Two novels by Maristan Chapman titled, The Happy Mountain (1928) and Homeplace (1929), offer insights into the manners and mores of southern mountaineers who struggled against approaching change in their secluded land. She lived in the southwestern portion of the Cumberland Mountains just over the Tennessee state line.
March 15, 1934 marked a special event for the Kings Mountain Post of the American Legion; it celebrated 15 years of service. Congress chartered the association in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, and wartime veterans’ organization. While my source did not reveal the location of the Legion in that year, it later resided at 503 E. Main Street adjacent to the Central Fire Station.
Paul Gill, a frequent responder to my history articles, has conducted a tremendous amount of research on several local families that include Weaver, Sherfey and Feathers. He put me in contact with Sandy Mills for a column about her grandfather, Arlie Anderson Weaver.
A large 1928 map identified as “Johnson City General Plan” reveals a wealth of information, some of it surprising. The legend identifies symbols for proposed and actual streets, parks and parkways, schools, semi-public properties, public properties, cemeteries, railroad property, industrial property and business property. John Nolan was listed as the city planner.
From time to time, I incorporate a history quiz in my columns to challenge Press readers’ memories of vintage Johnson City. Listed below are 15 questions. See how many you can answer without looking at the answers at the end of the column. Older residents should know many of them.
A 1928 Johnson City Chronicle headline proclaimed, “Plan to Spend $8 Million on Route 1, Tennessee’s “Broadway of America.” The article was referring to the proposed 538-mile Memphis-to-Bristol Highway.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 was a heartrending day for this writer. The old apartment building, originally known as the Gardner Apartments, at 319-321 W. Watauga where I lived during the first eight years of my life (1942-1950) burned and collapsed into a mountain of molten rubble.
In the spring of 1930, the Johnson City Chronicle and Staff-News conducted a “Birthday Contest” for local residents who were born in 1885. The rationale was to glean from locals what the city was like in the 45 years since they were born.