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- Join | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN
JOIN! Become a Member Today . Join us now and enjoy learning about and enhancing our knowledge of the history of Bristol. Members of the Bristol Historical Association enjoy a variety of service and fellowship opportunities including informative programs throughout the year and a Christmas Luncheon each December, receive quarterly newsletters, and, most importantly, take pride in the part they play in preserving and promoting the history of our area. Our focus is to be faithful to our founding principles and broaden our efforts to educate a new generation. Please consider lending your support to this worthwhile endeavor by becoming a member of our Association. Just click on the link below to join BHA or to renew your annual membership. And remember, BHA memberships make great gifts! A variety of membership levels are available. When you renew or join this year, please consider doing so at one of the following levels: Individual $40 Family $55 Researcher $50-$99 One-Hundred Club $100+ Historian $200-$499 Virginia Intermont Legacy $50 ($20 supports preservation of VI Records) Business Partner $100 and above Lifetime Membership (Individual) $1000 Please also consider adding a donation to your membership dues. Any gift is very greatly appreciated! Download Application CONTACT US!
- Historic Images | Bristol Historical
Historic Images Photograph Collection. BHA'S Carolyn and Roy Williams Collection of Historic Photographs contains hundreds of images available for purchase. Images can be purchased as jpgs, on CD, via Dropbox, emailed, or as black and white 8x10 prints on archival matte photo paper. Images are created from original old negatives or photographs and are not perfect. The image price for individual or private use is $20 each. For commercial or business use prices, or to ask about availability of a particular image or theme, please contact BHA at BristolTNVA@aol.com for pricing. Historic People . Historic Markers . Historic Photos . Load More CONTACT US!
- Contact | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN
Contact Us . ADDRESS P.O. Box 204 Bristol, Tennessee 37621 EMAIL BristolTNVA@aol.com Submit DONATE! Donate to the Bristol Historical Association today! DONATE CONTACT US!
- Inside History | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN
Inside History CONTACT US!
- Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN
BRISTOL HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION Welcome to the official web site for the Bristol Historical Association! History is told through the buildings and homes in a city. The mission of the Bristol Historical Association is to promote an interest in the history of Bristol. The Bristol Historical Association is dedicated to the identification, preservation, interpretation, and presentation of local history. History for Sale! BHA is honored to offer for sale to the public a number of rare Virginia Intermont College mementos. These are the last vestiges of "new" VI memorabilia and will be prized by collectors of VI College history as well as ever faithful and proud alums of this grand institution of higher learning. Proceeds will be used to fund storage costs for the remainder of the VI Collection. Quantities are limited. Prices for each item are shown below. To purchase items, please visit either Willow Creek Antiques and Collectibles at 619 State Street in Bristol, VA, or Believe in Bristol Headquarters at 20 Sixth Street in Bristol, TN. Composition Book $2.50 Silver Photo Album $25 Honors Program Bronze Medal $20 VI Lapel Pin $10 VI Cobra Cheer Horn $5 License Plate Frame $15 Cobra Folder $2 Pencil 0.50 cents Postcards $1 VIC Picture 8x12 0.25 cents VIC Sticker Sheets 0.25 cents VIC Decals 0.25 cents Historic Sites . History is told through the buildings and homes in a city. The Bristol Historical Association promotes an interest in the history of Bristol by designating properties with historical significance. A generous contribution from Mr. William W. “Bud” Walling financed the cost of the first twenty-five plaques. Much credit is due to the late Mr Walling for his vital part in the promotion of the Landmark Designation program. Are you interested in applying for a Landmark Marker for your historical building? If so, please complete the Historical Landmark Marker Application Form. THE ROBERT PRESTON HOME Learn More FORD HOUSE Learn More E.W. KING HOUSE Learn More I.C. FOWLER HOUSE Learn More DONATE! Donate to the Bristol Historical Association today! DONATE CONTACT US!
- Our Mission | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN
OUR MISSION Welcome to the official web site for the Bristol Historical Association! History is told through the buildings and homes in a city. The mission of the Bristol Historical Association is to promote an interest in the history of Bristol. The Bristol Historical Association is dedicated to the identification, preservation, interpretation, and presentation of local history. CONTACT US!
