Today in Johnson City History: June 3

June 3, 1886: The Comet reported the death of Johnson City’s Fred H. Austin in Cranberry, North Carolina. He had been hauling lumber on a tram car when the break pin came out, rendering the brake useless on a steep grade. Fearing that men at the end of the track would be injured, he used a knife to make a wooden pin, but the car was already running at high speed. Just as he went to place the pin, a long piece of lumber fell from the car and struck him, throwing him from the tram car.

More than two decades after disbanding, The Road Company’s legacy lives on

From 1975 to 1998, Johnson City was home to a world-renowned theater ensemble that traveled all over the region — and overseas — performing more than 20 original plays about the history, legacy and concerns about the people in Upper East Tennessee before disbanding in the late nineties.

Today in Johnson City History: June 1

June 1, 1893: The Comet’s editors questioned whether Dr. C. Wheeler, a prominent physician who worked in several area counties, had been poisoned to death in Greeneville. The doctor’s son, a surgeon in Denver, Colorado, had arrived in Johnson City with suspicions of foul play. A post-mortem examination was planned for the disinterred remains, which had been hastily buried after the father’s death on May 14. A week later, The Comet reported that the doctor had not been poisoned but died from an enlarged heart.

Today in Johnson City History: May 31

May 31, 1854: Henry Johnson “purchased half an acre of land from Abraham Job on Brush Creek, located at the intersection of the recently graded ET&V rail line and the stage road connecting Jonesborough to Elizabethton.”

From No. 1 in the country, Warren went to the dogs — and cats

Fred Warren has been the coach of the East Tennessee State men’s golf team since 1986, so it will close out an era when he retires at the end of June.

Today in Johnson City History: May 30

May 30, 1885: The Comet issued an opinion that King Springs was one of the most delightful summer resorts in the South. W.T. Rucker’s resort was just 2 miles from downtown. The water was described as “chalybeate, full of magnesia and sulphur.”

Today in Johnson City History: May 29

May 29, 1835: Patent Office records show that a patent was issued to Henry Johnson for a threshing machine.

Today in Johnson City History: May 28

May 28, 1921: Johnson City’s John Dryden Exum was born. Captain Exum was the commanding officer of the USS Noa when it picked up John Glenn after Glenn orbited the earth in 1962. John Exum Parkway is named in his honor.

Five questions with sixth-generation Northeast Tennessean Phil Carriger

A sixth-generation Tennessean, Phil Carriger’s family history in East Tennessee goes back further than that of Johnson City itself — by nearly 80 years. A soldier in the Revolutionary War, Carriger’s first ancestor was given more than 1,000 acres in Carter County, where two buildings of his still stand today.