September 2015

The annual Spring Style Revue of the Hart and Houston Store, located at 315-17 E. Main (future site of F.W. Woolworth and Hands On Regional Museum) displayed their colorful models for the spring of 1925.

The Hart and Houston Store That Once Stood in the 300 block of East Main 

The Majestic Theater (221 E. Main) stage was aptly set and decorated, with a garden scene for suits, coats and afternoon costumes and a drawing room for evening gowns. In each one, uniformed members of the high school orchestra formed the background.

A pleasing program of entertainment was interspersed with readings, songs and dances by artists from Milligan College and by popular local talent. Styles were arranged in attractive order: sport models, coats, suits, children's' department, afternoon dresses, coats, and ensemble suits and evening scenes with an elaborate display of millinery.

The styles, colorful and attractive and exhibiting completeness lines handled by the store, were made even more appealing through the arrangement of the program and the display by numerous models.

The children’s department was arranged and directed by Mrs. Ethel Johnson and Mrs. Lena Henderson. It contained an unusual appeal through the beauty of the garments and the delightful natural impulses of the dainty young models. The revue was said to be the most attractive one yet.

The Hart and Houston organization combined forces with Miss Daisy Moore (costuming), Mrs. R.E. Long (millinery), Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Henderson (children’s department). Each member took part in the staging of the successful revue. Fred W. Hoss made announcements and introduced those on the program.

George W. “Hap” Anderson was in charge of handling professional details to assure everything went well, entertaining and displayed in a pleasing, attractive manner. He sang the popular ballad, “On the Banks of the Brandywine,” with Leon Gunn at the piano.

Graceful models taking part in the displays of the new styles were Mrs. Kyle Slaughter, Mrs. W.T. Kennedy, Miss Nita Rigby, Miss Della Spencer, Miss Bonita Burkett, Miss Evelyn Cox, Miss Sara Cass, Miss Helen Knudsen, Miss Bernice Lauff, Miss Mary Hart, and Miss Dotty Westmoreland, with snappy fire in the role of “The Flapper.”

Juniors included Miss Martha Cargille, Thelma Long, Elma Jean Simms, Helen Sims, Ida Miller, Nancy McLaughlin, Louise Susong, Harrison Marshall, Martin Smith, Jane Houston, Katherine Whitehouse, Florence Greenway, Helen McGhee Summers, Jo Jimmie Biddle, Josephine Cooley, Anne Cass Carr. Models for larger women were shown by Mrs. Griffin and Mrs. Farnham of New York City.

A touching number at the opening of the children’s program was a lullaby sung by Mrs. D.R. Beeson, dressed in flowing white, as “Madona,” holding in her arms Jerome, the tiny baby of Mr. and Mrs. J. Freidman.

Masters John Lamb and James Beckner served as pages, bearing announcement cards to each side of the stage as the numbers were presented. The program opened with a pleasing reading, “Smile,” by Miss Bernice Lauff.

Following this, an announcement of the opening of the style show, a retrospective scene, “The Old Fashioned Garden,” was presented in costumes typical of two score years ago, by Miss Nita Rigsby and Fred W. Hoss. Accompaniment to a charming reading to music was made by Miss Dimple Hart, Director of Expression at Milligan College.

A gorgeous background was formed for the scene by four “living flowers”: Misses Nataline Channcey, Bernice Cavtrell, Elizabeth Davidson, and Lara Blackburn, dressed in representation of popular blossoms. In contrast, a modern “flapper” was introduced, snappily enacted by Miss Dotty Westmoreland.

Additional entertainment was interspersed within the program by Miss Macon Johnson, Mrs. Beeson, Louise Susong, Miss Lauff, Miss Nan Holiday, Bayard Aginsky (of Milligan), Mr. Anderson, Miss Nannie Cantrell (Milligan College) and Miss Iva Jones. The revue was said to be highly successful.

I hope my readers can recognize some of the names in this article.

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On August 7, 2014, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, located in the heart of Bristol, TN/VA, opened its doors to a host of expectant, enthusiastic visitors.

The facility is aptly named because a short journey from the new 24,000 square foot two-story building to the surrounding countryside reveals a treasure trove of early country music history. Most of it is displayed in some capacity at the new, well-researched history edifice.

Using a vacated older building, planners magically transformed the two floors into a cornucopia of relics, music samples, photographs, films and much more. It is so impressive that you have to see it to believe it.


