Today in Johnson City History: March 2

By Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press March 2, 1899: The Comet reported that a bill allowing Johnson City to issue bonds for public improvements  had passed both houses of the state legislature. The bill permits an issue of $10,000, but it was proposed to issue only $3,500 at the time to be used in purchasing the […]

A reference to the little community of Spurgin can be found in the Feb. 27, 1894, Comet newspaper

Bob Cox’s Yesteryear Today’s article comes from the March 1, 1894, edition of The Comet newspaper, one of my favorite publications of old: “Editor Comet: Snow, blow and freeze have been the order of the exercises on the part of the weather bureau out here for the last few days, but, at the time of […]

Memories of North Side, South Side schools

By Robert Houk, Senior Reporter North Side and South Side elementary schools have long and proud histories in Johnson City that date back to the early 20th century. As a result, generations of area students have been educated in the classrooms of the two schools. Both schools have earned top honors in the state for […]

Black History Month: Doctor had prominent role in establishing education for African Americans in Johnson City

By Sue Guinn Legg The establishment of Johnson City’s first school for African American children is attributed to one of the most revered figures in the city’s early history.  Born a slave in 1825, Dr. Hezekiah Hankal went on to become one of the city’s founding fathers, a preacher, a teacher and a skilled physician […]

Downtowner Gas Station: Sam and Jeweldine Kinley

By Amy Kinley These are pictures of my parents, Sam and Jeweldine Kinley, and their children. My dad Sam, managed the Downtowner gas station in Johnson City for Rex Debord and they are pictured together. My sister Susan and I are pictured with dad’s Broncho with the Downtowner advertisement on it. My mom worked in […]

Texaco service station in the 1950s

By Dick Stephens While copying some slides of my Dad and Mom (John and Ruth Stephens of Jonesborough, both passed now), I found three pictures of the Texaco service station my dad ran in the 1950s. The titles of the pictures are what was written on the slides. If you look at the photo titled […]

A brief history of Science Hill High School

BRANDON PAYKAMIAN When taking a look at the growth of any community, one needs to look at its schools and education system. Much like Johnson City itself, Science Hill High School has witnessed a lot of changes over the years. On Aug. 24, 1868, Science Hill High School — then known as the Science Hill […]

Yesteryear: Remembering when movie posters graced local theaters

By Bob Cox During a recent antique store visit, I came across several vintage westerns-genre movie lobby cards, one of which I desired immensely. The cast of the movie, “Outlaw Brand,” as depicted on my newfound treasure, included singing cowboy star Jimmy Wakely (my all-time favorite), sidekick Dub “Cannonball” Taylor and the token heroine, Kay […]

All aboard! From Clinchfield to Carter, railways shaped Johnson City’s history

Johnson City’s history is woven with railroads. Chartered in 1849, the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad was the first to lay tracks across East Tennessee. It was followed by the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina (also known as the Tweetsie Railroad) followed in 1886. But the Clinchfield Railroad was the one to blow engineering standards […]