Johnson City, Tennessee
Historic Photos Vol.1

Signature of Henry Johnson, Founder of Johnson City
Signature of Henry Johnson from 1846 Property Deed
1859 Postmark from
Johnson's Depot
Postmarked Letter
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Letter from Johnson's Depot - 1861
CSA Postal Route to Johnson's Depot
- 1861
Letter from Elizabethton
- 1861
Letter from Jonesboro - 1861
Letter from Greeneville - 1863

"Johnson's Depot"
East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railway
(Later Southern Railroad)
Larger Vicinity Photo
Ted Laws Painting

Science Hill Debating Society - 1869

Interviews with the Boys

Stage Road - West Market Street


Hart-Range Saddle and Harness Shop
City Hotel in Background - 1870s
1884 Ad for City Hotel
Downtown Johnson City -1870

"Apple Sellers" 1880s

Summers Company - New Street

The Enterprise - 1880s: First Newspaper

Higher Resolution Photo
Johnson City Foundry Ad: 1887
Jobe's Opera House
1884 - 1905
Grand Opening 1885
"Jesse James" 1903
Eugene V. Debs - 1903
1891 - Letter from Mayor Ike Jobe

Johnson City Reds - 1886
Captain Cy Lyle
Seated 2nd from left
The Slugger's Picnic News Article
The Sluggers Unload in July 1886
East Tennessee &Virginia
Railway Station - 1885
1884: "Ugliest on the Line"

First National Bank

Main Street 1890
Main Street 1892
President Benjamin Harrison's
Railway Stop Speech
at Johnson City - 1891

Watauga Bank Stock - 1896
Back of Stock Certficate
Liberty Bell On Display
October 7, 1895
  ET&WNC - Southern Railway
Depot 1891
Present Yee-Haw Brewing

Public Square with Fountain

ET&WNC - Southern Railway
"Union" Depot 1890s

(Free Service Tire)

Carnegie Hotel

Main Street 1902

First National Bank
Present site of Hamilton Bank
Street Fair - "Big Rag Time Opera"
Higher Resolution Version

Trolley at Main Street

Central Business District Around 1900

Barbershop - No Swearing!

Shopping Day

Inside the Bank

Harris Lumber Company

Log Transport through Downtown

Science Hill Academy Class of 1903
List of early Science Hill Graduates
Fountain Square: Johnson City, Tennessee
Fountain Square: The Center of the City
Check out the Foutain Square Photo Album
Header of Johnson City Comet Newspaper: Published from 1884 to 1918
1882 Bank Note from Unaka National Bank
Back of Currency

Note - Click on the thumbnail images above to link to larger images.

Sources - Archives of Appalachia, Burr Harrison Collection
Johnson City Development Authority Historical Collection
Johnson City Economic Development Board Collection
Sue Lyle Collection
Library of Congress
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From the header of the Johnson City Comet newspaper to its early development patterns there is no doubt that Johnson City, Tennessee was (and still is) a railroad town. Johnson City rode the boom and bust cycles of the late nineteenth century railroad and mining interests through eras of amazing growth and prosperity - down to barely surviving the Financial Panic of 1893 with its City Charter still intact due to the City's ownership of bonds from failed railroad ventures. Personal fortunes were won and lost but after each railway failure another better capitalized enterprise would succeed in extending the mountainous railway lines farther into the coal and iron mining regions of Virginia and North Carolina where previous efforts had failed. The photos above are a sampling of Johnson City's "baby pictures" as the railway extensions brought new business and trade opportunities for the growing population in the area surrounding Henry Johnson's depot.
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