I have fond memories of attending Henry Johnson School (W. Market Street opposite Kiwanis Park) in the 1950s. When I transferred there after completing the first grade at West Side School, I received a warm reception from the principal, Miss Margaret Crouch who escorted Mom and me on a tour of the school.
Most area residents are familiar with the Martha Washington Inn, located near Barter Theatre in downtown Abingdon, Virginia. General Francis Preston, hero of the War of 1812, had the building constructed in 1832 for his family of nine children. Over the years, it served as a women’s college, a Civil War hospital and barracks and as an inn for actors and guests of Barter Theatre.
When I graduated from Science Hill in 1961, the high school sold one annual, “The Wataugan,” that year for those seniors graduating in May. During 1927-34, the school discontinued the popular publication, later reestablishing it as two separate editions, one in January and the other in May.
Today’s column deals with the old North Side School that was built in 1922 at N. Roan Street, sandwiched between E. Eighth and E. Chilhowie avenues. In 1928, the city began a study for replacing, remodeling or expanding several area schools.
I grew up in the 1940s about a block from West Side School that was once located at the southeast corner of Main Street and Watauga Avenue. I attended the first grade there in 1949-50 under the watchful eye of my teacher, Miss Mildred Taylor. A Johnson City Chronicle dated May 3, 1947 contained a news item that aroused my interest by mentioning several names that I recognize.
Glenn Stroup asked me if I would write a column about Warren Weddle, Science Hill High School’s former colorful band director. Since I was not in the band, Glenn became my primary source of information.
Wednesday, Jan. 10, 1934 was tagged “Professor Walter Clement Wilson Day” by the city’s Kiwanis Club at a meeting at the John Sevier Hotel. he honored person was a 71-year-old State Teachers College instructor and senior member of the club.
In June 1927, the Shredded Wheat Company of Niagara Falls, New York, conducted a nationwide essay contest that resulted in 20 grammar school students and their teacher being invited on an expense-paid railroad trip to visit their plant and take in all of the dazzling sights of the falls.
Since I wrote a column in August 2006 about Atlanta’s Montag Brothers Paper Company’s clever Blue Horse awards marketing promotion, I have received a steady flow of flow of comments. My column noted that literally millions of Blue Horse heads were exchanged for cash and prizes, making Montag one of the largest paper companies in the industry by 1950.
My History/Heritage page feature last week dealt with the opening of a new Science Hill High School at N. Roan Street and John Exum Parkway. A different location was proposed in 1946 when C. Howard McCorkle, then principal of the school, sent a letter to the Johnson City Planning Commission proposing a 4-part program: