Nov. 20, 1890: The Comet, quoting the City Cor. Journal, reported “The Johnson City Furniture Factory is thirty days behind orders. The factory is shipping goods to Knoxville, and to all parts of the south. It is one of the industries of which the people here are proud. The furniture for the new hotel at Harriman, including fifty-nine bed room (sic) suits (sic) was made at this factory.”

We are not certain where the City Cor. Journal was published, nor what the abbreviation “Cor.” stands for.

Nov. 20, 1893: The Chattanooga Daily Times, with a dateline of Johnson City, reported on recent burning of two barns. “The neighborhood above Dove’s Mill, a station on the Embreeville branch five miles from this place, was in a considerable state of excitement today over the burning of two valuable barns. The fire is charged to Will Hipps, a half crazy crank. One barn was burned Friday night, the other last night. It is reported here that the people scoured the country today for Hipps with the intention of lynching him. Even his mother refuses him shelter, being afraid of him. He is said to have caused his wife’s death a few years ago by brutally beating her.”

Dove’s Mill and Embreeville are communities in rural Washington County.

The Chattanooga Daily Times is now published at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Nov. 20, 1895: The Herald and Tribune reported on “The Vanderbilt Palace” in Asheville. “I have just returned from a drive to ‘Vanderbilt’s castle’ which he is erecting in these mountains. He has purchased something over one hundred thousand acres of land, and is erecting on it a residence patterned after the old baronial castles of England. The house alone is to cost four millions of dollars, and is now nearing completion, after having been in course of erection for seven years.”

Four million dollars in 1895 would be worth nearly $132 million today, according to

The Herald and Tribune was, and still is, a newspaper published in Jonesboro, which was spelled that way in 1895.

Nov. 20, 1921: A century ago today, The Knoxville Sentinel reported, “On Monday morning at 10 o’clock in the U.B. parsonage the wedding of Mr. Ernest Stout Williams, of Limestone, to Miss Olivine Frances Lacy, of Johnson City, was solemnized in the presence of a few friends and relatives. The ceremony was said by the bride’s pastor, Rev. M.H. Carder.”

The Knoxville Sentinel is now published as the Knoxville News-Sentinel. We do not have access to any newspapers that were published in Johnson City in 1921.

Nov. 20, 1923: John Lemuel Keevil died. He was the minister of First Christian Church for several years, beginning in October 1903. (Source: 100th Anniversary History and Directory 1871-1971, First Christian Church, Johnson City, Tennessee. Compiled and written by Mary Hardin McCown and Josephine Carpenter Owen.)

Nov. 20, 1936: The Johnson City Chronicle reported, “King’s Mountain post of the American Legion will hold its November bean feed tonight in Mayne Williams library (sic) building.”

The Mayne Williams Public Library was the forerunner of today’s Johnson City Public Library.

Nov. 20, 1946: Seventy-five years ago today, according to the Johnson City Press-Chronicle, “James L. Beckner, two-months-old son of Mr. and Mrs. T. F Beckner, 914 East Holston avenue (sic), had a splint applied to his left arm at Appalachian Hospital as a result of a fall.”

The Appalachian Hospital was a forerunner of Memorial Hospital, which was a forerunner of Johnson City Medical Center.

Nov. 20, 1949: Readers of the Johnson City Press-Chronicle learned that “Selection of books for children was emphasized by Mrs. Moody Dunbar in a talk over radio station WJHL, under sponsorship of the Johnson City Chapter of the American Association of University Women.”

Mrs. Dunbar said, “Almost every parent includes books on his Christmas list as well as dolls, china sets, trucks, and electric trains. Business is really flourishing for the twenty-five publishers of children’s books.”

Some of the books Mrs. Dunbar recommended for young readers to read included: “The Black Stallion” by Walter Farley, “Bobcat” by C.W. Anderson, “You and Atomic Energy and its Wonderful Uses” by John Lewellen, “The Bible Story Book” by Seymour Loveland, “The Christmas Story” by Elizabeth Yates. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderful (sic) Land” and “Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll, and “The Egg and I” by Betty MacDonald.

Nov. 20, 1950: “The valve-gate closed at South Holston Dam and water began backing up to create South Holston Reservoir,” according to The Elizabethton Star.

“A tremendous lake in the mountains will begin to take form November 20 when the valve-gate is dropped. Work began on the dam in Dec. 1941, but in Nov. 1942, the War Production Board requested that the operation be suspended because of a shortage of critical materials. Work did not resume until July 1, 1947.” (Source: Facebook page of the Tennessee Valley Authority)

Nov. 20, 1959: Traffic patterns would soon be changing, according to an article in the Johnson City Press-Chronicle. “Dec. 16 was designated last night as the changeover date for Johnson City’s new traffic control plan.”

The City Commission had authorized City Manager D.A. Burkhalter to make the appropriate changes. The article continued to explain, “The reversal of traffic flow on some existing one-way streets and the establishment of others will be the main effect of the new system.”

The article stated, “One-way directions on Market and Main Streets will be reversed with Market one-way going west from Legion to Delaware and Main being one-way going east from Delaware to Legion.”

Additional explanations included, “Other one-way streets will be Jobe Street going west from Roan to Spring; Ashe Street going west from Roan to Sevier; West Walnut going east from Campbell to Roan; West Maple going west from Lake to Division and West Pine going east from Lake to Division.”

Nov. 20, 1971: Fifty years ago today, on the front page of the Johnson City Press-Chronicle, readers learned that “The curtain will rise tonight on the 3rd season of the Johnson City Symphony under the baton of Conductor Gilbert Oxendine and featured works are:

“ – ‘Light Cavalry Overture’”

“-‘Overture to Hansel and Gretel’ and”

“-‘Fantasia on ‘Greensleeves’ featuring Mrs. Kenneth Roark, Johnson City, as solo harpist.”

“Major work on the program will be Bach’s ‘Double Concerto in D Minor’ and will feature William Starr and Peter Horodysky and the double violin soloists.”

“Curtain time is 8 p. m. in the Science Hill High School auditorium.”

“Tickets are $1.50 per person, available at the door, with students and children admitted free.”

“Tonight’s concert is one of three being planned by the all volunteer orchestra.”

“An informative feature about the Johnson City Symphony will appear in tomorrow’s edition of the Johnson City Press-Chronicle.”

Nov. 20, 1996: Twenty-five years ago today, the Johnson City Press published Louise Payne’s recipe for Vinegar Pie. These are the ingredients:

3 eggs

1 ½ cups sugar

1 stick melted margarine

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

These are the instructions: “Beat eggs 10 minutes with electric mixer. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.”

“Bake in a 9-inch unbaked pie crust for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 and bake another 30 minutes.”

Columnist’s note: I’ve never made this, but I’ve had vinegar pie. It tastes like a combination of lemon-chess pie and icebox lemon pie, both popular desserts in the 1960s.

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Rebecca Henderson is a contributing columnist for Johnson City Press.

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