Kingsport: The Greene Papers

Nearly every collection has a few gems; interesting letters, fascinating photographs, glimpses into a forgotten past, remnants of triumphs, heartaches, and valiancy. In between the pay stubs and blue prints of the W.B. Greene Sr. Papers (KCMC 33), one can find photographs of bustling mid-century business staff and customers, items documenting the expansion of Kingsport, and sweet, school-days correspondence. Let me share with you just a few of the archival images.

The Greene Hardware & Supply Co., 1951

The Greene Hardware & Supply Co., 1951


An attorney and investment specialist, William Burton Greene came to Kingsport in the 1940s at J. Fred Johnson’s encouragement. His downtown business ventures encompassed hardware, furniture, and clothing.

At the Kingsport Archives, we love staff portraits, but when they include the employees' children, who can resist?

At the archives, we love staff portraits, but when they include the employees’ children, who can resist?


1GreeneIn 1960, W. B. Greene Sr. purchased land north of Stone Drive at Lynn Garden and developed the Parkway Plaza shopping center.

The commercial spaces would be state of the art with central heat and air. Shop owners would be able to contribute to business decisions via a merchants’ association, as well.

2GreeneMr. Greene died in November of 1987. His papers have recently been re-processed and the finding aid has been expanded for better research access. Come to the Archives of the City of Kingsport and find a few gems of your own.

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