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To Secure A Home Or Make An Investment.

“Read This Twice, Tell Your Neighbor And Then Act. 100 Lots In West Park Addition To Johnson City, Tenn. To Be Sold At Public Action To The Highest Bidder Monday, May 15, 1905. Being A Non-Resident, I Have Decided To Sell Off A Part Of My Real Estate Belongings In Johnson City That I May

Give My Whole Time To Commercial Life.

“Promptly At 10 O’clock A.M., I Will Offer For Sale 100 Beautiful Lots In West Park Addition To Johnson City  “To The Highest Bidder And On The Most Favorable Terms.

“Lot Are Generally 50×150 Feet. Streets And Alleys Are Made To Conform To Present City Streets As Near As Possible. City Water And Electric Lights In Park. Ten Minutes Walk Of The Public Square And Churches.ö



“The intelligent observing public need no booming story of the past, present and future of their growing young city. We have seen it from a water tank station on the ETV&G Railroad called Johnson to a live hustling young city with three railroads and other large corporations, expending thousands of dollars to get the right of way to the city via South and Western or otherwise.

“From a population of 50 to near 8,000, from one little country store to a commercial center, representing wholesale and retail in most all lines. The largest manufacturing interest and payroll between Knoxville and Roanoke. Schools are second to none in the state. Churches are of all denominations.

“Two National Banks, two live newspapers, street railway, electric light plant and water works furnishing the purest water on earth. The largest and finest Soldiers Home in the world, costing over three million dollars and “the half has not been told.”

“Coal on the north, steel, iron ore on the south, limestone in the center. Why not Johnson City be the Pittsburgh of the South in steel plants and manufacturing products. These facts are given with no desire for a boom sale or brass band display, but better than banks. secret drawers and stocking legs.

“Don’t you want a home in a growing young city where you can educate your children in the best schools in the state without money and without price.”



Mr. Lee J. Longly, writing to a Chicago paper, described West Park as follows:

“West Park Addition to Johnson City, Tennessee, owned by Mr. John L. Davis, of Knoxville, Tennessee, is one of the prettiest to be found in the Valley of the Alleghenies, and its eligibility to the business center, Carnegie and the Soldiers’ Home makes it valuable and desirable for residences. “It embraces forty acres on the west side, but almost in the center of the city.

“Nothing more beautiful or attractive can be imagined for home sites than the clover carpeted mounds and slopes of this property.

“The entire property runs to a gradual elevation that overlooks the entire city and Soldiers’ Home and is relieved of the dirt and noise of down town life.

“The grand panorama of mountain scenery on both sides of the blue grass valley in which the city is located and in plain view of West Park, presents a picture as picturesque and grand as ever “haunted any artist’s dream.”

“No grander view can be conceived than the one from West Park. For miles and miles, the eye can follow the trend of the beautiful mountains and fall back an instant to long sweeps of corn and clover fields of the Tennessee Valley.

“The stiff mountain breeze from the summit of magnificent Roane floats gently o’er the city and kisses coquettishly, purple-tinted clover blossoms on West Park. Surely a more desirable property for home sites could not be found.

“Look the property over and attend the sale. Every lot offered will be sold regardless of price. Seldom do you have a chance to buy gilt-edge city property at your own price.

“Terms: One-tenth cash and the balance payable in 30 monthly installments with six percent interest; 5 percent discount to parties paying cash. For further information and maps, address or call at the Arlington Hotel located in downtown  Johnson City Tennessee.

“Title to the above property belonging to Mr. J.L. Davis is absolutely good. We will furnish abstract, make deeds, etc.ö

I will have more to say about West Park in a future article, as well as comment about Lake Tonnewanda West Park on its property.






  Do any of my readers know what happened to Lake Tonnewanda, not to be confused with Lake Wataussee (later becoming known as Cox’s Lake on Lakeview Drive)?

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A 1969 promotional brochure, produced by the Jonesboro (earlier spelling) Kiwanis Club, Washington County and the Town of Jonesboro, impressively described the historic borough as the “Mother of Tennessee.”

The Chester Inn in Jonesboro

The publication offered a succinct history of Jonesboro: “A mirror of Colonial America history, it is the oldest town in Tennessee chartered by the North Carolina assembly in 1779 and founded the following year. Jonesboro was named in honor of Willie Jones, patriot and prominent citizen of Halifax, NC, who sponsored legislation favoring and aiding the western settlements.”

