Kingsport: Guest Blog

I have a guest post up on the Archives of the City of Kingsport blog. Please make a visit to their site at your convenience.

The Green Hickam House, in 1972 and 2015.

The Green Hickam House, in 1972 and 2015.

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Kingsport: Drive-by History

I had an idea for an Archiventure. I must have made it sound pretty exciting because when I explained my idea to Brianne, the City Archivist, she gave me this look like “You had me at log cabin.” Here’s the idea. Take a chapter from Historic Sites of Sullivan County, find the corresponding original photographs from the Muriel C. Spoden Collection (KCMC 516), and go for a drive to see how many of the structures we can find and what condition they are in, today!

(c. 1976, The Sullivan County Historical Commission and Associates)

(© 1976, The Sullivan County Historical Commission and Associates)

 

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Genealogy: On Display

There is a set of tea towels in my possession. They were made for my mother by her grandmother, Elizabeth Ann Williams Mansfield (1867-1949). I wrote a little about my great-grandmother here. Continue reading

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Kingsport: The Paste Princess

In 1926, the Kingsport Press produced an original musical as a fundraiser for its employee Mutual Benefit Association entitled “The Paste Princess, a Musical Comedy in Glue and Paste with More or Less Ink.” While diving into the Louise B. Palmer Collection, recently, I discovered the most wonderful souvenir scrapbook commemorating this dramatic undertaking and offered to digitize it for the Archives of the City of Kingsport.

souvenir43 Continue reading

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Kingsport: Safely Gathered In

There’s a new archival exhibit at the Kingsport Public Library. From the Boat Yard era to Modern Kingsport, churches have played an important part of town history. Continue reading

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Genealogy: Using the Local History Room

I was asked in a recent conversation I had with a new friend, “How do you find stories about your ancestors when you haven’t inherited any stories?” I’m afraid the answer is “You have to write them.” The best place to start is at the local history room in your public library. Continue reading

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Kingsport: Gaines-Anderson Cabin Reconstruction

Back in April, 2014, I photographed the dismantling of the Ambrose Gaines/John Anderson cabin on Highway 11 W in Kingsport, Tennessee. The next month, I began photographing the reconstruction of the cabin at the Exchange Place in Kingsport. Continue reading

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Kingsport: Homefront

I have just installed a new archival exhibit at the Kingsport Public Library. It celebrates the men and women who served our country during the first and second world wars and honors the people who supported them while they strived to maintain home and community.

The left case features a wonderful panoramic photo of soldiers from the Great War in basic training and a pastel portrait of an American guard drawn by a German prisoner.

The left case features a wonderful panoramic photo of soldiers from the Great War in basic training and a pastel portrait of an American guard drawn by a German prisoner.

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Genealogy: Reading between the bars

I have had access to the 1910 US Census record for my great grandfather for a long time. Five of John J. and Matilda Peterson Gillis’ then seven children were living at home. That was very helpful information to me. The 1910 census also documents a person’s place of birth, as well as the nativity of his or her parents, and the year of immigration, if applicable. The answers to these questions can help a genealogist know where to search for the preceding generation. Continue reading

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Archives: Ghost Towns and Boysenberry Pie

Last week a patron came to the Kingsport Archives to make an addition to the Mary Porter Collection. Ms. Porter’s parents were savers . . . and we are so glad. The collection consists of advertisements, mailers, brochures and other business communications from mid-20th century Kingsport. On this day, she brought in more gems for the collection and the archivist went through the items to identify those that pertained to Kingsport history. Ms. Porter set aside one piece that obviously did not, but I jumped all over it. When I told her I grew up less than half an hour from the location the brochure promoted, she offered it to me. Continue reading

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