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 August 2006, I wrote an article about Jobe's Opera House, a former popular entertainment venue once located at the corner of E. Main and Spring streets on the second floor above Gump Brothers, a fashionable clothing store. Today's column provides supplementary information about the once popular establishment.
A spring 1912 Comet article addressed the reason why area East Tennessee farmers were poor. The piece was addressed to Mr. Tennessee Farmer: "The reason why this occurs is always a vital question, so I stopped beside the road, let my old mare browse at some nearby sedge grass while I figured it out. Well, I figured it out and here is my explanation.
A few days before Christmas 1907, shortly after the noon hour, the suburban home of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Hall, located about nine miles west of the city, was the scene of a beautiful wedding. Miss Cordelia Hall was united in marriage to Mr. Robert L. Dyer of this city. Rev. S.G. Ketron officiated with Miss Cora Allison serving as bridesmaid and Mr. G, S. Galliher as best man.
Vintage letters to Santa have become a regular in my column at Christmas time. Today, nine of them from 1904 are presented without regard to spelling, punctuation and grammar; they are just as they arrived at the North Pole:
On Christmas day, 1951, President Truman told the nation that there had arisen a new spirit of hope in the world, that a true and lasting peace may come from the sacrifice of free men arming and fighting together. Mr. Truman's message was prepared for broadcasting from his fireside at Independence, MO., just before he pressed a telegraph key and set the nation's Christmas tree aglow with colored lights at the White House.
The advertisement that accompanies today's column came from a Dec. 1, 1957 Johnson City Press-Chronicle. Note that the former "Johnson's Depot" carried the tag, "The Christmas Town," stating that the city was ready with thousands of Yuletide delights!" Everywhere shoppers glanced, they saw dazzling, glittering arrays of gifts to put under their Christmas tree; toys to make a child's eyes grow wide with excitement; brilliant glowing lights and sparkling ornaments for decoration; Santa's Yule-tide pack overflowing with magic from all over the world to make Christmas the happiest, most thrilling they'd ever had; a need to hurry because time was a-wasting; join the holiday shopping throng now without delay.
In my constant search of antique stores, flea markets and vintage book stores, I have acquired a sizable collection of artifacts. One, titled "Beautiful Linville Caverns," is the subject of today's Yesteryear Column. Attached are excerpts of it along with three photos.
On March 15, 1884, Nathaniel C.T. Love published the first issue of the Comet newspaper in Johnson City, Tennessee. Attorneys Robert Burrow and Robert L. Taylor (later Tennessee governors) served as the newspaper’s editors. The paper’s salutatory piece affirmed its perspective: “In politics, we are democratic; in religion, we are orthodox.” At the time of the Comet’s first issue, the town had just one other newspaper, the politically independent Enterprise, established the previous year.
In September 1899, reports circulated about the discovery of caves in the mountains of Claiborne County, located about 100 miles from Johnson City. Reportedly, the caves, if true, would rival the famous Mammoth Cave of Kentucky or the Luray Caverns in Virginia.
A 1969 promotional brochure, produced by the Jonesboro (earlier spelling) Kiwanis Club, Washington County and the Town of Jonesboro, impressively described the historic borough as the “Mother of Tennessee.”