- Historic Properties | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN
BHA Historic Properties Historic Properties . BHA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and has owned and preserved a number of properties over the last 20 years including the E.W. King House, the Tennessee Ernie Ford House, the I.C. Fowler House, and the Robert Preston House. Although BHA's original charter did not include acquiring real estate, its mission to identify, preserve, interpret, and promote Bristol's heritage and culture has led to the ownership and protection of a number of historic structures. Most notable of the properties that BHA has been instrumental in protecting is the Bristol Train Station. By placing the Train Station under its non-profit umbrella until the Train Station Foundation acquired tax exempt status, BHA was able to initiate fundraising for the successful restoration of what is now a thriving downtown asset and source of pride for the community at large. In other cases, through temporary ownership of important properties like the E.W. King House and the I.C. Fowler House, BHA has found new owners with the vision and ability to restore these pieces of Bristol's historic fabric and preserve them for future generations to learn from. The Robert Preston House Learn More The I. C. Fowler House Learn More The Birthplace of Tennessee Ernie Ford Learn More The King-Lancaster-McCoy-Mitchell House Learn More The E. W. King House Learn More The Development of Early Bristol After Bristol was planned and laid out in 1852, one would have expected the earliest development to have been along Main (now State) Street. The first two buildings erected in the new town, the homes of Joseph R Anderson and Dr. B.F. Zimmerman, did face Main Street. It is clear that an effort was made to be near the railroad and depot, and that was the trend in those early years of Bristol’s existence. Instead of quickly moving down State Street, early builders sought lots along Fourth Street that ran parallel with the railroad. It should be told here that Fourth Street became known as Front Street. It is now Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Business houses and residences were built along its course. Third and Washington Streets, running parallel with the railroad on the east side of the tracks, saw much of the town’s early residential development. It may come as a surprise to many to know that for years these two streets were the most elite residential sections of Bristol. Many of the “first families” of Bristol lived there. The time came when people avoided building along the tracks. However, in early Bristol such a location was regarded as a status symbol. The first hotel in Bristol was located within a half block of the depot. This was the Columbia, erected in 1854. The second hotel, the Virginia House (sometimes called Langhorne’s Tavern), quickly followed the Columbia. It was erected on Fourth (later Front) Street across from the depot. The large mercantile firm of W.W. James early located on the corner of Fourth and Main, a choice location near the depot. Other business firms soon opened along Fourth Street. Within a very short time development did push westward along Main Street. This was both commercial and residential. As late as the 1890's, homes still stood here and there in the business section of downtown Bristol. I have talked to older citizens here who well remembered when the 800 block of present State Street was largely residential. This mixture of business – residential long existed on Shelby and Cumberland Streets. The big residential expansion came in 1874, when Solar and Virginia Hills were opened for development. These were quickly followed by King’s First Addition to the south and the Burson- Delaney additions to the west. And now, more than one hundred fifty years later, Bristol continues to spread outward, further and further from her beginning point. Historic Markers . History is told through the buildings and homes in a city. The Bristol Historical Association promotes an interest in the history of Bristol by designating properties with historical significance. A generous contribution from Mr. William W. “Bud” Walling financed the cost of the first twenty-five plaques. Much credit is due to the late Mr Walling for his vital part in the promotion of the Landmark Designation program. Are you interested in applying for a Landmark Marker for your historical building? If so, please complete the Historical Landmark Marker Application Form. Download Application Historic Marker Gallery Bristol, Virginia Markers . BRISTOL UNION RAILWAY STATION (DHR, 2018)* – On the east side of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard near State Street at the Bristol Train Station. BRISTOL, VIRGINIA (VCC - 1948)* – At the entrance to Sugar Hollow Park on Lee Highway. COL. JOHN S. MOSBY (DAR, 1962) – At the northeast intersection of Piedmont Avenue and Scott Street. FIRST BURIAL IN EAST HILL CEMETERY (PM, 2012)* – Near the grave of Nellie Gaines in East Hill Cemetery. HISTORIC BRISTOL (CDC, 1927) – On the southwest corner of State Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. SLAVE SECTION OF EAST HILL CEMETERY (PM, 2012) – In East Hill Cemetery WALNUT GROVE PLANTATION (DHR, 2018) – Beside the Preston House on Lee Highway. Bristol, Tennessee Markers . BIRTHPLACE OF BRISTOL (THC) – On the southwest corner of State Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. BRISTOL SESSIONS (THC) - On the southwest corner of State Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. CITY HISTORIAN (PM) – Near the grave of V.N. “Bud” Phillips in East Hill Cemetery. CONFEDERATE HOSPITAL (JKC 52, SCV) – On the south side of State Street just west of the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks. EVAN SHELBY (THC) – On the south side of State Street just west of Pennsylvania Avenue. EVAN SHELBY’S FORT (THC) – On the front wall of the historic E.W. King Building on the south side of Shelby Street just east of 7th Street. FIRST IRONWORKS (THC) – On the east side of Volunteer Parkway just south of Avoca Road. FOUNDER OF BRISTOL (PM) – Near the grave of Joseph Rhea Anderson in East Hill Cemetery. ISAAC SHELBY (FCC, NSDAR, 2009)* –At the Old Custom House (former Bristol Tennessee Post Office), 620 Shelby Street. JOHN ISAAC COX (THC) – At the intersection of Maplehurst Drive and Highway 394. KING COLLEGE (THC) – On the east side of Volunteer Parkway just north of Avoca Road. MISSISSIPPI COUNTRY: THE BRISTOL SESSIONS (MCMT, 2019)* – On the southwest corner of State Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. ORIGINAL SITE OF KING COLLEGE (PM)* – On the grounds at the front of Gregory Pharmaceutical Holdings, 501 Fifth Street. TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD’S BIRTHPLACE (THC)* – In the yard of his home at 1223 Anderson Street. THE BRISTOL MUNICIPAL STADIUM: THE STONE CASTLE (THC) – On the stone wall of the stadium at Bristol Tennessee High School on Weaver Pike near Edgemont Avenue. Marker Sources FCC, NSDAR – Fort Chiswell Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. CDC – Conservation & Development Commission. DAR – Erected Dec. 8, 1962 by Anne Carter Lee Chapter, Mathew Fontaine Maury Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy. DHR – Virginia Department of Historic Resources. JKC 52, SCV – James Keeling Camp 52, Sons of Confederate Veterans. MCMT – Donated to Bristol by the Mississippi Country Music Trail in recognition of “Blue Yodeler” Jimmie Rodgers and his Mississippi-bred music and style. Rodgers was among the artists participating in the 1927 “Bristol Sessions” considered by some music historians to be “The Big Bang of Country Music.” PM – Private Marker. THC – Tennessee Historical Commission. VCC – Virginia Conservation Commission. CONTACT US!
- IC Fowler House | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN
IC Fowler House Bristol Herald Courier Article The History . Isaac Chapman Fowler was born in Tazewell County, Virginia, on September 23, 1831. He attended Emory and Henry College and became a merchant and postmaster of Emory, Virginia. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Fowler worked for the Commissary Department of the Confederate States of America under General John C. Breckenridge and eventually lost all his property. After the war, in 1868, Fowler came to Bristol, known as Goodson at the time, and along with his brother Elbert, purchased the Bristol News from A.C. Smith who had started the newspaper in 1865. Fowler became the paper’s editor and remained in charge until February 1884. He was very involved in the community, serving as Mayor five times, from 1871-1875, and serving as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates twice, 1875-1879 and 1881-1883. He was the Speaker of the House in 1881-1882. Fowler remained in Bristol until he was appointed as Clerk of the U.S. District Court in Abingdon in 1884, at which time he moved there to a house on Main Street. He resigned in 1904 just prior to his death in 1905. Fowler is buried in Bristol’s historic East Hill Cemetery. The I.C. Fowler House at 417 Spencer Street was built by Fowler in 1867. It is one of the oldest standing structures from the original town limits of Goodson, Virginia. It was constructed by carpenter and furniture maker George Blackley in the Greek Revival architectural style. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as the Virginia Landmarks Register as a contributing structure to the Virginia Hill Historic District. It was in the parlor of this house that I.C. Fowler, W.W. James and several other businessmen formed the committee to establish Sullins College. Following Fowler’s move to Abingdon, Charles Finch and his family became the second owners of the house. Finch worked for the Norfolk & Western Railway and was a member of the Goodson Town Council. It was Finch who made the motion that Goodson be renamed Bristol. Over the years, the home had many owners. Finally, Blevins Funeral Home acquired the I.C. Fowler house and used it for the storage of funeral equipment for a number of years. In the fall of 1988, Heritage Family Funeral Services bought Blevins and its property, including the Fowler house. Blevins donated the house to the Bristol Preservation Society which later merged with the Bristol Historical Association, and the house then became the property of BHA. BHA sold the house in 2009 to Scott Otis, who along with his father, Dr. Jim Otis, spent years working on restorations before selling it to Tom and Vickie Mitoraj in 2019. The Mitorajs completed the restoration in 2021. The house retains many of its original features, including fireplaces, a central staircase, plantation windows and casings, and flooring. Thanks to the preservation efforts of BHA, the Otis family, and the Mitorajs, the I.C. Fowler House remains standing as both a testament to one of Bristol's early leaders and a tangible part of the historic fabric of our community. ACT NOW! Donate to the Bristol Historical Association today! DONATE CONTACT US!
