Today in Johnson City History: October 4

Oct. 4, 1884: Local railroad man and industrialist Gen. John T. Wilder was planning to build a 500-guest hotel on Roan Mountain. The building was to replace Wilder’s original 20-room lodge built on the Roan balds in 1877. The grand 166-room Cloudland Hotel opened in 1885.

Oct. 4, 1888: A front-page editorial in The Comet extolled the virtues of doing business in Johnson City, which it described as “The Gateway to the Heart of the Alleghenies.” The editorial listed what the town had and what it wanted. The long list of haves included two banks, two hotels, two furniture factories, two foundries, two planing mills, three brick manufacturers and an electric light company. The wants included a steam laundry, a first-class college and an ice factory.

Oct. 4, 1958: East Tennessee State College announced that 20 students were enrolled in its special teacher training program. Having completed some training at ETSC’s Training School (now University School) the special program’s students were sent into the region’s schools as student teachers.

Oct. 4, 1974: Mac Davis played to more than 3,000 fans at Freedom Hall Civic Center.

Oct. 4, 1977: Tom Jones played at Freedom Hall. Tickets were $8 and $9.

Oct. 4, 2006: Science Hill’s boys’ golf team finished second in the state Class AAA tournament. Blake Howard had the lowest individual score for the Hilltoppers, finishing with a 73 to give him a two-day total of 145.

Sources: The Comet; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Bobbie H. Shirley, Freedom Hall; Vince Staten; Johnson City Press.

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