Kingsport: Hold On To Your Hat

There’s a new archival exhibit at the Kingsport Public Library and it honors the many roles filled by Kingsport residents over the last century; roles of volunteerism, leadership, mentoring, and service. “Throw Your Hat Into The Ring, Kingsport!” will be displayed on the main floor of the library through the end of November 2014.
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Kingsport: Spotlight on Nancy

While searching the Kingsport Archives collections recently for artifacts for an upcoming exhibit, I had reason to search KCMC 309; the Nancy Necessary Pridemore Collection. Everyday since, I have found an excuse to plunk myself onto the floor in front of that collection and look into just one more box and just a few more folders. Is it possible for a collection to be charming?

Nancy Pridemore applying make-up to an actor.

Nancy Pridemore applying make-up to an actor.

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Field Trip: The Archives of Appalachia

Recently, Laura Smith, the Education and Outreach Archivist for the Archives of Appalachia in Johnson City, gave me a wonderful tour of the facility. Located on the 4th floor of the Sherrod Library at East Tennessee State University, the archives has a collecting mission to preserve the culture and history of Appalachia as well as the history and records of the university. Here is a behind the scenes look at the archives and a peek at just some of the many collections available for patron research.

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Field Trip: A Day with Davy Crockett

Contrary to the popular song, David Crockett was not born on a mountain top in Tennessee. A friend and I recently visited the Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park. Along the banks of the Nolichucky River, visitors can examine a replica cabin and read detailed narrative boards about the former politician, soldier, and frontiersman.


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Genealogy: Census Strategies

I have been trying to nail down the exact birthdates and given names of a family on my father’s paternal side, that of John Gillis and Margaret MacFarlane. I have a well-researched genealogy prepared by my late cousin Robert J. Gillis, but the dates are often estimates from census records or from published genealogies. Because of the naming patterns in this line, children frequently went by their middle names and several children in one family might have the same first name. Nicknames, rather than full given names, were often what was recorded on the census. Continue reading

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Kingsport: Scavenger Hunt

It’s FunFest time in Kingsport. The Archives of the City of Kingsport has once again put together a wonderful activity to engage the public with the historic and picturesque setting of downtown Kingsport. Continue reading

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Kingsport: Play Ball!

Kingsport has had a long love affair with America’s favorite pass time. The keepsakes from this relationship are not movie stubs, pressed carnations, and love letters.

A 1989 FunFest Youth baseball Clinic

A 1989 FunFest Youth Baseball Clinic

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Kingsport: Painting the Town II

Once you start looking for painted brick, you just can’t stop finding it! That’s what happened to me after the City Archivist challenged me to find the examples of this early Kingsport form of marketing. Continue reading

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Archiventures: Blogiversary II

It’s been two years since I launched my blog to document my archives practicum. Several people encouraged me to keep blogging once I completed my course work. Never underestimate the power you have to motivate someone in their pursuits. Since my practicum, I have added the blog categories of genealogy and field trips and it has been fun to use my photographs and writing to encourage readers to take their own local history trips, to visit libraries and archives, and to share what they have learned with others. Continue reading

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Archives: Wessyngton Plantation

In the fall of 2011, as a graduate student in archives, I attended the annual conference of the Society of Tennessee Archivists in Nashville. One of the speakers was John F. Baker Jr., who was presenting his research on his Washington ancestors who had been enslaved on the Wessyngton Plantation in Robertson County, TN. Continue reading

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