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
December 1, 1910 found area residents at the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Railway depot in Dante, Virginia anxiously waiting to embark a train for an invigorating snow-capped scenic excursion across the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains to Spartanburg, SC.
Today's feature is a continuation of the one that began on January 26. The information from The Comet newspaper addresses the origin of Johnson City's Lady of the Fountain. I chose to quote rather than paraphrase it. My comments are shown in parenthesis. Forward me any remarks or questions you might have.
May 1904 saw Johnson City looking "pretty," according to the local newspaper. This was four years before the downtown streets were paved. "How pretty the town looks," it said, " in its robe of green trimmed with roses and other flowers. The new sidewalks are a great improvement, too. Let us hope they will be built to stand the stress of harsh weather and pedestrian's feet.
Jay Prater, a frequent contributor to my Yesteryear articles, wrote me saying that he had diligently searched for his Duncan yo-yo after reading the Red Shield Boys' Club article last week on the History/Heritage page. So far, he has not located it, but won't stop looking for it. Today's column deals with Valentine's Day.
Richard “Dick” Church, who previously shared some memories of the Red Shield Boys' Club, an organization dear to his heart, provided additional memories of the organization. Dick recalled another activity at the Red Shield Boys' Club - stamp collecting.
I appreciate Harold "Hal" J. Hunter's Jan. 14 letter to the editor titled, "Preserving History Should Be a Priority of the City." I wholeheartedly agree. Today's column contains the first of several articles I will feature over time involving a landmark that is no longer a part of the East Tennessee scene. There have been so many in recent years.
Today's feature is the first of two that will address the origin of Johnson City's beautiful Lady of the Fountain. Although it answers several questions about the development of the downtown water fountain, it also presents some facts that are hard to interpret, "history mysteries" as I call them. The information comes from The Comet and is quoted just as it appeared in the newspaper. Any comments I offer are shown in parenthesis. Feel free to send me any comments or questions you might have. The second Lady of the Fountain feature will appear in late February.
On February 23, 1947, a full page ad in the Johnson City Press-Chronicle was dedicated to a newly organized business in town, Dinty Moore's Restaurant. The eatery had been around for several years with essentially the same name but at four separate downtown locations.
Ms. Cecile Mettetal McQueen sent me a letter containing a March 1978 newspaper clipping written by former Johnson City Press-Chronicle writer, Dorothy Hamill. The article dealt with Ms. McQueen's grandfather, Ray Albert Mettetal, who with his wife, Gwendolyn, resided at 1301 E. Holston in Johnson City.
Today's column is the first of three articles dealing with the Lady of the Fountain's origin in downtown Johnson City. The other two pieces are larger feature stories presenting my research that spans 1894 (when the fountain was first conceived) to 1909 (when it became fully operational).