- Volunteer | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN
Volunteer . Individual members and committees work to further our mission in many ways, including: Designing and selling merchandise through local vendors Restoring and accrediting the Robert Preston House as a regional museum Maintaining and preserving the Birthplace of Tennessee Ernie Ford Preserving the V.I. College Legacy Fielding inquires about Bristol’s history Collecting and preserving historic memorabilia Preparing and installing rotating exhibits at the Bristol Public Library Scanning and filing historic photos and documents Making educational presentations at local schools, including historical slides of Bristol Recognizing historically significant buildings through placement of BHA markers / plaques Sharing interesting email and Facebook posts (Bristol History), Publishing newsletters Promoting area sites and places of interest Maintaining this website... and more! Wouldn’t you like to be involved? Email us for more information at BristolTNVA@aol.com To join the association, please click the application link below. Download Application CONTACT US!
- IC Fowler House | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN
King-Lancaster-McCoy Mitchell House LEARN MORE Anchor 1 The History . I The King – Lancaster – McCoy – Mitchell House is the most historic house in Bristol, Virginia. The handmade brick residence was built 1816-1820 by Colonel James King on the highest point of his property overlooking the meadows where he raised cattle. The settlement was once known as “King’s Meadows” before it took the name of Bristol nearly half a century later. Colonel James King and his son, the Reverend James King, were key figures in the founding and development of Bristol. They contributed to the business world through the iron business and the commerce of buying and selling. The Reverend James King gifted the land needed to create Bristol’s King University and served as pastor for two early Presbyterian churches. The King family occupied the house until 1853. President Andrew Jackson was a frequent visitor to the house and was escorted to Washington for his inauguration by William King. The house has watched a city grow up around it. Although it was located close to downtown, the property was not actually included inside the town limits when Goodson (Bristol) was incorporated in 1856. The residence housed the Sapling Grove post office from 1839-1853, and it was a stopping point for stagecoaches traveling from Abingdon to Blountville from 1839-1856. Mountain View High School, which later became Sullins College, began in the house in 1869. In 1991, the Bristol Historical Association initiated a study to determine the oldest section of the home, the remainder of Colonel James King’s original dwelling. An elaborate map of Washington County, drawn by John Wood in 1820, marks the presence of the house with a small square and the legend “Colonel James King’s brick house.” Analysis by the Department of Historic Resources in Richmond, Virginia, revealed that the original structure consisted of a two-room plan, divided by a central winding stair case leading to two bedrooms upstairs. The formal entrance was originally on the north elevation. The central portion is presumed to be part of the original structure. The rear wing housing the kitchen is believed to have been added shortly after the original structure was constructed. Several changes to the house were made by subsequent owners. In 1881, John J. Lancaster, a prominent wealthy banker of New York City, remodeled it for his mother and two maiden sisters as a gift. This work was done by prominent Bristol builder John Crowell. Crowell built the north half of the house in the late summer and autumn of 1881. In 1891, H.E. McCoy, the founder of Bristol’s Dominion National Bank, built a major addition to the house for a new living room entrance hall and portico redirecting the formal entrance to the east elevation. The addition completed an ingenious composition by connecting an identical two-story gabled façade1820 structure with a flat roofed “hyphen” which housed the bathroom above and formal entry hall below. The house was purchased by Joseph D. Mitchell in 1899. Mitchell had arrived in Bristol in 1882, with only two dollars in his pocket, and he boarded at the house with Mrs. Thomas Lancaster. She put him in what is now the dining room, and when he later became wealthy, he confessed that on the first night he spent there, he vowed he would someday own the grand house on the hill overlooking the town. About nineteen years later, his dream came true. In 1903, Mitchell added a kitchen wing that is distinguished only by the ornate Carpenter Gothic wood columns. The house belonged to the Mitchell family for over 100 years. Mitchell’s daughter, Margaret, was born in the home in 1901 and lived there for 99 of her 102 years. Margaret willed the house and its contents to King College (now King University). The property has now been restored as the private residence of Daniel and Monica Shew. The King – Lancaster – McCoy – Mitchell house, located two blocks from State Street at 54 King Street, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and included in the Solar Hill Historic District in 2001. ACT NOW! Donate to the Bristol Historical Association today! DONATE CONTACT US!
