Windsor Hotel Advertising Signs Once Adorned the East Tennessee Countryside

Hotel Windsor, originally built as Hotel Pardue in 1909, became a downtown fixture on Fountain Square until it was razed in 1971. I located an interesting item from what appears to from 1939 in ETSU’s Archives of Appalachia’s “Hotel Windsor Collection” (AppMs269, 1937-54).

The assortment contained a listing of 33 signs that once adorned the local East Tennessee landscape with facts about each one: number, property owner, location, authority (permit or lease), highway, miles from Johnson City and type (bracket, barn or other). The list includes 11E, 23, Old Jonesboro Highway, Glanzstoff Highway (E. Main Street in Johnson City to Elizabethton) and 81/34 (rural state roads). They are as follows: 

102 Ben Miller, Telford, lease, 11E south, 17 miles, 36”x48” bracket. 103 C.R. Green, Telford, lease, 11E south, 13 miles, 36”x48” bracket. 104 J.E. Slonaker, RFD Jonesboro, lease, 11E south, 11 miles, 36”x48” bracket. 104A Frank Hawkins, Johnson City, lease, 11E south, 9 miles, 14’x45’ barn.

104B D.A. Vines, Johnson City, permit, 11E south, 8 miles, 23’x45’ barn. 105 Mrs. J.S. Pritchett, Jonesboro, lease, 11E south, 6 miles, 36’x48” bracket. 106 Mrs. J.S. Pritchett, Jonesboro, lease, 11E south, 6 miles, 8’x30’. 107 Mrs. J.S. Pritchett, Jonesboro, lease, Old Jonesboro Highway, 5 miles, 6’x10’.

109 Mrs. F.S. Gray, Johnson City, leash, 11-E south 3 miles, 12’x60’. 110 C. M. Martin, Johnson City RFD, leash, 11E north, 3 miles, 8.5’x20’. 111 Mrs. Sam Fulkerson, Johnson City RFD, lease, 11E north, 4 miles, 36’x48’ bracket. 111A Mrs. Ida Meadows, Johnson City RFD, lease, 11-E north, 6 miles, 36”x48” bracket.

112 C.P. Taylor, Piney Flats, lease, 11E north, 8 miles, 36”x48” bracket. 113 Ira Green, Piney Flats, lease, 11E north, 10 miles, 8’x25’ barn. 114 Gregory Place, Bluff City RFD, permit, 11E north, 12 miles, 8’x55’ fence. 115 Mrs. W.S. Sproles, Bluff City RFD, lease, 11E north, 13 miles, 36’x48” bracket.

200 E.P. Roller, Kingsport RFD, lease, 23 north, 15 miles, 36’x48” bracket. 201 S.S. Rollins, Jonesboro, lease, 8 miles, 36’x48” bracket. 202 John B. White, Nashville, lease, 23 north, 5 miles, 10’x32’. 202A R.L. Crouch, Jonesboro RFD, lease, 23 north, 4.5 miles, 8’2”x26’.

203 Colla Sell, Johnson City RFD, lease, 23 north, 4 miles, 36’x48” bracket. 204 J.A. Denton, Johnson City, permit, 23 south, 1 mile, 6’x8’. 205 Mrs. H.H. Swadley, Johnson City RFD, lease, 23 south, 3 miles, 10’x30’. 207 Mrs. Peek, Clear Branch, permit, 23 south, 26 miles, 8’x22’.

207A Mrs. J.S. Runion, Erwin RFD, lease, 23 south, 22 miles, 12’x35’ barn. 208 Mrs. R.D. Dittorton, Unicoi RFD, lease, 23 south, 8 miles, 36’x48” bracket. 209 John Ledford, Unicoi RFD, lease, 23 south, 11 miles, 36’x48” bracket. 300 V. Chambers, Johnson City, permit, 67 south, 4 miles, 6’x10’.

301 Orville Martin, Johnson City, lease, Glanzstoff Highway (E. Main in Johnson City to Elizabethton), 2 miles, 8’x35’. 302 Carter Furniture Co., Elizabethton, lease, 19E, 11 miles, 36’x48” bracket. 303 J.D. Miller, Elizabethton, lease, 19E, 12 miles, 12’x25’. 307 Mrs. F. Hoss, Embreeville, permit, 81/34, 10 miles, 5’x9’. 308 Mrs. Ellis Moody, Jonesboro RFD, lease, 81/34, 12 miles, 6’x10’.

When I was growing up, these signs could be seen on most roads surrounding the city. Many of them remained long after the hotel closed. I hope today’s column generates unique memories from readers who recall one or more of them. I particularly visualize the one at Clear Branch near Erwin. If you know of one that is still standing or would like to comment on any of them, please drop me a note.