Reader Provides Memories of Asbury Community and Old Wooden Bridge

Submitted by admin on Sun, 01/27/2019 - 12:10

I received a note from Robert Walden who has lived in the same house for 41 years in Asbury community in the west part of town. He listed several families who had also resided there for many years: the Rouths, Sneyds, Livingstons, Hensons, Harrisons, Tiptons, Wards and McCurrys.

“Everyone knew one another,” said Robert. “Neighborhood boys and girls played at each other’s houses. We'd all assemble at the Sneyds to play softball because they had a big, flat yard. Sometimes, several of us boys might go over to Buddy Callahan's house for a game of football.” Walden said he attended grade school at Asbury School located on Indian Ridge Road from the 2nd through the 7thgrades, Jonesborough Middle School for the 8th and then David Crockett High School. He and his neighbors walked to Asbury School where they caught a county bus to the high school.

“Growing up back then was different from today,” said Robert. “My buddies and I rode our bicycles almost everywhere we went. Between ages 10 and 12, I had a newspaper route delivering the afternoon edition of the Johnson City Press-Chronicle. After coming home from school, I grabbed a snack, changed clothes and climbed back on my bicycle to deliver papers. Sometimes my mother allowed me to load my bike into the trunk of our car and then drove me to Griffith Motors at West Market Street and Indian Ridge Road to pick up my newspapers. Griffith Motors had a big metal overhang sign out front which was perfect for protecting my papers from inclement weather. Sometimes my friends rode along to help me on my route. If we'd happened to get there before the newspapers arrived in the afternoon, we'd kill time by riding along the sidewalk over to the Jiffy Market or maybe stop by the Biff Burger.”

Robert’s paper route included Indian Ridge Road and all side streets. It also took in Skyline Drive from Knob Creek back to the opposite end where it intersected with Indian Ridge and Sunset Drive. Robert added: “I'm sure many folks remember the old wooden bridge that led into and out of the Asbury community. Sunset Drive came out through the woods from Mahoney's, up by the Royal Oil Co. and ended at the bridge. It was torn down in the spring of 1984.

“A metal plate attached to the bridge," he said, "showed when it was built, but I cannot recall the date. A friend of mine, Kim Guinn, and I took some photos of the old structure and where Crawford's Store was once located. The Family Drive-In movie theater sat where today is part of the Johnson City Medical Center. One of my good friends, Brad Teague, owned the Arco service station that was situated where McDonald's is located today. The spot now occupied by Food City Shopping Center and the Boy's and Girl's Club was where a circus sometimes came to town. They erected a big tent there. Several of us participated in youth sports at the Boy's Club, as it was called then. I also played Little League Baseball at Kiwanis Park.”

Robert indicated that they didn't just ride their bicycles down around the West Market Street area; they even rode them all the way out to the Johnson City Mall to enjoy its air conditioned amenities.

The Asbury community resident concluded his remarks by saying that the History/ Heritage page in the Johnson City Press each week gives newcomers to the area the opportunity of seeing what yesteryear was like in this region. He indicated that he loved Johnson City as a kid while growing up and still loves living here today.  

I received a note from Robert Walden who has lived in the same house for 41 years in Asbury community in the west part of town. He listed several families who had also resided there for many years: the Rouths, Sneyds, Livingstons, Hensons, Harrisons, Tiptons, Wards and McCurrys.

“Everyone knew one another,” said Robert. “Neighborhood boys and girls played at each other’s houses. We'd all assemble at the Sneyds to play softball because they had a big, flat yard. Sometimes, several of us boys might go over to Buddy Callahan's house for a game of football.”

Publication Date
2008-01-21T05:00:00