Several months ago, I featured a column from Bobby Harrell about his memories of the John Sevier Hotel. I received two reader responses. The first was from Skip Oldham whose father was president of George Oldham Associates: “Oh what memories that article brought back,” said Skip. “For many years, our family business was in the hotel from the lobby to Roan Street. It was a beehive of activity virtually all the time.
Recently, a city resident whom I will call Mary revealed two stories to me that evolved around her late father, Frank (assumed name), a once well-known and successful downtown businessman in his day. In 1945, Frank escorted his young daughter to the Windsor Hotel to reveal a long-held secret that would be talked about by family members for years.
Johnson City Comet readers eagerly opened their newspapers on Sunday morning, April 10, 1910 to these attention-grabbing headlines: “Carnegie Hotel Burned Down This Morning - Alarm Sounded at One O’clock - Hotel Totally Destroyed.”
My August 14, 2006 column dealt with a vicious storm that smacked Johnson City around 1913, causing significant damage to the surrounding area including the Lee Hotel on Spring Street.
I received a note from the family of a former ETSU professor, referencing an old undated postcard advertisement. Since the responder asked to remain anonymous, I will call her Jane Doe.
Rita Garst wrote me a note commenting on the Hotel Windsor and other former hotels in downtown Johnson City. She shared some humorous stories.
Throughout its magnificent history, Johnson City has had numerous hotels to serve the lodging needs of the downtown area, especially around bustling Fountain Square.
The Windsor Hotel still shines in the memories of many area folks. A 1909 advertisement spoke of the former establishment as the "handsomest furnished hotel between Richmond and Chattanooga."