“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers in Johnson City, Tennessee

Clickable Map of Carter County, Tennessee and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Carter County, TN (56) Johnson County, TN (8) Sullivan County, TN (89) Unicoi County, TN (6) Washington County, TN (87) Avery County, NC (11) Mitchell County, NC (8)  CarterCounty(56) Carter County (56)  JohnsonCounty(8) Johnson County (8)  SullivanCounty(89) Sullivan County (89)  UnicoiCounty(6) Unicoi County (6)  WashingtonCounty(87) Washington County (87)  AveryCountyNorth Carolina(11) Avery County (11)  MitchellCounty(8) Mitchell County (8)
Elizabethton is the county seat for Carter County
Johnson City is in Carter County
      Carter County (56)  
      Johnson County (8)  
      Sullivan County (89)  
      Unicoi County (6)  
      Washington County (87)  
      Avery County, North Carolina (11)  
      Mitchell County, North Carolina (8)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1Tennessee (Carter County), Johnson City — 1A 31 — Carter County / Washington County
Established 1796 named in honor of Landon Carter Treasurer of Washington and Hamilton Districts. Speaker of the first State of Franklin Senate, later its Secretary of State, also Lieutenant Colonel of the Washington . . . Map (db m45948) HM
2Tennessee (Carter County), Johnson City — Constructing a Mountain Railroad
Railroads were a major force in developing southern Appalachia, bringing jobs, commerce, industry, and transportation to local communities. However, the mountainous terrain presented unique challenges to their construction. The East Tennessee and . . . Map (db m184200) HM
3Tennessee (Carter County), Johnson City — Cranberry Furnace Company Quarry
In 1902, the Cranberry Furnace Company opened this quarry to provide lime for the Johnson City iron foundry. The quarry featured a crusher and a 924' railroad siding to load the crushed lime on to the ET&WNC train for transportation to Johnson . . . Map (db m184199) HM
4Tennessee (Carter County), Johnson City — 1A 17 — Dungan’s Mill
6.5 miles northwest, at the mouth of Brush Creek, is a mill built by Jeremiah Dungan in 1779, and continuously operated since then. East of it was a stone fort erected by pioneers of the Watauga Settlement.
Dungan and other pioneers are buried . . . Map (db m45997) HM
5Tennessee (Carter County), Johnson City — Gandy Dancers
"Gandy dancer" is a term that came to be used for the laborers who built and maintained railroad tracks prior to the mechanization of most of those tasks. The origin of the term is uncertain, although some suggest that it referred to the movement . . . Map (db m184189) HM
6Tennessee (Carter County), Johnson City — Hauling Ore from the Cranberry Mine
High grade magnetite iron ore was found at the base of Roan Mountain near Cranberry, NC after the War of 1812. A "bloomery", or iron smelter, was built at Cranberry in 1820 to process the ore and supply iron to the Confederacy during the Civil War. . . . Map (db m184266) HM
7Tennessee (Carter County), Johnson City — Milligan Depot
Not far from this spot stood the Milligan College Flag Stop, which from 1896 until 1934 provided shade and shelter for passengers who waited for the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad — the "Tweetsie" — to take them either west to . . . Map (db m184193) HM
8Tennessee (Carter County), Johnson City — The Robertson Home, Site of First Court of Washington County
Washington County, then part of North Carolina, was established in 1777 during the height of the American Revolution, replacing the earlier Washington District (1776) and Watauga Association (1772). On February 23, 1778, the first court of the new . . . Map (db m184139) HM
9Tennessee (Carter County), Johnson City — The Tennessee Tweetsie in Hollywood
The East Tennessee and Western NC Railroad (ET&WNC) became affectionately known as the "Tweetsie" because of the distinctive sound of its steam whistle. In addition, the railroad was famous for its small-town charm, earning the nickname of "the . . . Map (db m184162) HM
10Tennessee (Carter County), Johnson City — 1A 116 — Williams-Taylor House
The Edmund Williams family, pioneers of the area. owned the original log cabin at this site. Owner Joshua Williams (1808-1895) enlarged the house and in 1866 gave land for Buffalo Institute. Now Milligan College, it was established by Col. W. . . . Map (db m157849) HM
11Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — A Narrow-Gauge Railroad
The East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC) is one of the best-known examples of a "narrow-gauge" railroad. This term refers to the width between the steel rails; the rails on a standard-gauge railroad are 4' 8.5" inches apart, . . . Map (db m184091) HM
12Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — A National Cemetery System
Civil War Dead An estimated 700,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died in the Civil War between April 1861 and April 1865. As the death toll rose, the U.S. government struggled with the urgent but unplanned need to bury fallen Union troops. This . . . Map (db m126463) HM
13Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Andre Michaux1746-1803