One interesting statement in the write-up says, “Washington County, of which Jonesboro is the County Seat when created was said to embrace all of what is now Tennessee. Also, it was the first political sub-division in America to be named in honor of George Washington.”

The first courthouse west of the Blue Ridge, a crude log structure, was completed there in 1778, and it became the judicial capital of East Tennessee.

Jonesboro was designated as the capital of the short-lived State of Franklin that was organized in 1784. Andrew Jackson traveled over the rugged mountains from North Carolina and was admitted to the bar in Jonesboro in 1788. Later, as the seventh president of the United States, he rode through Jonesboro many times en route to Washington, once holding a reception for his friends on the porch of the historic Chester Inn.

Mention was made of the Battle of Kings Mountain where riflemen from the city followed John Sevier to probably the most celebrated battle of the Revolutionary War. After the conflict, these brave men followed their leader on many victorious Indian campaigns.

Later, old Jonesboro offered many amenities: Southern Railway Company provided rail service to and from the community; a major carrier provided bus transportation through Jonesboro, including semi-hourly interurban trips to Johnson City; and motor freight carriers were well represented throughout the region.

TVA received high accolades for its abundant, consistent and inexpensive supply of power to the community. Another benefit for residents was receiving the purest freestone water supply available that was piped in from nearby pristine mountain streams.

Jonesboro, perched 1700 feet above sea level with a population of about 7500 inhabitants, was said to enjoy a year-round ideal moderate climate with few extremes of hot or cold.

The informative brochure boasted of the town being within 15 miles of the Unaka Game Management Area, which was stocked with deer, bear, turkey and grouse. Streams and TVA lakes, including the stunning Watauga Lake, were within easy driving distance, offering the angler with trout, bass, crappie, pike and other game fish.

The county regularly distributed milk, other dairy products, tobacco, poultry, eggs, beef cattle and grain. Thousands of tons of sweet peppers were produced annually in Washington County, both for seed and the canned food industry.”

A noteworthy attraction for the town was the growing of millions of tulip bulbs for the seed market. Endless rows of brilliant multicolored tulips grew between Jonesboro and Erwin along the Nolichucky River bringing to the area a flood of visitors each spring. My Cox family photo albums have several pictures of my folks enjoying those herbaceous flowers (having little or no wood).

The brochure made a brief comment about area homes: “Scattered among the modern residences are scores of beautiful century-old homes of quaint and interesting architecture.” Today, 47 years later, the “Mother of Tennessee” has retained that same delightful charm.

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I acquired an old brochure titled: “The Land of the Long Rifles Welcomes You to the Nation's Frontier Playground, East Tennessee.” Although the publication is not dated, I will address in my last paragraph two clues that identifies the date.

“Here is a country bordered by magnificent mountain ranges, network by great man-made lakes, rich in verdant fields and lush forests, watered by swift mountain streams – a paradise for the recreation and beauty seeker.

“The northern sector of this new vacationland is the 'Land of the Long Rifles,' it's natural beauty preserved much as when it lured famous pioneers and Indian-fighters-to-be over the mountains to settle in this wonderful land of promise.

“Through its green countryside still stride the shadows and legends of Daniel Boone, Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, John Robertson, John Sevier, Robert Young and the men in buckskin who marched to meet the British at Kings Mountain. Peopled by the vigorous Anglo-Saxon descendents of such men, this section today boasts rich farms, thriving industries and urban centers.

“Capital of the 'Land of the Long Rifles' is Johnson City, economic, educational, cultural, tourist and trading center for a population of 250,000 within a radius of 35 miles. Located on the Broadway of America (U.S. Highways 11-E, 19-W and 23), it is served by three railroads (the Southern, the Clinchfield and the ET&WNC), three airlines  (Capital, Piedmont and American) and five bus lines (Queen City Coach Co., Tennessee Coach Co., Yellow Coach Co., Johnson City Transit Co., and Washington County Bus Line).  A private plane facility, Tri-Cities Airport, is located only a mile from the city limits.

“Johnson City offers you excellent hotel, tourist home, motel and restaurant facilities. More than 400 rooms, each with a bath, are available.

“Headquartering here, you may make an endless variety of nearby scenic drives to historic points and take one day tours into Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina.

“Modern Johnson City has two four-year colleges (Milligan and East Tennessee State), excellently equipped and located on beautiful grounds.

“Shopping center to customers from four states, Johnson City's attractive stores transact more than $35 million in sales each year

“Excellent facilities for golf, swimming, tennis, horseback riding, bowling and similar sports are available to the recreation seeker. In addition to many other spectator sports, a St. Louis farm team promotes league baseball and each Thanksgiving, the annual Burly Bowl game matches two of the nation's top smaller college teams in a colorful football event.

“The visitor may choose from six theaters, enjoy “Little Theater,” college and legitimate stage productions. Johnson City is also on the regular circuit of many of America's top dance bands and concert artists.

“Nimrods (hunters) and Izaak Waltons (anglers) alike find happy hunting grounds near Johnson City. A short drive from modern accommodations here, you may fish in any of a number of lakes, rivers and mountain streams, teaming with small and large mouth bass, brook (speckled), rainbow and brown trout.

“And it's the same with hunting. Perhaps the best ruffed grouse hunting in the southeast is done within 20 miles of Johnson City. Quail, dove, duck, rabbits and squirrels are plentiful in the lowlands, and the state is extensively stocking dear, bear and turkey.

“Less than 20 miles from Johnson City are two great lakes formed by TVA dams. The South Holston is still under construction while Watauga Lake, just completed, offers the boating and fishing enthusiast hundreds of miles of shoreline for sport. It's level has the highest elevation of any TVA Lake. Watauga Dam, wedged between two mountains, is the world's highest earth-field Dam.

“You may choose from five separate highways leading into the majestic Appalachian range only a 30-minute drive. The summits of two of the most beautiful nearby mountains, Beauty Spot and Roan, may be reached by automobile. Wherever the visitor's fancy takes them, they are assured of an ever new panorama, breathtaking vistas and indelible memories of “The Land of the Long Rifles.”

“The gateway to the Cherokee National Forest, Johnson City has more than 30,000 residents who enjoy its delightful year-round climate and love its ever-changing panoramas. It was the land where liberty was proclaimed before the bell rang out in Philadelphia, a land of cool summer nights and mild winters, a land of 'sports afield and fish astream.' It bids you welcome every day of the year.

“We invite you to Johnson City to work, play, shop, tour, study and live.”

The brochure also contained several sketches and photographs that included the following: Photo 1: a caricature of Davy Crockett decked out in his native garb, Photo 2: (t to b) aerial view of Johnson City's business district; Memorial Stadium, the City Recreation Center; John Sevier Hotel, 10-story modern hotel; and Tri-City Airport. Photo 3: Mess Hall at Mountain Home Veterans' Center; New Science Building at East Tennessee State College; modern Johnson City motor courts and state and federal highways that traverse the mountains. 

As I previously noted, the date of the publication, while not specifically listed, can be determined from the comments about the South Holston Dam still being in construction (1942 to 1950) and the Watauga Lake Dam (1942 to 1948) having just been completed. The brochure was produced in 1949.

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This past January, I wrote about White Rock Summit, the tallest peak on Buffalo Mountain that collapsed in 1882, as reported by several newspapers around the country. The massive rockslide was precipitated by two weeksof steady rain that flooded a sizable portion of East Tennessee that extended west to Knoxville. Damage was widespread.

Two people immediately corroborated the event. Dr. Ted Thomas of Milligan College sent me a student’s comments from a June 1884 group outing to the rock. In part, it said, “We started homeward, coming down the track of ruin caused by the fall of the great White Rock.” Mrs. Carsie Lodter, whose late husband once taught at Milligan, recalled conversations with her grandfather who heard the rumble from his nearby Oak Grove residence in Carter County.

Recently while perusing Thomas William Humes’ book, The Loyal Mountaineers of Tennessee (1888), I spotted another mention of the original rock as part of a depiction of the Watauga landscape in 1863, 19 years before the collapse: “In the southwest is the bold and craggy front of the Buffalo Mountain that may easily be fancied to resemble an ancient castle of massive strength and standing in solitude, its brow uplifted into the skies, impresses the mind of the spectator with a feeling of awe for its grandeur and majesty.” The author’s comment fits the older undisturbed rock, not the existing fractioned one.

In that year, the Civil War was raging. East Tennessee faced a dangerous scarcity of food because more than 30,000 of its able-bodied men had migrated north to serve in the Federal army, while others had been captured and forced into Southern prisons. Healthy, vigorous males were essentially unavailable to till the soil and engage in other hard labor. Those suffering the heaviness from extreme destitution the greatest were women, children, the elderly and invalids. As autumn marched toward winter, the outlook became more ominous and distressing for the populace.  

