Welcome to the official web page for the Bristol Historical Association.

Become part of our history and help celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Bristol Historical Association!  Click here to find out how to submit your recipes and/or photos for our unique new book!

Preserving and retelling the story of Bristol is the ongoing mission of the association. As we embark into the thirty-fifth year of the BHA there is a renewed focus to be faithful to our founding principles and broaden our efforts to educate a new generation.

Bristol Historical Association

As the association has grown we have experienced a great number of successes and even met a few challenges.  We have preserved and protected historic properties in our city, including the Tennessee Ernie Ford Birthplace and the I.C. Fowler home.  We have placed plaques on historic landmarks throughout the city, educated students in our school systems, and have been a resource to the community for historical research.  Today, the task is still challenging and even with anticipated successes in the future we remember that success is never absolutely accomplished.  The story must be re-told to each generation.

We have an active membership working in all aspects of local and regional history.  Front and center is the association’s preservation and development of the Eighteenth Century Robert Preston Homestead as a living history museum.  It is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places, and now in its second phase of preservation.  The association has a well established archival collection that is actively being developed into a substantial resource and our continued focus on educational programs, tours and “teachable moments” for the youth of our city are some areas we continue to grow.  We’ve never been in position to make the impact that is approaching on the horizon.

As we continue to work on current projects and explore other promising endeavors we depend on citizens to lend their support to tell the story of the Bristol region. Membership is and will always be the most meaningful way to show your support for current and future efforts of the association. We invite you, whether living in Bristol or former residents, to partner with us and become a member of the Bristol Historical Association. Members have a variety of service opportunities, enjoy exciting programs and find helpful resources to help you develop your interests. 

Thank you for stopping by.  Feel free to contact us, join our growing membership and “like” us on Facebook, BRISTOL HISTORY.  There you can find wonderful photographs, stories and remembrances of our rich heritage.

Sincerely, Tim Buchanan. BHA President

Bristol Sign

Current Projects include, but are not limited to:
  • Restoration, establishment, and accreditation of Robert Preston House as a regional museum
  • Continued restoration and maintenance of the birthplace home of Tennessee Ernie Ford
  • Recognition of historically significant buildings through placement of BHA markers / plaques
  • Collection, preservation, and exhibition of memorabilia
  • Continued promotion / celebration of area sites and interest

Members of the Bristol Historical Association enjoy a variety of service and fellowship opportunities, receive quarterly newsletters, and, most importantly, take pride in the part they play in preserving and promoting the history of our area. Please consider lending your support to this worthwhile endeavor by becoming a member of our Association.

Thank You.
Tim Buchanan, President.

Our History

History is told through the buildings and homes in a city. The intention of the Bristol Historical Association is to promote an interest in the history of Bristol by designating properties with historical significance.

In 1988 the Bristol Preservation Society launched a program to mark structures and sites throughout Bristol which would date back seventy-five years or more. Historian, V .N. (Bud) Phillips initiated a search for sites which would qualify for designation and receive a plaque. Markers were placed on four sites at that time: Troutdale Restaurant at 412 Sixth Street, the Billy Wood house on the corner of Locust and Sixth Street, East Hill Cemetery, and the Tennessee Ernie Ford House on Anderson Street.

In 1999 the Bristol Preservation Society and the Bristol Historical Association merged. The combined organization has continued the marking program with renewed interest. A generous contribution from Mr. William W. Walling has enabled the program to move forward. Mr. Walling has financed the cost of the first twenty-five plaques. Much credit is due to Mr Walling for his vital part in the promotion of the Landmark Designation program.


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BHA President - Isabelle Ladd
President Tim Buchanan
Read his welcome message on this page...


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