(Side one) From 1785 to 1796, French botanist Andre Michaux, the foremost European botanist of his day, traveled throughout eastern North America. On assignment from the French monarchy, Michaux studied and collected North American plants, . . . Map (db m69628) HM
14Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 56 — Boone's Creek Church
About 1 1/2 miles southwest, this Christian church was organized 1825 by Rev. Jas. Miler. Here, Aug. 17, 1829, was held the first recorded conference of Christian churches in East Tennessee. Other elders present were Jeriel Dodge, Robt. . . . Map (db m22860) HM
15Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 89 — Brush Creek Campground
On September 2, 1811, James Nelson deeded to trustees William Nelson, William Duzan, James King, Jacob Hoss and John R. Boring, 4 acres and 8 poles to be used by the Methodist Episcopal Church for a house of worship. For many years a campground for . . . Map (db m47230) HM
16Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 120 — Colored Christian Church and Colored School1889
This 1889 structure, originally "the Colored Christian Church," now West Main Street Christian Church, was also Johnson City's second school building (1889-1891) for "Colored" children. It is the oldest church building and school building still . . . Map (db m22866) HM
17Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 27 — Daniel Boone
0.2 miles along this road is the waterfall under which Boone hid himself from raiding Indians; the falls were then about 4 feet high. 1.1 mile along the road, a marker indicates the site of the beech tree where "D. Boon Cilled a bar in . . . Map (db m83060) HM
18Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 144 — Desegregation of East Tennessee State College (University)1956 and 1958
In January 1956, Eugene Caruthers, a teacher a Langston High School in Johnson City, became the first black student enrolled in East Tennessee State College's graduate program. In August 1958, Elizabeth Watkins Crawford, Clarence McKinney, George L. . . . Map (db m173432) HM
19Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 127 — Dr. Hezekiah B. Hankal1825-1903 — Minister, Physician, Educator, Politician —
Ordained by Boones Creek Christian Church in 1866, Dr. Hezekiah B. Hankal established five churches in the region. A physician, his medical practice was confined to the African-American and the Cherokee-Dutch communities until the 1873 cholera . . . Map (db m157821) HM
20Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 106 — Dungan-St. John Mill
This stone manor and mill were built in 1778 by Jeremiah Dungan on property purchased from the Watauga Association. It was taxed in 1779 by North Carolina in the first year the state levied a property tax. Dungan's family ground grain until 1866, . . . Map (db m158267) HM
21Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 134 — East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Depot
Constructed in 1891 as a union depot for the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad (nicknamed “Tweetsie”) and the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad, the building served as a passenger railway terminal until 1940. . . . Map (db m47301) HM
22Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 149 — Elbert Columbus "E.C." MillerOctober 16, 1925-March 25, 2012
Born approximately one mile from the bridge in a house near the Elk River, Elbert Columbus “E.C.” Miller was an acclaimed, self-taught musician, who mastered his three-finger style on the five-string banjo. Miller had his own line of . . . Map (db m157805) HM
23Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A-28 — Fiddlin’ Charlie Bowman1889-1962
Charlie Bowman, Hall of Fame fiddler, vaudeville performer, and writer of Nine Pound Hammer and East Tennessee Blues, toured with the Hill Billies and other music groups, once performing for President Calvin Coolidge. Two daughters, . . . Map (db m45590) HM
24Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 50 — First Court of Washington County
On Feb. 23, 1778, 0.6 mile NE at the house of Col. Charles Robertson, Trustee, on the “east (Catbird) branch of Sinking Creek” was held the First Court of the newly formed County of Washington, North Carolina, with John Carter, Chairman; John . . . Map (db m83061) HM
25Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — First English-Speaking Visitors
Daughters of the American Colonists “1673 — James Needham & Gabriel Arthur, first English-speaking visitors, passed here en route to the Cherokee towns on the Little Tennessee River.” “1700 — Daniel . . . Map (db m157847) HM
26Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 22 — History on Knob Creek
About 0.3 miles east stood Twin Falls Grist Mill, belonging to Peter Range, an early immigrant from New Jersey. He bought this land in 1804-08 and built the 2-story & basement stone house, standing today. His limestone marker reads, “P. Range, . . . Map (db m47462) HM
27Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1E 64 — Isaac Hammer
This pioneer settler from Pennsylvania, a minister of the Church of the Brethren, built a two-story log house in 1793, which stands .2 mile northwest on the Old Stage Road. While not actually an inn, the house was often a stopping place for . . . Map (db m158255) HM
28Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 26 — Jesse Duncan
. . . Map (db m22858) HM
29Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — John Sevier Hotel
Named for Tennessee's first governor and promoted as the finest hotel between Roanoke and Chattanooga, the John Sevier opened on August 5, 1924. The hotel was planned in three stages, with a second section completed in 1929. The third section was . . . Map (db m157840) HM
30Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 154 — Johnson CityHome of Mountain Dew
This is the former site of the Tri-City Beverage Corporation, of which Charles O. Gordon was the owner-president. In 1954 the Tri-City Beverage became one of the first to bottle "Mountain Dew", a clear lemon-lime flavored drink. Four years later . . . Map (db m177924) HM
31Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 93 — Johnson CityIncorporated - December 1, 1869
The town was formerly known as Green Meadows, Blue Plum, Johnson's Depot, Haynesville, then Johnson City. It is situated on land grants of 1782 to Robert and Joseph Young and in 1792 to Joseph Tipton. The town charter was repealed in 1879, but . . . Map (db m22868) HM
32Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Johnson City Sessions
Frank Walker, head of Columbia Records “hillbilly” recording division, conducted recording sessions in Johnson City in 1928 and 1929. Walker was a pioneer in the art of remote recording, which was deemed more effective than bringing . . . Map (db m157839) HM
33Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 141 — Johnson City Sessions
In October 1928 Frank Walker of Columbia Records hosted recording auditions at 334 East Main Street. Charlie Bowman and his brothers, Clarence Greene, and the Roane County Ramblers were among the artists recorded. These sessions pioneered the art of . . . Map (db m145900) HM
34Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 152 — Keebler-Keefauver Home
Built between 1858 and 1859 for Joseph Keebler by various artisans, the original home consisted of two large rooms on each floor with a hallway and staircase. The walls were four bricks thick with windows of hand-blown glass. The kitchen, a separate . . . Map (db m158254) HM
35Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 114 — Knob Creek Church of the Brethren
Organized circa 1799 by Elder Samuel Garber of Virginia, the Knob Creek Church of the Brethren was the first Brethren congregation in Tennessee. Isaac Hammer was the first minister. Daniel Bowman preached in English and Michael Krouse preached in . . . Map (db m157802) HM
36Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Landon Carter HaynesConfederate Senator
This was the home of Landon Carter Haynes, a distinguished lawyer and politician who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives before the onset of the Civil War. Haynes was born in Carter County on December 2, 1816. He attended nearby . . . Map (db m69684) HM
37Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 110 — Langston High School1893-1965
This building housed Johnson City’s first African-American public high school. Named for U.S. Congressman John Mercer Langston, an educator, lawyer, and the first African-American elected to public office in the United States (Ohio, 1856). Langston . . . Map (db m83062) HM
38Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Main Street
For the first thirty-nine years of its existence, Johnson City had dirt streets, which turned into muddy quagmires when it rained. In 1908 the City sold $49,000 worth of bonds to fund a contract with Kelly Brothers of Portsmouth, Ohio, to surface . . . Map (db m157836) HM
39Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Memorial Fountain
Dedicated in 2013, this fountain tells a story of hope, inspiration, and courage. It pays tribute to the first African American students to enroll at what was then East Tennessee State College. These pioneering students integrated the campus in an . . . Map (db m173436) HM
40Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Mountain Home National Cemetery
National Home The ninth of eleven branches of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (NHDVS), the Mountain Branch was authorized in 1901. The first resident arrived in 1903, a year before the home officially opened. Civil War . . . Map (db m128258) HM
41Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1 A 135 — National Soldiers’ Home
Approved by an Act of Congress on Jan. 28, 1901, the Mountain Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers was created through the work of Tennessee Congressman Walter P. Brownlow (1851–1910). Known locally as Mountain Home, the . . . Map (db m2711) HM
42Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Passenger Service
The East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC) was primarily constructed to provide freight service between Johnson City and the iron ore mines of Cranberry, NC, but passenger and mail service became important as well. The railroad . . . Map (db m184076) HM
43Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Robert E. Young Cabin