The Museum as It Appears at Night

The museum tour begins by entering their Orientation Theatre to watch “Bound to Bristol,” a 13-minute film shown every 20 minutes and narrated by John Carter Cash, the son of Johnny Cash and June Carter.

The famous 1927 Bristol Sessions, conducted by Ralph Peer of the Victor Talking Machine Co., are largely credited for the city's designation as the Birthplace of Country Music. Names like The Carter Family (“The First Family of Country Music”), Jimmie Rodgers (“The Father of Country Music”), Ernest Van “Pop” Stoneman (recording artist of country music's first commercial decade) and others made their bow that momentous summer. They were accordingly rewarded with much-sought-after, highly fragile 78-rpm records.

I made my first visit to the museum, a nonprofit Smithsonian Institute affiliate, from Columbia, SC soon after it opened in Aug. 2014. I was immediately impressed with the ample parking lot in front with easy access to the facility. When I entered the building, my wildest expectations were surpassed.


(L to R) Mother Maybelle and Sara of the Famous Carter Family

During my second trip there this summer, I was greeted by Dr. Jessica Turner and Dave Lewis. I was there to revisit the museum and to loan them two vintage musical instruments from my family's collection. The first one, a dark-colored fiddle, contained the words, “Charlie Bowman” and “1934,” each letter carefully etched inside one of the f-holes. The second was an accordion that was played by Charlie's second oldest daughter, Jennie Bowman Cain, as she performed in Bristol over WOPI and numerous other venues across the country.

The two items will be employed by museum personnel in whatever capacity they deem best, one proposal being to include both in a future collage of old-time instruments. Their “Loan Agreement Form” is very accommodating, with numerous options, all aimed at making it easy and risk-free for folks to loan or donate artifacts to the museum.

According to a brochure, the building, formerly the site of Goodpasture Motors Co., “tells the history of these recordings, explores how sound technology shaped their success and has evolved, and highlights how this rich musical heritage lives on in today's music. Through images and artifacts, interactive exhibits, and film and sound experiences – along with a variety of educational programs, music programs, and community events – the exciting story of this music and its far-reaching influence comes alive!”

As you make your way through the well-organized rooms, you have the opportunity to observe and listen to artists, most of whom are deceased. Perhaps you regularly heard these entertainers on radio, television, phonograph records, tape recorders or at live performances. Hearing their music again, watching their videos, viewing photos of them and reading text is almost like attending a homecoming, with them being there in spirit. There is so much to see and hear in just one visit, strongly suggesting return trips.


Country Music Events by Year

An impressive elongated exhibit board near the lobby presents significant country music events, spanning the years from 1865 to 1938. Appropriate historical information is provided about the happening regarding the events such as “1925 – The Grand Ole Opry broadcasts began on radio station WSM.” Another one stated, “1902 – “Thomas Edison improves wax cylinder records through the 'gold-moulded process.'” To provide points of reference, some events were non-music related such as “1886 – The Statue of Liberty is dedicated in New York.”

Another display panel titled, “What Is a Hillbilly?” drew my interest. The explanation is far from being a simple one. The word has an ongoing complex and contradictory history and various social, economical and cultural changes have continued shifting its meaning. It is a must read and something to ponder. 

Two recording of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” are played to compare the before and after audio difference between old sound technology and new state-of-the-art, developed by Bell Laboratories and Western Electric Co. Fortunately the new expertise became available in time for The Bristol Sessions.

Another popular feature is an exhibit of various instruments used in country music, a history of their origin and how they impacted the Bristol Sessions. Mentioned are fiddle, banjo, harmonica, autoharp, bones, Jew's harp, kazoo, mandolin, and piano. In case you are not familiar with bones, read the explanation on the museum display to see how and by whom the instrument was played in traditional old-time country music.

One popular display lets you and others in your group sing along into a microphone with prerecorded gospel music singers. When it is played back, you won't believe what comes out of the speaker. Get ready for a “buckle busting” laugh. Definitely do not skip this one.

Another prominent exhibit that caught my eye was a gorgeous hand-crafted quilt, donated to the museum by the Bristol TN/VA Chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America. Putting it together took the coordinated efforts of two diverse specialty groups, embroiderers and quilters. The text explains how the numerous fabrics in the quilt commemorate those from the 1800s to the present.

An unusual device allowed guests to send a postcard to someone back home by simply selecting the card of their choice, filling out the appropriate message and touching the card on the machine to automatically send it.

