adds, “I’ve been in the neighborhood for right at forty years.”
He also owns property in Boyd’s Creek where he built and operates an RV park.