The oldest standing dwelling in Johnson City. Built in 1776 on property near Bush Creek later held by the U.S. Government. Restored in 1938 by the Veterans Administration and John Sevier Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Relocated to . . . Map (db m152048) HM
44Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 60 — Robins’ Roost
William T. Graham built this house in 1890. Robert Love Taylor bought it in 1892 and named it. He went from here to his third term as Governor. His brother, Alfred Alexander Taylor, bought it in 1900, living here until 1903. The latter was Governor . . . Map (db m47412) HM
45Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 88 — Samuel Cole WilliamsJanuary 15, 1864 - December 14, 1947
Front Culminating his career as an attorney, teacher, codifier of law, and justice of the State Supreme Court, Judge Samuel Cole Williams -- the Dean of Tennessee Historians -- provided in the 1940's the leadership and inspiration for . . . Map (db m83063) HM
46Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 58 — Science HillMale & Female Institute
Tipton Jobe, on Feb. 14, 1867, gave land on this hill above Nobb Spring where members of Science Hill Literary Society then built the first brick building in the area to house this school. It was dedicated Oct.27, 1867. The dedicatory sermon was by . . . Map (db m22905) HM
47Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 86 — State Flag
In 1905 the Legislature adopted as the state flag one which was designed by Colonel Le Roy Reeves, a native and resident of Johnson City. The three stars represent the three grand divisions of Tennessee. The flag was first raised by Company F of the . . . Map (db m47234) HM
48Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Story of the TweetsieThe Tweetsie Trail
In 1875 Ario Pardee formed the Cranberry Iron & Coal Company to bring iron ore 34 miles from Cranberry, NC to Johnson City for smelting. A 3-foot gauge line was completed to Hampton by 1881 and to Cranberry in 1882. The first locomotives were named . . . Map (db m174734) HM
49Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Summers Hardware
Summers Hardware operated under different names in several locations as early as 1888 before moving to this building in 1911, and was reorganized as Summers Hardware in 1915. The company originally sold farm, construction, office, and mill . . . Map (db m157807) HM
50Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Tennessee Early History Monument
(Side one) Colonial Period The first men of the English speaking race to tread the soil of Tennessee, James Needham and Gabriel Arthur, passed this site in June, 1673. They followed a great buffalo trail. Crossing the Alleghenies . . . Map (db m83134) HM
51Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — The Music of the Rails
From the 1820s, when the first commercial railroads were developed in the United States, railroads were built across the country at an astonishing rate. By the time the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC) was completed in . . . Map (db m184103) HM
52Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 112 — Tipton-Haynes Cemetery
This cemetery contains the remains of Revolutionary War soldier and legislator John Tipton (1730-1813) and his second wife, Martha Denton Moore. Also buried here are newspaper publisher Lawson Gifford (1810-1879) his wife, Mary Taylor Haynes . . . Map (db m157845) HM
53Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 111 — Tipton-Haynes Historic Site
Site of the home occupied by John Tipton, a Revolutionary War officer, legislator, and opponent of the State of Franklin. A skirmish between supporters and opponents of Franklin was fought here February 27-29, 1788. The house was later owned by John . . . Map (db m83135) HM
54Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — Trail Geology
The sedimentary rocks along the trail between Johnson City and Elizabethton consist of, from oldest to youngest, the Honaker dolomite (a modified limestone), Nolichucky Shale, and Knox Group limestones. They range in age from 542-488 million years . . . Map (db m184068) HM
55Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 118 — Tree Streets Historic District
James T. Young built the first house of record around 1780 and established a burial ground beside the log cabin. In 1812, he constructed a colonial-style brick house in front, at 1117 Cedar Place. It remains the oldest occupied house in the . . . Map (db m157806) HM
56Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 5 — William Bean's Cabin
About 1½ miles to the east on a knoll beside Boone’s Creek, a monument marks the spot near where William Bean, first permanent white settler in Tennessee, built his cabin in 1769. The site was previously used by Daniel Boone as a hunting camp. . . . Map (db m22862) HM
57Tennessee (Washington County), Johnson City — 1A 75 — William Nelson Home
1 mi. N. was the home of William Nelson. A native of Virginia, he was one of the earliest settlers in this region and served in the Revolutionary War. Francis Asbury, early Methodist bishop, held annual conferences here in 1793, 1796, and 1797. . . . Map (db m22864) HM
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May. 27, 2022