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Today in Johnson City History: April 8

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Apr 8, 2020 at 9:15 AM

April 8, 1861: The name of the local Post Office was changed from “Haynesville” to “Johnson’s Depot.” With the advent of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, Henry Johnson had come to town from the Sinking Creek area and bought land from Abraham Jobe in 1855. The Johnson’s Depot Post Office appeared on July 10, 1857, with Johnson as postmaster. The Post Office was changed on Oct. 8, 1859, to ‘Haynesville’ in honor of Landon Carter Haynes, the Confederate senator then living at the Col. John Tipton site, south of town. Henry Johnson was a Whig and the Post Office was changed back to Johnson’s Depot on April 8, 1861.

April 8, 1931: Mr. and Mrs. L.W. McCown and Master Hardin McCown had returned by motor from Roanoke, Virginia, where they spent Easter with Mr. and Mrs. James Hardin.

April 8, 1938: The following movies were playing in Johnson City cinemas: “Mexicali Rose” and “The Lone Ranger Rides Again” were at the Liberty, “Wild Horse Canyon” and “Adventures of Tom Sawyer” were at the Sevier, and ‘”Lone Star Pioneers” was at the Tennessee.

April 8, 1944: The Rotary Club planned to give 15,000 chicks to 4-H Club members.

April 8, 1953: “Mrs. Spencer H. Smith is reported to be convalescing satisfactorily at her home … after undergoing surgery at Swingle Hospital,” according to the Johnson City Press-Chronicle. In other hospital-related news or the same date, “M.H. Allison is a patient at McKee Hospital.” The Swingle Hospital sat on North Roan Street near Barberry Road. The building was demolished in 2010. The McKee Hospital was an eye clinic at 207 E. Watauga Ave.

April 8, 1962: "Town Without Pity" with Kirk Douglas and Christine Kaufman started at the Family Drive-In Theatre on the New Jonesboro Highway. It was not recommended for children.

April 8, 1976: Three gas stations on Broadway Street were amid a price war. Regular gas at the Jiffy Market was 42.9 cents per gallon, while the nearby Amoco and Bay Self Service were selling for 44.9 cents per gallon. The average price in town was around 60 cents.

Sources: First Christian Church; Johnson City Chronicle; Johnson City Chronicle; Johnson City Press-Chronicle; Ted Bowers/Johnson City, Tennessee, Memories

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