With two unanimous votes of approval from Jonesborough’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday, Tennessee’s oldest town adopted a new tourism logo and moved one step closer to the opening of a Dunkin’ Donuts shop on US Highway 11E at Boone Street.
More than a year in the making, the new logo features Jonesborough artist Bill Bledsoe’s animated drawing of the 100-year-old county courthouse on Main Street above the words “Historic Jonesborough, Tennessee, 1779, Storytelling Capital of the World” in an historic font.
In addition to its appearance on marketing materials, the logo’s courthouse clock tower icon will appear on tourist way-finding signs to be placed on 11E and throughout the downtown historic district.
A $19,284 contract for the way-finding signs’ production to be paid for from a previous capital outlay for improvements to the downtown historic district was approved by the board in a related action at Monday’s meeting.
The logo package includes vertical, horizontal, black and white, full-color and blue- and burgundy-shaded variations as well as four special event renderings featuring Music on the Square notes, Jonesborough Days fireworks, a striped storytelling festival tent and Christmas lights and snowflakes.
Mayor Kelly Wolfe thanked Bledsoe, who also served as a member of the logo committee, for contributing his distinct artistic style to what Wolfe called a versatile emblem that will serve the town well into the future.
Wolfe described Bledsoe’s artwork as “an iconic part of the town” and said, “When you see a Bill Bledsoe drawing, you see Jonesborough.”
“I see T-shirts in the future,” Wolfe said.
Alderman Chuck Vest joined Wolfe in expressing appreciation for the committee’s final recommendation. “It’s a great product,” Vest said.
In another related action, the board approved a request from the Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia Heritage Alliance to close downtown’s streets for a three-day celebration to be held in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the downtown courthouse.
Planned for Aug. 9-11, the Courthouse Centennial Celebration will feature live musical performances and a centennial play to be produced by the Jonesborough Repertory Theater and performed at the new McKinney Cultural Arts Center on East Main Street.
In a follow-up to an earlier request from Mountain Empire Oil to purchase a tract of town-owned land located adjacent to the Roadrunner Shell station on 11E at Boone for construction of a Dunkin’ Donuts, the board approved the company’s revised proposal to buy a .45-acre tract for $75,000.
The approval was conditioned on the company’s plans to move all of the market’s gas canopies to the rear of the building, to enhance landscaping along the Boone Street entryway into the historic district and to add natural buffering along a low-lying strip of property located between the market and a town hall parking area proposed for future expansion of the fire department.
In the initial discussion of the property transfer, Town Administrator Bob Browning told the board members, “Due to the flood zone and water areas, the utility of the (property) is limited, therefore only the area of the property that could be used is considered for valuation.”
The construction proposal includes fill and slope work in the area on which the gas canopy will be placed, demolition of the existing building and construction of a new building to house both the market and the doughnut shop.
With the purchase offer’s approval, the board also voted to change the zoning of the tract from B-4 to B-3 and to remove its historic zoning overlay in order to allow its use for gas pumps.