Do you enjoy reading about the history of Northeast Tennessee and surrounding area? If so, welcome to "Bob Cox's Yesteryear" website, 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:
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 focus lies mainly within Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina, with particular emphasis on Johnson City. 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
In the 1950s, many of us faithfully went to see western movies at the Liberty Theatre located at 221 E. Main Street. The building on the west (Fountain Square) side at 219 E. Main was the Darling Shop, a ladies clothing store. If we were to turn the clock back to Christmas 1914, we would have encountered another business operating from that site - the London-Kirkpatrick Hardware Company.
Dr. Ted Thomas, Milligan College Professor of Humanities, History, and German, sent me an interesting clipping from an August 27, 1918 Johnson City Daily Staff that dealt with a visit of four distinguished visitors to the city: Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs.
Thanks to a few individuals who shared their memories of the Red Shield Boys' Club in response to my request in my Oct. 13th column. I will feature several more in upcoming columns. The first comes from Dick Church.
I make no secret of my love of vintage radio shows, especially those in the 1940s and 1950s. I grew up in the late 1940s listening to them until 9:00 p.m. each night when I had to be in bed with the lights out and radio off.
Jan. 1, 1890 was a busy day for Johnson City. During all the hard times of the late 1800s, Johnson City had more desirable and more permanent work than any other town, large or small, in the South. Notwithstanding the bad weather, work steadily advanced on all the plants and factories, until they were on the threshold of prosperity’s open door.
Bob Taylor used to be the editor of Johnson City's The Comet newspaper. An old saying that pertains to gifted writers urges these folks to keep their files wet continually for the specific purpose of preventing spontaneous combustion from their "lightning streaks of rhetoric."
Walter Preston Brownlow, a prominent name among East Tennesseans, worked in 1876 as a reporter for the Knoxville Whig and Chronicle and that same year purchased the Herald and Tribune in Jonesboro, Tennessee. He served as Tennessee's 1st district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1896 until his passing in on July 8, 1910.
In the early morning hours of July 1886, one thousand employees of the Railroad Employees' Mutual Relief Association (REMRA) of Knoxville and their immediate family met at the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad Depot replete with food containers for their annual 200-mile scenic excursion into the East Tennessee mountains.