Confederate soldiers were quartered in all directions throughout East Tennessee, actively crossing Union-held land from one location to another. Their presence caused friction between people with divided allegiance (brother against brother) to the war. Soldiers on both sides competed for the same diminutive food supply. To add to the problem, provisions seized by one group were totally consumed, carried away, or destroyed to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

East Tennesseans had seen conflict from a previous war. In 1780, the “Back-water men,” as Colonel Patrick Ferguson of the British Army called them, bravely gathered under John Sevier, Isaac Shelby and William Campbell for a secretive and successful military expedition to King's Mountain, South Carolina, bringing about an eventual end to the country’s fight for independence.

Even during trying times of two internal wars, the one bright spot in people’s lives was the natural beauty of their beautiful rugged surroundings. Across numerous mountains were pleasant valleys, through which flowed the Doe River, Buffalo Creek, Watauga River, Indian Creek and nearby Nolichucky River.

In addition to the comment concerning Buffalo Mountain’s rocky face, other places mentioned were the blue front of Holston Mountain, seven or eight miles away; Lynn Mountain, three miles east; and the blue outline of the Unaka and Roan mountains to the south.

These mental and physical areas of refuge offered temporary solace from the ravages of gruesome wars. The diverse features of the landscape combined to form awe-inspiring and beautiful landscapes for an ailing people. 

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I received a letter from Pauline Asbury Miller of Erwin saying my recent article concerning the collapse of White Rock Summit on Buffalo Mountain brought back so many fond memories of her teenage years.

Mrs. Miller was born in 1918 in Bluefield, WV and moved to Johnson City in 1932. She married Robert H. Miller who was one of five maintenance supervisors on the Clinchfield Railroad. They were wed in Erwin on October 22, 1942 (which coincidentally was the day I was born).

“I belonged to Calvary Presbyterian Church on Harrison Street,” said Pauline, “where we had about 25 very special young people in our Christian Endeavor group. Mr. D.R. Beeson, a prominent architect in Johnson City, was a mentor to our group. Once each spring for about four years, he took us on a day outing to White Rock.” 

The assemblage made an entire day of it, leaving about 9 a.m. and returning around 5 p.m. They parked in a big field at the foot of the mountain and began their steep ascent to the rock. Pauline had particularly weak ankles and had to be assisted, as did some of the others, as they approached the top.

During the climb, Mr. Beeson encouraged his youthful entourage to keep moving by telling them to endure for a few more minutes and they would arrive at the spring near the summit for a refreshing cool drink of clean water and fill their thermos containers.

Pauline said the first order of business after arriving at the big white rock was to get some much-needed rest. They sat around and talked, enjoyed the spectacular view, ate their lunches, drank the cool mountain water and took photographs. It was a dream place to be.

Pauline indicated that the rock was relatively small for a large group with heavy growth around it that prevented very much movement for games or other outdoor activities. They were content to simply sit and converse with one another. She commented that White Rock was potentially dangerous with no guardrails; you had to stay sufficiently back from the edge or risk the chance of falling off. She indicated that the times they went there, she couldn’t recall seeing anyone else present. 

Mrs. Miller sent me two photos that were taken in the spring of 1936. The left one shows Mr. Beeson standing on the left wearing a cap. Pauline is sitting on the front row, third from the right wearing a sailor’s outfit. She was 18-years-old and had just landed her first job at S.H. Kress Department Store in downtown Johnson City. The girl on her left was Marjorie Manning, her best friend.

The right photo is that of Conrad “Connie” Girdner sitting precariously on the edge of the rock near a steep drop-off. He worked for Western Union when mail was delivered by bicycle. Sadly, he was struck by a car and killed not long after this outing.

Mrs. Miller said the view from White Rock was breathtaking especially on a clear sunny day because you could seemingly see forever. Every time she went there she was reminded of a quote from Psalms 123:1, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”

Pauline laughingly commented that the downhill trip from the rock back to the car was much easier than the journey to the top of the mountain.

The most heartrending moment of my interview with her occurred when she lamented, “I often sit and look at my old photos and think about my memories of White Rock and all the fun we all had up there on our church outings. I get in such a mood that I think about going to the phone and calling some of my friends until I realize that most of them are long gone.”       

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Recently, I spotted an eye-catching news item that I had not heard before that was reported in several 1882 newspapers around the country. Something noteworthy happened in our region 128 years ago this past January 25.