During your visit at the museum, don't forget to read the visitor comments on the large green board titled, “Join the Stay, Bristol,” and to post your comments as well. One entry stated: “Loved it very much. Very awesome. Their music is timeless. Thank you for the display.” Several visitor locations were noted during one of my visits: England, Kentucky, Texas, Nashville, Florida, Pennsylvania and Germany, to name a few.

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum's New Radio Station Using Vintage Equipment

Of much interest to country music fans is a vintage radio station, appropriately named WBCM, aimed at creating worldwide broadcasts. The station and online media center allows listeners to listen at 100.1 FM, online, and through an app on their mobile devices. Future programming will focus primarily on American roots music, with free streaming programs that include three channels:

“1. Classic (the greats, and more obscure artists of old-time, bluegrass, and country music, including archival material and rare recordings from America's past),

“2. Americana (a diverse selection of contemporary artists, as showcased at the annual music festival Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival) and

“3. Live and Local (live original programming focusing on local and regional music and culture from yesterday and today. This is the programming of the physical station at the museum).”

WBCM's first station launch was on Thursday, August 27, 2015 from 4-7 pm. Much is in store for this rebuilt station. See www/ for information about upcoming programming and events.

Don't depart the premises without exploring the museum's gift shop containing an impressive selection of authentic items that celebrate Bristol's deep music roots, ranging from handcrafted items made by local artisans to music-themed jewelry. They also have an impressive selection of books and music.

Take advantage of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for a rewarding educational and entertaining music excursion back to the country music of yesteryear. Rest assured, “y'all” will not be disappointed.

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Recently, I wrote about a grievous fire on May 5, 1905 that decimated the businesses in the rectangular block between E. Main, Spring, Jobe and Roan streets. The amazing occurrence was when flames approached the wooden “Little White Church,” but then made an abrupt diversion from it leaving the building unscathed. Many people saw it as a miracle of God.

Little White Baptist Church That Once Stood on E. Main Street and Spared from a Terrible Fire

Today's column photo depicts the First Baptist Church, as it appeared in that era. According to a booklet, “History of Central Baptist Church, Johnson City, Tennessee in Celebration of the 100th Anniversary, 1869-1969,” the structure stood at 222-26 E. Main, the location later becoming Sterchi Brothers Stores. 

In spite of the awe-inspiring sight, the fire prompted many church members to question the logic of having a house of worship situated in the heart of the town's business district.

By 1907, the members joined in the organization of a new church which would meet in a school building located at the corner of Roan Street and Watauga Avenue, a site that would eventually be the location of the Almeda Apartments. The new church, known as the Roan Street Baptist Church, was constituted May 8 of that year with 102 charter members.

During the three-year period of separation from 1907-10, there was an ever-growing sentiment that a mistake had been made. Neither congregation was financially able to build a house of worship that would be an honor to the denomination. With rapidly increasing population in that area and Baptists coming from various parts of the country, the responsibility was even greater.

These realizations prompted both churches to act simultaneously. On April 6, 1910, a committee from First Baptist Church was appointed to meet with a similar committee from Roan Street Baptist Church for the purpose of working out detains subsequent to a union of the two church into a new organization, to be perfected on the night of April 21, 1910.

The meeting was held and the agreement was perfected, This agreement was in substance: 1. That all property held by the trustees of the First and Roan Street Baptist churches be transferred to the trustees of the consolidated church. 2. That the new church take steps at the earliest possible date after organization to build a modern house of worship on the Isaac Harr or the G.M. Sitton lot, both of which are located on North Roan Street. 3. That the new church have a board of 12 deacons consisting of the present deacons of the two churches. 4. That there be five trustees consisting of I.A. Bittle, B.D. Akard, Aldine Swadley, C.E. Cargille, and S.E. Bayless. 5. That J.W. Houtz would be church clerk and T.A. Tittle, church treasurer.

Both churches were in session on April 21, 1910 and adopted this agreement. The trustees of the First Church and those of the Roan Street Church were authorized, ordered, empowered, and directed to transfer all property owned by each church to the trustees of the new organization, which was to be known as Central Baptist Church of Johnson City, Tennessee.

The Roan Street church building was retained as a place of worship until the new church house could be constructed. The Rev. Tom Davis, who had been pastor of the Roan Street congregation was elected pastor of the new organization.

The Isaac Harr lot was purchased on July 2, 1910 for the sum of $5,000, $1,750 cash in hand and notes payable in two years for the remainder of the purchase price.

