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.
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 July 1903, Ex-Gov. Robert L. Taylor ("Our Bob") journeyed to Bristol on a short business trip, vowing to return that same day and bring his two small sons, Bob and David, home from their visit with Uncle Alf at Johnson City.
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.
The eye-catching news in a local Feb. 28, 1903 newspaper was bold and to the point: "Beginning March 1st, Johnson City will be in total darkness." It seems that on that day the contract with the Electric Light Company for street lights expired, leaving a new contract pending. The city population that year was about 5,000.
I recently came across a listing of nine churches in Johnson City in 1908, which was three years after the devastating downtown fire. The find reveals a lot of key information about these places of worship:
Today's column is a glance back to August 1954 when 15-minute soap operas filled the weekday airways of radio and television. A contrast of these 14 programs with today's television "soaps" is rather noteworthy.
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 Roan Mountain, TN.
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: