Step Back in Time with Fountain City Auction

By Jamie Schnell

2021 was a record year for Fountain City Auction. And they will be kicking the new year off with a brand-new twist on an annual event.

On Saturday, January 8, Fountain City Auction will be having its 17th Annual Advertisement Auction. For the first time, they will be adding guns and hunting and fishing equipment to their annual auction.

Fountain City Auction’s volume of customers has significantly increased since 2004 from 250 to over 5,000 online. Using technology to transition from in-person to a live/online hybrid to online-only auctions has been more lucrative for Fountain City Auction, allowing them to reach even more people.

“Moving to an online auction has given us an opportunity for crossover buyers,” Fountain City Auction owner Greg Lawson told The Focus. “It helps us to reach more people and new people. Being able to adapt online has created a visibility to new customers.”

Over five hundred lots worth of items will be on the block Saturday, including signage, country store items, antiques, knives, furniture, toys, firearms, glassware, fishing, coins, jewelry, and many other collectibles.

“I keep thinking I have seen it all, but there’s always something more,” Lawson said about the variety of items that come into the auction house.

Each unique item goes through a meticulous process before auction. Each unpacked item is sorted, photographed and researched online by Lawson and his staff and then a detailed inventory is developed.

With over forty plus consigners for Saturday’s sale, Greg appreciates the value of his hard-working, six-employee team: “They are reliable with a great work ethic.”

Lawson shared a memory of growing up on a farm and his father saying, “You want to eat? Work and make it happen.” That has stuck with him and he believes in investing in “my people” and training them to be their best.

Employee Linda Salem added, “We love each other here.”

Lawson and his team are experienced to help folks with the many ups and downs of life: “With ever-changing life moves, such as downsizing, family members moving into an assisted living, or the loss of a loved one, houses and property need to be sold so fast.

“Sometimes we hold their hands, to get them through a difficult and a very personal process. If there is no contingency plan and there is something we cannot do for them, we offer another source, such as a donation center, in order to accommodate their needs quickly. I try to deliver above and beyond.”

Opened in 2004, Fountain City Auction is heading into its eighteenth year in business. They have been located at 4109 Central Ave Pike, Knoxville for nine years. Since then, Fountain City has transitioned from a live auction to an online auction.

Lawson told The Focus, “You have to have that dream, that ambition, and a vision.” And that vision led Greg to turn his love for photography, antiques and flea markets into the ever-growing, Fountain City Auction.

Lawson reflected on Fountain City’s successful year, “I am blessed and I work with what I got, my health. And I’ll work as long as my health allows.”

The 17th Annual Advertisement Auction will begin at 2 p.m. online at and will last approximately five hours. The online catalog will be updated leading up to the official auction.

You can also visit  or to email a list of items to advertise or to sell.

For additional auction needs or questions, you can call Greg at (865)604-3468 or the Fountain City Auction office at (865)474-9931.