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.
One of the pleasures of writing this column is meeting so many nice folks who interface with me about a subject near and dear to their heart. Such was the case of Kristi Bolding Seal, daughter of the late Wallace Clark Bolding, who passed away on Feb. 18, 2016, just one week prior to his 88th birthday. He once resided at 800 Wilson Avenue (at Frances Street) in Johnson City.
On Wednesday evening, November 29, 1905, Martha Wilder Elementary School announced one of its upcoming "treats" of the school year. Teachers and students jointly arranged for an evening of entertainment that proved very pleasurable and "made everyone happier for awhile."
While no admittance to the event was charged, the school conducted a fundraiser that was aimed at buying a much-needed piano. It was suggested that parents bring family and friends to assist in the effort.
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:
Davy Crockett (1786–1836), frontiersman, congressman and defender of the Alamo, was born to a pioneer family living on the Nolichucky River near Limestone in East Tennessee. The rugged outdoorsman is referred to by many as the ‘King of the Wild Frontier," as in the chorus of the famous Walt Disney song. He was raised in East Tennessee and acquired a solid reputation for his enjoyment of storytelling, hunting and fishing.
In 1927, Miss Lucy Schaeffer, a former teacher at the Dorland Bell School in Hot Springs, NC addressed two missionary societies, asserting the position that no mentally dull or stupid person inhabited the mountainous districts of the Carolinas and Tennessee. Her talk, "The Land of Not Enough," put a positive spin on mountain folks.
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.
I recently came across a listing of Saturday morning ("no school today") television juvenile shows, ranging from 1946 through 1971. Since my family did not own a television set until about 1951, I had the option of going to a Johnson Avenue neighbor's house who owned a TV to watch a program or do without. The two generous neighbors I recall were the Gaines Johnson and William Wise families.
Older folks will likely recall the opening theme of television's "The Cisco Kid?" It began with thrilling background music as Cisco and Pancho rode their horses, Diablo and Loco respectively, down a hill, paused briefly and then continued their descent. The narration was "Here's adventure. Here's romance. Here's O. Henry's famous Robin Hood of the Old West. 'The Cisco Kid.'"
Obituary notices can be an excellent source of information, especially if your name was George L. Carter. A December 31, 1936 newspaper clipping offered a depiction of the man who was responsible for the early growth of Johnson City and, for half a century, was a leader in the industrial expansion of Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.