Recent Posts

Backyard Pool Sales Experience Tremendous Growth During 1950s May 24, 2021 Recreation - As the summer months approach, many naturally retreat to their backyard pools to cool down. The existence of swimming pools in one’s own backyard was rare until the 1950s. In 1952, there were only 17,000 swimming pools in the United States according to the National Swimming Pool Institute. By 1958, that number had grown to… Continue Reading
Two Area Lakes Figured into My Early Years: Hungry Mother State Park and Cox’s Lake August 28, 2017 Recreation - A Virginia legend states that when Native Americans destroyed several settlements on the New River, south of what became known as Hungry Mother Park, Molly Marley and her small child were among the survivors taken to the raiders' base north of the park. Upon finding help, the only words the child could utter were "Hungry… Continue Reading
History of the Establishment of Johnson City’s Public Parks January 30, 2017 Recreation - Prior to the summer of 1944, public recreation in Johnson City consisted of a baseball park on Legion Street, the Surjoi Swimming Pool (later renamed Carver Park near the intersection of W. Watauga and W. Market streets) and Memorial Football Stadium, constructed by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. In April 1944,… Continue Reading
Unaka Springs Near Erwin, TN Was “As Good as It Could Get” January 23, 2017 Recreation - A July 1889 Comet newspaper article asked the question, "Where are you going to spend the month of August?" hot city for a few days or weeks of recreation and relaxation and go where you can stay cool, drink from chalybeate water (impregnated with or containing salts of iron). It is water as good as… Continue Reading
Linville Caverns, North Carolina’s Subterranean Wonderland November 21, 2016 Recreation - In my constant search of antique stores, flea markets and vintage book stores, I have acquired a sizable collection of artifacts. One, titled "Beautiful Linville Caverns," is the subject of today's Yesteryear Column. Attached are excerpts of it along with three photos. "Drive up beautiful scenic U.S. 221 to Linville Caverns, the Blue Ridge Parkway,… Continue Reading
Touring East Tennessee Highlands in 1877 Brought about Numerous Surprises October 3, 2016 Recreation - Did you ever wonder what it was like to travel through East Tennessee around the late 1800s? Today’s column will afford you that opportunity based on a document written by someone known only as ODT, who traveled to the area in 1877. Overall, the trip details are glowing with only a hint of negativity. The… Continue Reading
A Summer 1888 “Donkey Party” Was Hosted by the Elite of Johnson City May 30, 2016 Recreation - On Thursday night, July 12, 1888, several couples of the elite of the city gathered at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. F.A. Stratton on Maple Street. This was in response to a personal invitation to attend an event given in honor of a Mrs. Scott, of Indianapolis, and Misses Mary and Mattie Wilder of… Continue Reading
The Pungent Annual Cosby Ramp Festival Was Aptly Named a “Smellathon” May 30, 2016 Recreation - The annual Cosby Ramp Festival was literally belched into existence on April 25, 1954 with Gov. Frank Clement proclaiming that spring day to be "Ramp-Eating Day" in Tennessee. Listed below are summaries of 13 of the 57 festivals that took place there: Apr. 1954: Cosby is located in Cocke County, Tennessee. Ramps, real name, "Allium… Continue Reading
“President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” Floated Toward the Tennessee River in May 1933 April 11, 2016 Recreation - In May 1933, Tennessee was set to activate the plan of President Roosevelt. Folks along the banks of the Tennessee River were preparing for the "New Deal." One unidentified southern resident offered this delightful description of the situation: "The Tennessee River, which runs about 650 miles, is formed by the confluence of the Holston and… Continue Reading
Gatlinburg (“The Burg”) Hosted the Appalachian Trail Conference in 1931 February 29, 2016 Recreation - The Appalachian Trail is a 2,168-mile (2001) footpath for walkers. (According to a 1931 newspaper, it was originally planned for 1200 miles, but has been enlarged over time because of numerous modifications and rerouting.) The massive, impressive project passes through 14 states: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York,… Continue Reading