Do you enjoy reading about the history of Northeast Tennessee and surrounding area? If so, welcome to "Bob Cox's Yesteryear" website (aka "Archives of Yesteryear"), containing my local history columns and features, most of which have appeared on Monday's History/Heritage page of the Johnson City (Tennessee) Press newspaper: www.johnsoncitypress.com.
Since new articles are being added weekly, check back frequently. Also, use the "Search this site" button at the left or click on "article catagories" to find subjects of interest. Use quotation marks to narrow your search. Click on the photos along the right side and the corresponding article will be shown.
Subjects deal with the glorious beginnings of this beautiful Appalachian mountainous region. My primary focus lies mainly within Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina, with particular emphasis on Johnson City, Tennessee. Click on any photo along the right side and you will be directed to the corresponding article. I am currently in the process of adding many new photos to my articles.
Click on "Photo Galleries" at the top left to preview all the photos contained in my articles. The rotating questions at the top can be answered by clicking on them, which takes you to the article that contains the answer. So now ... sit back, relax and return with us to those glorious carefree days of yesteryear. I can be reached at email@example.com.
Another great fully developed history website to explore is Henry's website: www.johnsonsdepot.com.
In earlier times, some newspapers gave numerous news briefs of small communities from around the East Tennessee area, such as Watauga, Austin's Springs, Flourville, Unaka Springs, Brush Creek, Hampton, Spurgin and numerous others.
In 1922, the popular song, “Yes! We Have No Bananas,” written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn, and recorded by Eddie Cantor, occupied the number one spot on the Hit Parade for five weeks. A banana shortage caused a severe blight. Thirty years later in 1952, the song could have been changed to "Yes! We have No Potatoes."
"Mistress Mary, quiet contrary, how does your garden grow?" The answer to that age-old question was answered by five Johnson City families in June 1952 when Dorothy Hamill, Johnson City Press writer, interviewed and then penned an article about the five home gardeners who unquestionably displayed a green thumb.
The May 27, 1957 edition of the Johnson City Press-Chronicle occupied an entire page in the newspaper with the words: "WETB proudly announces affiliation with the Mutual Broadcasting System." It went into effect on June 2 of that year.
In May 1910, Harry W. Brimer, a reader of the Washington (DC) Herald, wrote an editorial to the newspaper commencing with these words: "I would like to say a word about the State of Tennessee that, while great and prosperous, has not received the public recognition to which she is dually entitled."
I occasionally come across school plays that were performed by area students. My recent one is dated Feb. 22, 1930 for Sulphur Springs School. Three dramatic productions were given as chapel programs at Sulphur Springs on Jan. 14, Jan. 23 and Feb. 5.
Third grade presents "Pandora" (dramatized): Eplmetheus (Ruth Brabson), Pandora (Florence Keefauver), Hope (Lorene Barry), Reader (Blanche Murray), Troubles (G.C. Armentrout, Anna Dale Deakins, Junior Hunt, Maz Williams).
Fifth and Sixth Grades
Fifth and sixth grades presented "Little February": January (Edith Price), February (James Ferguson), March (Otis Combs), April (Edna Green), May (Dorothy Gray), June (Willie Jordan), July (Viola Barry), August (Nola Jenkins), September (Harry Keys), October (Stella Stafford), November (Ruth Luster), December (Elmer Moore)...
Father Time (Fern Cox), Love (Mae Black), Peace (Little Jordan), Culture (Ida Payne), Freedom (Louise Cox), Courage (Frances Williams)...
In 1872, two gentlemen, who had relocated to Johnson City from New York several years prior, were asked to express their thoughts about living in our mountainous community as contrasted to their former residences.
The men were John Caulkins and "Yankee" Smith. Collectively, they provided an interesting glimpse of what East Tennessee was like 28 years before the turn of the 20th century, at least in the opinion of two displaced Northerners. Note that this was just seven years after the Civil War ended.
John's letter noted several advantages, the first being the mildness and health-giving properties of the Southern climate. He boasted that he was writing his letter on April 21 in a short sleeve shirt at 9:00 a.m. in a room with no fire burning, doors wide open and the temperature at 68 degrees F.
John cited specific instances of Northern residents who went to the South on recommendations from their physicians as a cure for pulmonary diseases.