In the early spring of 1912, the corner stone for the new house of worship was laid. One year later, the congregation moved into the new church house, Although it was not entirely completed, it was a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving by the congregation. Central Baptist Church was incorporated on Sept. 3, 1912.

My grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Earl B. Cox, were wed in 1911 and became early members of that church.

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On March 7, 1947, Harry S. Truman, our 33rd President of the United States issued Proclamation 2719, establishing: “Army Day and Army Week, 1947 by the President of the United States of America. A proclamation:

Army Day and Week Proclaimed, 1947, Sponsored by General Mills, Inc.

“Whereas the Army of the United States is a bulwark of our country's strength in time of peril and the faithful guardian of our dearly-bought liberty in time of peace, and has since the inception of this Nation stood between out freedom-loving people and all aggressors; and

“Whereas the soldiers of our Army continue in active service as loyal servants of our democracy, whose purpose is to insure the establishment of justice, tranquility, and an enduring peace; and

“Whereas Senate Concurrent Resolution 5, 75th Congress, 1st Session, which was agreed to by the House of Representatives on March 16, 1937 (50 Stat. 1108), provides:

“That April 6 of each year be recognized by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America as Army Day, and that the President of the United States be requested, as Commander in Chief, to order military units throughout the United States to assist civic bodies in appropriate celebration to such extent as he may deem advisable; to issue a proclamation each year declaring April 6 as Army Day, and in such proclamations to invite the Governors of the various States to issue Army Day proclamations: Provided, That in the event April 6 falls on Sunday, the following Monday shall be recognized as Army Day”:

“Now, Therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, in order that we may give special recognition to our Army, whose soldiers have gallantly secured and guarded our freedom since the founding of the Republic and have heroically sacrificed to bring to the world a lasting peace founded upon justice to all mankind, do hereby proclaim Monday, April 7, 1947, as Army Day, and encourage the observance of the week beginning April 6 and ending April 12, 1947, as Army Week; and I invite the Governors of the several States to issue proclamations for the celebration of this day and this week in such manner as to render appropriate honor to the Army of the United States.

“I also remind our citizens that our Army, charged with the responsibility of defending the United States and our territorial possessions and of promoting the firm establishment of peace and good order in the territories of our defeated enemies, can discharge these duties only with the firm support of our people. I therefore urge my fellow countrymen to be mindful of the Army's needs, to the end that our soldiers may not lack the means to perform effectively their continuing tasks and that the hardships of military service in foreign lands may be alleviated in every way possible. There is no means by which we can better honor our heroic dead than by our support of their living comrades who carry on the mission they so nobly advanced.

“In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

“Done at the City of Washington this 7th day of March in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-first.”

The newspaper clipping noted that young men, 17 to 34 years old, could learn of the many benefits being offered by the new regular Army by calling the U.S. Army Recruiting Station at phone number 1714 or visiting them at 119-121 Spring Street. The advertisement of local and national importance was sponsored by General Mills, Inc. (formerly identified as Model Mill Company). 

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The Thursday, August 5, 1897, edition of The Comet newspaper contained some depressing news about the death of a young boy whose name was Mayne Williams, the son of Judge and Mrs. Samuel Cole Williams.

The unidentified journalist noted that it was not often that a writer would be called upon to chronicle a sadder death than that of little Mayne, which occurred the previous Friday afternoon, causing his parents' hearts to be aching and burdened-down with grief, all the more so because the grim reaper made his visit to the home with no advanced warning of his coming.

Mayne Williams Library at N. Roan and E. Market, Young Mayne at about the Time of His Death

In the lad's playful rambles, he encountered a package of pills and swallowed a considerable number of them. When he was discovered soon afterward by his grandmother, the youngster was lying on the floor and told her he was sick. On being questioned, his innocent reply was: “I took a whole lot of medicine; I'm so sorry.”

Everything that loving, human hands and professional skill could suggest to rescue the little sufferer was to no avail and within 40 minutes from the time he was found, his innocent life had gone out. Just as the setting sun veiled itself with mountain peaks, the black pall of grief, denser than darkest night, had shrouded a cheerful, happy home.

Mayne was deceased, and his pure young soul had flown to its heritage of eternal life. Family and friends mourned with those who wept, but rejoiced in the fact that,  beyond the somber shadows of the tomb, there is eternal day.

The following funeral announcement was posted in the newspaper: “In Memoriam: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. To the believer, these are precious and inspiring words. Life is full of events, which bring them vividly home to our hearts.

