Recent Posts

If City Founder, Henry Johnson, Could Have Witnessed the Future of His Town, He Would Have Grinned With Pride. August 4, 2019 Businesses - Over the years, Johnson City acquired several city directories with many of them ending up in public libraries and local colleges. These books painted an amazing journey throughout the years. Over time, I added several volumes to my collection, including several from pricey estate sales. The first one from 1908-09 offers an introduction: "In presenting… Continue Reading
In 1987, Cloyd Litle Became What Appeared to Be the “Last of a Buying Breed” July 8, 2019 Businesses - In the 1950s and 60s, my mother, Leota Cox, and Carrie Bowman (wife of Lester Bowman) made numerous grocery visits to Cloyd  E. Litle located at 1927 W. Walnut Avenue. It was our favorite grocery. Recently, I located a newspaper clipping from 1987 with photographs that gave further details concerning the business. Former Johnson City,… Continue Reading
Grocery Stores (Mom and Pop and Large Ones) Were Plentiful Around Johnson City in the 1940s-1960s February 5, 2019 Businesses - In the mid 1940s, my mother ordered groceries from Ford Wilson Grocery Store located on 200 Elm Street, which was several blocks away from where we lived in the Gardner Apartments, located at the intersection of W. Watauga Avenue and W. Market Street. Mr. Ford wisely delivered groceries to area patrons using a bicycle. I… Continue Reading
JC Penney Co. Opened New Store in Downtown Johnson City in 1929 February 13, 2017 Businesses - Things sure have changed since John Cash Penney opened a dry goods store in Kemmerer, Wyoming 90 years ago. Back in 1902, America was a country of small towns, Kemmerer being one of them with a population of 900. Penney, a 26-year-old entrepreneur, figured they could support a dry goods store. His first day sales… Continue Reading
In 1948, A Johnson City Local Funeral Director Took Direct Aim at “The Life of Riley” January 16, 2017 Businesses - In 1948, a popular CBS radio show was titled, "The Life of Riley," starring William Bendix in the popular role of Chester A. Riley. The show's title depicts someone who has it made or lives "the life of Riley." His oft-repeated familiar idiom on the show was, "What a revoltin' development this is." Riley could… Continue Reading
Early 1900 City Enterprises Spotlighted, Part 3 February 29, 2016 Businesses - This column is the third of three dealing with a few early 1900 city enterprises. I have attempted to identify the location of each, plus (in parenthesis) some later businesses that occupied that same site. Slightly paraphrased comments are in the present tense. K.P. Jones & Company Located at Buffalo and Cherry streets: Johnson City… Continue Reading
Leach Motor Company Had a Long and Successful Business February 1, 2016 Businesses - I recently came across an April 1985 newspaper clipping written by former Press-Chronicle business editor, Mary Alice Basconi. It concerned an early business in Johnson City - Leach Motor Co. The endeavor started when Paris Leach went into business for himself in 1911, with one of the first garages in Johnson City to service gasoline… Continue Reading
Early 1900 City Enterprises Spotlighted, Part 2 January 11, 2016 Businesses - Today's column is the second of three that deals with some early 1900 Johnson City enterprises. I have attempted to identify the location of each, plus (in parenthesis) include  some later businesses that occupied that same site. Slightly paraphrased comments are in present tense. City Stables The intersection of Ashe, Cherry and Buffalo streets: The… Continue Reading
Some Early 1900 City Enterprises Spotlighted, Part 1 November 2, 2015 Businesses - Today's column is the first of three dealing with early 1900 Johnson City enterprises; others will appear on the history page over the next few months. I attempted to identify the location of each one, plus provide (in parenthesis) some later recognizable businesses that occupied that identical site. Unaka National Bank 201-03 E. Main (Anderson… Continue Reading
Hart & Houston’s Successful Style Review at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 September 28, 2015 Businesses - 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.… Continue Reading