According to the source, the roughly 750 townspeople of Johnson City experienced an event that left them helpless and reeling with fright. That morning, a powerful crash and terrifying rumbling noise was heard coming from Buffalo Mountain, caused by a major rockslide that occurred on the southeast terminus of the mountain. The noise could be heard 30 miles away. Panic-stricken inhabitants living in close proximity to the mountain scampered from their dwellings seeking safety, fearing that an earthquake was besieging the East Tennessee countryside. A number of folks gathered together to pray for deliverance from the falling mountaintop.

After the residents regained their composure, they assembled in small groups and gazed toward Buffalo Mountain, but something was notably different. The massive rock formation known as White Rock Summit, located several hundred feet above the valley, was missing from view. According to the news releases, the picturesque lofty rock, a thing of pride for the mountaineers, was a popular attraction for local residents and visiting travelers who ascended the mountain to view stunning valleys and pristine streams that could be observed from its lofty perch. On Sunday mornings, the massive rock became a church for Reverend Harry Anderson, a local black preacher, who conducted church services there for his congregation. 

Stunned area residents stared at the site where the impressive deference of nature had previously stood and marveled how something so majestic that had stood for eons could descend so abruptly into a heap of strewn trees, rocks and earth. One newspaper picturesquely stated, “The summit around where the clouds loved to gather of their own accord no more holds aloft toward the sky its white-capped peak.” An earthquake was not the cause of the devastation as initially thought. Instead, it resulted from weeks of constant rain that soaked and flooded a large portion of East Tennessee. Weather reports that month indicated that it had rained continuously for all but two days.

Two to four thousand men along the Cumberland River were temporarily forced out of work because of widespread flooding. Johnsonville on the Tennessee River was virtually destroyed by the inundation. Much damage was done to houses and mills along the creeks near Knoxville, including a major landslide east of Knoxville that created worrisome concerns for all nearby mountain roads. Water level in the Tennessee River rose so high that it threatened to obliterate the bridges of the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway.

My immediate reaction to this surprising archival news find was to question it. After all, White Rock is still located on the southeast end of the mountain. My dad and his brothers routinely hiked there in their youth for a day of mountainous recreation. Bob Price wrote an article recently concerning his memories of climbing there. How could these reported news accounts possibly be true?

My surmise is that the White Rock we know today atop Buffalo Mountain was once an enormous, impressive rock formation that was clearly visible over a wide area. If all this is true, it is likely the remnant of the 1882 collapse. If anybody can shed further light on this subject, please share it with me for the newspaper. 

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Pat Greer Eunis recently shared her remembrances of living in Johnson City, particularly in the Keystone area of town. After residing in JC since 1940, she moved away in 1965 but returned in 2006.

Upon arrival back in the city, Pat leisurely drove around the streets to rekindle memories of her youth. She warmly recalled the Dutch Maid Drive-In, The Spot Steakhouse, the 88 steps leading up to the old Science Hill High School, stopping at The Rexall Drugstore, getting a grilled doughnut and cherry coke before school at the Gables and attending the city’s movie and drive-in theatres. 

“In the summer of 1952,” recalled Pat, “we were among the first families approved to live in the newly built Keystone Housing Project at Broadway Street.” “My mother, maternal grandmother, two brothers, baby sister and I were living on Colorado Street at the time. We used my brother’s red wagon to haul our belongings to our new apartment.

“Mother worked for Carl Ingram's Dress Shop that was located in the Arcade Building between Main and Market streets. Carl sold some of the prettiest women's and girl's clothes at very reasonable prices. That is where mother bought our dresses, crinolines and poodle skirts.  He was a very kind-hearted man who often gave her an advance in salary. In the mid 1950s, I went to the shop and got $15 to buy groceries, which bought a lot of food for our family of five.”

Pat also recalled Jimmy Kennedy’s Used Furniture Store located on Market Street across from the Arcade. The owner also sold many odds and ends including comic books, letting her swap hers for some of his that she had not read. 

Pat remembered her maternal grandmother bringing the children to town every Saturday to see a movie: “That was the highlight of our growing up days. Christmas was the best of all because everywhere you looked was a fantasyland of colored lights, carols playing, people shopping and the ever-present Salvation Army bell ringers.”

Mrs. Eunis fondly recalled when the Appalachian District Fair, carnivals, circuses and tent revivals set up in the large vacant field at Broadway opposite their home. She said some of the events also took place between Main and Market opposite Roosevelt (Memorial) Stadium. Her two favorite preachers were Billy and Bobby McCool, who eventually established a church here. It was during this time that she developed a love of singing gospel music.