“Little Mayne Williams, was born August 27, 1893 and died suddenly July 30, 1897. He had eaten or swallowed a number of sugar-coated quinine pills, in all 40 grains, perhaps and in 40 minutes, he was limp in death. He was in perfect health, a bright and beautiful boy of a remarkably inquisitive turn of mind, full of life, an affectionate and dutiful child and, naturally, an object of warm parental love.

“The fond parents were already planning for his future education and training, cherishing glad and high hopes of a noble and happy manhood for him they loved so dearly. But in a short hour, all their hopes were blighted forever, touching the human side of this brief, God-given life.

“It had fulfilled, perhaps, the divine purpose here, insofar as little Mayne was concerned; and so the blessed Lord takes back to Himself in harmony with other gracious purposes He has concerning both him and the bereaved parents. May the Lord sanctify this sore affliction to the good of all concerned.

“Grieve not with hopeless sorrow, since our Father in Heaven assures us, there is rest for the little sleeper,

“Joy for the ransomed soul; Peace for the lonely weeper, Dark though the waters roll.

“Weep for the little sleeper, Weep, it will ease thy heart; Can not make the dull pain deeper, Twill help to heal the smart.

“The dear Savior hath found him. Laid him upon His breast; Folded his arms around Him, Hushed him to endless rest.

“Think of him henceforth as a treasure removed, but yours still, in Heaven. J.S. Kennedy, Pastor.”

Soon afterward, the Williams family posted this note of appreciation in the newspaper: “We cannot refrain from acknowledging, in this public manner, our debt of gratitude to our neighbors and friends, the sympathy and kindness so generously bestowed in the hours of sore affliction we were called to experience for in the death of our little son, Mayne.” It was signed by Mr. and Mrs. S.C. Williams. 

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Just minutes prior to midnight on May 2, 1905, a devastating fire struck Johnson City's downtown business district, resulting in considerable property damage. In today's feature, I will take readers on a time machine journey back to that evening to see exactly where the fire was located and the degree of damage it inflicted.

I haven't utilized my Yesteryear Time Machine in a while so let's climb aboard while I program it to take us to E. Main and Spring streets on that day at 11:45 p.m. In an instant, we arrive at our destination. The peaceful, sleepy town offers no hint of any problems. The only visible inhabitant is a policeman, Isaac M. Wilson, making the rounds on his beat. As he strolls east on E. Main, he suddenly pauses in front of Charles E. Cargille's Photo Gallery at 212 E. Main and stares through the window.

Mr. Wilson spotted a fire in the establishment and immediately ran to the fire department, which was located at 142 E. Market (directly in front of the future site of the John Sevier Hotel).

While fire fighters were being notified and making preparations to battle the blaze, it grew in intensity at Cargille's, spreading with ease into adjacent buildings. Some firemen believed it started with the photo gallery, while others were certain it began in the nearby Christian Church.

The rear portion and second floor of the gallery were totally destroyed. The law office of Harr & Burrow (210 E. Main) and front of the dental office of Dr. Samuel A. Bowman were gutted, but nearly all of the contents were saved.

The City National Bank (214 E. Main) was badly damaged in the rear of the building, while the main office in front received only slight damage, almost entirely from water.

Water destroyed McCartt's Grocery Store, and the double storeroom occupied by Armbrust-Smith Co. (204 E. Main), while not so badly damaged by fire, smoke and water essentially ruined the large stock of furniture, carpets, etc.

The Christian Church burned to the ground with only a few pieces of furniture saved. It was described as being the prettiest church buildings in the city and was, regrettably, only partially insured. The Lotspeich frame building occupied by Hugh F. Webb, who sold produce, suffered minor damage, but the owner lost out several hundred dollars because he was uninsured.

A small building occupied by A.U. Bullock was destroyed but the contents were saved. The Adams Building, containing the William M. Silver Co. jewelry store at 220 E. Main, was totally demolished but the contents were spared.

Without question, Cargille's Photo Gallery and the Christian Church sustained the greatest loss by being only partially insured. Other businesses, except for Webb, were insured.

By constant, rapid application of energy and water, the fire brigade eventually extinguished the flames but not before it did significant destruction to the block.

The major factor that likely kept the entire town from going up in smoke was a shift in the wind away from the heart of the business district. Also, the Standard Oak Veneer Co. and the Watauga Tannery each willingly and promptly brought their fire hoses to the scene, which were credited for keeping the fire from spreading to other buildings on E. Main Street.

