Today in Johnson City History: Aug. 5

Aug. 5, 1897: The management of the street car line was doing everything possible to make Lake Watausee a pleasant and popular resort. “Of course, we can not have park concerts, etc., such as are had in large cities, but Manager Landon is doing all he can to contribute the comfort and pleasure of the patrons of the car line,” The Comet opined. The street car carried guests from downtown Johnson City up Watauga Avenue and along Main Street in Carnegie (now East Oakland Avenue) to the man-made lake. Watausee, later Cox’s Lake, was in the area near Lakeview Drive and Princeton Road.

Aug. 5, 1924: The John Sevier Hotel opened. The 10-floor building in downtown Johnson City featured a revolving door and double mezzanines, among other unique features. More than 1,500 people came to the grand opening. 

Aug. 5, 1983: Waylon Jennings and Jerry Reed performed at Freedom Hall Civic Center.

Sources: The Comet; “Greater Johnson City A Pictorial History and “Glimpses of Johnson City, Tennessee”; Bobbie H. Shirley, Freedom Hall

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