“We had some fun times at the Keystone recreation center,” she said, “playing ping pong, watching movies, competing in softball, chasing each other on bikes and roller skates, flying kites, playing hop scotch (including Double Dutch jump rope), engaging in snowball fights in the winter and enjoying snow ice cream made by our grandmother. We picked up empty pop bottles from the stadium after sporting events and cashed them in for money at Tipton’s Grocery. Also, in summer we swam at the Sur Joi pool at Watauga and Market.”

Pat attended Keystone Elementary, Junior High and Science Hill. Her first job at age 16 was working at The Spot making shrimp salads, an employment that lasted only 2 weeks. Next, she served as a curb hop at a drive-in restaurant at the corner of Main and Broadway. Later, she was hired at S.H. Kress lunch counter making, among other things, great chili hotdogs with coleslaw piled on top. Pat became an LPN after attending the J.C. Vocational School of Practical Nursing at Memorial Hospital.

Pat’s biggest shock upon returning to Johnson City in 2006 was finding the Arcade and other buildings torn down. She noted the smallness and deterioration of the downtown area and missed seeing local passenger trains. The city had changed significantly in her 41-year absence.  

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I received a note from Robert Walden who has lived in the same house for 41 years in Asbury community in the west part of town. He listed several families who had also resided there for many years: the Rouths, Sneyds, Livingstons, Hensons, Harrisons, Tiptons, Wards and McCurrys.

“Everyone knew one another,” said Robert. “Neighborhood boys and girls played at each other’s houses. We'd all assemble at the Sneyds to play softball because they had a big, flat yard. Sometimes, several of us boys might go over to Buddy Callahan's house for a game of football.” Walden said he attended grade school at Asbury School located on Indian Ridge Road from the 2nd through the 7thgrades, Jonesborough Middle School for the 8th and then David Crockett High School. He and his neighbors walked to Asbury School where they caught a county bus to the high school.

“Growing up back then was different from today,” said Robert. “My buddies and I rode our bicycles almost everywhere we went. Between ages 10 and 12, I had a newspaper route delivering the afternoon edition of the Johnson City Press-Chronicle. After coming home from school, I grabbed a snack, changed clothes and climbed back on my bicycle to deliver papers. Sometimes my mother allowed me to load my bike into the trunk of our car and then drove me to Griffith Motors at West Market Street and Indian Ridge Road to pick up my newspapers. Griffith Motors had a big metal overhang sign out front which was perfect for protecting my papers from inclement weather. Sometimes my friends rode along to help me on my route. If we'd happened to get there before the newspapers arrived in the afternoon, we'd kill time by riding along the sidewalk over to the Jiffy Market or maybe stop by the Biff Burger.”

Robert’s paper route included Indian Ridge Road and all side streets. It also took in Skyline Drive from Knob Creek back to the opposite end where it intersected with Indian Ridge and Sunset Drive. Robert added: “I'm sure many folks remember the old wooden bridge that led into and out of the Asbury community. Sunset Drive came out through the woods from Mahoney's, up by the Royal Oil Co. and ended at the bridge. It was torn down in the spring of 1984.

“A metal plate attached to the bridge,” he said, “showed when it was built, but I cannot recall the date. A friend of mine, Kim Guinn, and I took some photos of the old structure and where Crawford's Store was once located. The Family Drive-In movie theater sat where today is part of the Johnson City Medical Center. One of my good friends, Brad Teague, owned the Arco service station that was situated where McDonald's is located today. The spot now occupied by Food City Shopping Center and the Boy's and Girl's Club was where a circus sometimes came to town. They erected a big tent there. Several of us participated in youth sports at the Boy's Club, as it was called then. I also played Little League Baseball at Kiwanis Park.”

Robert indicated that they didn't just ride their bicycles down around the West Market Street area; they even rode them all the way out to the Johnson City Mall to enjoy its air conditioned amenities.

The Asbury community resident concluded his remarks by saying that the History/ Heritage page in the Johnson City Press each week gives newcomers to the area the opportunity of seeing what yesteryear was like in this region. He indicated that he loved Johnson City as a kid while growing up and still loves living here today.  

I received a note from Robert Walden who has lived in the same house for 41 years in Asbury community in the west part of town. He listed several families who had also resided there for many years: the Rouths, Sneyds, Livingstons, Hensons, Harrisons, Tiptons, Wards and McCurrys.

“Everyone knew one another,” said Robert. “Neighborhood boys and girls played at each other’s houses. We'd all assemble at the Sneyds to play softball because they had a big, flat yard. Sometimes, several of us boys might go over to Buddy Callahan's house for a game of football.”

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