In addition to the businesses mentioned, further destruction was noted to the M.E. Church, five offices, one jeweler, six grocery stores, a tailor shop, a bank, two drug stores, a printing company, a saloon, a millinery shop, the Planing Mill & Pin Factory, two lumber sheds and several empty or partially empty storage buildings. Numerous undeveloped lots on the block aided in keeping the fire from spreading.

The Little White Baptist Church Sat Back Off the Road on the Vacant Lot on the Left

A third church, the First Baptist Church, known affectionately as “The Little White Church,” escaped the inferno with essentially no damage, even though it was fabricated entirely of wood. Although the fire stayed confined within E. Main, S. Roan, Jobe and Spring streets, it brought about some changes to nearby properties.

The Jobe heirs immediately remodeled the building on the corner of Main and Spring Street. The frame buildings fronting on Spring street were razed and a storeroom erected that extended to the rear of the Summers-Parrott Hardware Co. and was used by this firm after completion. The Opera House on Spring Street, a long standing entertainment venue, was abandoned and the second floor of that building converted into offices. The city believed these improvements would add much to the attractiveness and rental value of the property.

In the ensuing days after the fire, someone, known only by the initials, A.U.H., composed a poem to thank those volunteers who risked their lives to extinguish the fire: “T-o-o-o-o-t, toot, toot, toot, Lucreti calls out in the night, First Ward, hurry, get into your suit, You're wanted, the ends in sight.

“Already the flames burst forth into view, The second building now is caught: The whole street may go, all depends on you; There's danger, but stop not for aught.

“Not hose enough? Quickly more they procure; Lookout, now, that plaster falls there! The air here is stifling, no life is secure. Down, down, here's a strata of air.

“No danger too great, no risk too intense, To fight the fire fiend in his lair; His fierce leaping flames with power immense, Are mat and fought inch by inch there.

“How welcome the rain, with such timely aid, Now rally for one long, last fight; 'Tis under control the bright flames are laid, The danger is o'er for the night.

“Repay them? No, never! I 'Tis true you might. For time, pay each man by the hour, But bravery, heroic, as shown on this night, No money can pay, nor the power.

“Of mind over danger; but thus we can show. We appreciate all they have done. Our brave volunteers who fought the fierce foe. And conquered, thus saving the town.”

Cargille's Was Forced to Seek a Temporary Business Site Until They Could Rebuild

The morning after the fire, H.D. Gump collected from the town merchants $79 to be divided among the “fire laddies” for their good and faithful work while extinguishing the  blaze. Donations were as follows:

Gump Bros., $2; Frank Taylor, $2; Summers-Parrott Hardware Co., $2; H.W. Lyle, $1; Unaka National Bank, $2. Hart & Houston, $1; Patton Drug Co., $2; J.W. Cass, $1; T.J. Galloway, $1; Worley & Brown, $1; City National, $2; J.M. Buck, $1; Tennessee Furniture & Supply Co., $2; J.A. Martin, $2; Wm. G.W. Mathes, $2; Miss Hardy, $1; H.W. Pardue, $1; J.W. Crumley, $.50; R.L. Mann, $1; Charles Hannah, $1; Charles Cargille, $1; Isaac Harr, $10; Armbrust-Smith & Co., $10; H.L. Maller, $5; C.N. Brown, $3; City Drug Co., $2; Wofford Bros., $2; Ward & Friburg, $2, J.R. Whisman & Co., $2; R.C. Hunter, $2; J.H. Snow, $1; Samuel Cole Williams, $2; M.I. Gump, $2; I.N. Beckner, $.50; Barton-Nichols Hardware Co., $2; William Silver, $2; F.B. St. John, $1 and F.W. Dulaney, $1.

Other firemen received $5.72 each, except for the latter two who received half that amount: Marion Wilson, Charles Feldy, Charles Chinowth, Will Owens, Bob Owens, Andy Lusk, George Orr, Walt Moore, William McCormick, John Perkins, M.F. Crumley, J.T. Hilton, John Chenowth, Charles Moore and William Holmes.

The Armbrust-Smith Furniture Company Received Extensive Damage

The fire, which brought dismay to several shop owners, had a positive aspect to it. The block was cleared and later became an asset to Johnson City with specialty shops that were more consistent with others.

With that said, we have learned much about this troubling fire of yesteryear, so let's climb back into our time machine and travel forward to the present. I will discuss the improvements to the block in a future column.

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