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20 interesting facts about Mountain Home As It Was in Operation in 1939

Bob Cox • Dec 31, 2017 at 11:33 PM

I recently acquired an old newspaper clipping, dated 1939, providing explicit data about the operation of the Mountain Home (aka VA or Veterans Administration and Soldiers' Home). Listed below are 20 facts I hope you will find interesting:

1. The reservation contains 450 acres of land, on which are 76 buildings.

2. The reservation has six miles of first-class roads and three miles of secondary ones.

3. The facility has its own "white way" (a brilliantly lighted street or avenue especially in a city's business or theater district).

4. 590 work at the facility, receiving an annual salary of $706,653.19.

5. The value of the buildings and plants is appraised at $3,511,276, exclusive of the value of equipment amounting to $785,733.26, or a total value of $4,297,049.25. The replacement value is estimated at $6 million.

6. The operating cost for the fiscal year ending July 1, 1939, was $1,177,040.86.

7. The facility has a guard force of 14 paid guards and three full-time firefighters.

8. Mountain Home operates and maintains its own telephone system, which is now being changed to a dial system.

9. The facility laundry turned out last year 2,139,000 pieces of laundry, using 18,300 pounds of soap, 11,000 pounds of soda, 300 pounds of bleach and 1,650 pounds of sour.

10. The facility cemetery covers 20 acres of land, and some 2,600 deceased veterans are buried there.

11. The facility has its own baseball grounds and recreation field.

12. The facility maintains its own theater, having a modern fireproof theater seating some 900 members and patients. Three showings of talking pictures are offered twice a week.

13. The station has a central radio receiving set, which amplifies the program and sends it out by wire to each bed in the hospital and non-duty barracks. For the duty barracks, loud speakers are provided as well as others at the bandstand located in the central part of the facility grounds.

14. On the reservation, there is the home of Robert Young, a Revolutionary war hero, the home having been erected in 1776 (Note: The cabin has long since been vacated from that site).

15. The facility purchases locally for cooking and baking 12,447,000 cubic feet of gas during the past year.

16. 1,532,000 kilowatts of electric current were used during the year.

17. 141,424,000 gallons of water were purchased from the city of Johnson City during the year.

18. 137,560 gallons of milk were purchased in Johnson City and surrounding territory through local dealers during the past year.

19. Also purchased locally were the following: 32,991 pounds of chicken, 146,040 dozen of eggs, 9,670 gallons of cream, 78,789 pounds of butter, 398,450 pounds of Irish potatoes, 42,230 pounds of sweet potatoes, 80,240 pounds of cabbage, 16,919 pounds of carrots, 145,394 pounds of western beef, 7,471 pounds of lamb, 30,472 pounds of veal, 9,882 pounds of pork, 39,189 pounds of ham and 68,232 pounds of bacon.

20. The bed capacity of the Mountain Home facility is 556 hospital beds, 1723 duty and non-duty beds and 330 unofficial barracks beds, making a total of 2,609 duty and non-duty beds and 330 unofficial barracks beds, making a total of 2,609 beds available for the use of the ex-service men in need of hospital and domiciliary care.

I would welcome any comments from those who would be willing to update the numbers from 1939 to today.

Reach Bob Cox at boblcox@bcyesteryear.com or go to www.bcyesteryear.com.

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