- E.W. King House | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN
E.W. King House LEARN MORE! The History . The E.W. King House is one of the few remaining homes built at the beginning of the 20th Century in Bristol and provides an excellent example of Victorian architecture in the Queen Anne style. It was constructed by one of Bristol's most prominent businessmen, Mr. Edward Washington King. The architect was George Franklin Barber who published a catalog of “Modern Dwellings” in 1901, and it included the plan that E.W. and Alice King chose for their home. The McCrary brothers, renowned builders in Bristol, constructed the Anderson Street home, and John Jay Fowler, a local African American master brick mason, provided the beautiful brick work for this job as well as other prestigious buildings in Bristol, including some at King College. As a respected citizen and philanthropist, E.W. King had a profound impact on the growth and development of Bristol. Mr. King was praised for his progressive community action and his support of education. This view was exemplified in the many buildings he blessed Bristol with over the years, both residential and business structures. The location of the E.W. King House is of further historical importance because the house rests on a hill overlooking downtown Bristol near the grounds of the 18th Century fort built by General Evan Shelby which served as an important Revolutionary War era outpost through which countless settlers passed during the westward expansion of the United States Completed in 1903, the Edward Washington King house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. The house design incorporated energetic details such as decorative chimneys, molded bricks, and a Renaissance Revival rooftop balustrade. The building has three full floors in addition to attic space and a basement. It boasts beautiful views of downtown Bristol and the surrounding mountains. The house retains many original architectural features and fixtures. Among the home's accouterments are original hardwood floors, paneled doors, stairways, windows, elaborate mantels and tiled fireplaces, handcrafted wood moldings, and stately wainscoting. The house was divided into apartments during the latter half of the century and later weathered years of vacancy. During its thirteen year ownership of the house, BHA spent over $170,000 to repair, maintain, and stabilize the home. The property was dried in with a synthetic slate roof, guttering was replaced, the chimneys rebuilt, and other necessary exterior repairs were performed to protect the home and begin the renovation to a new era of one of Bristol's premiere homes. Even restored, a true value could never be obtained when the historical significance of this Bristol treasure is factored in. Following several years of fundraising efforts in hopes of restoring the house as a museum dedicated to local history and culture, the Bristol Historical Association made the difficult decision to sell the property, citing the double impact of the economic downturn and sharp increases in construction costs. In October of 2016, the Board of Directors of BHA accepted an offer to purchase the E.W. King House. The stipulations of the sale included covenants to protect the integrity of the exterior of the house. However, three years later, the purchaser decided to pursue other ventures and sold the house to Brad Fluke, CEO of Honey Do Service, Inc., a home repair firm. Following restoration of the property, the Honey Do Service’s offices will be headquartered in the historic Anderson Street home. The Bristol Historical Association is proud to have been the steward of this historic property and has accomplished its mission of protecting and preserving the E.W. King House. Additional goals of educating the public about its owner and builder, Edward Washington King, and his tremendous influence on the growth and development of our twin cities have been accomplished through events held for and on the property. BHA's E.W. King House committee, chaired by Nedra Hartley, was especially instrumental in this process. Thanks to the combined efforts of these individuals and many others who volunteered their time and talents, Bristol Historical Association was able to preserve the E. W. King House, and it will continue to be a treasured landmark in Bristol and a tribute to the outstanding contributions of E.W. King and his family to the community. EW King House ACT NOW! Donate to the Bristol Historical Association today! DONATE CONTACT US!
- Officers/Committees | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN
BHA Officers / Committees OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS . Officers. President 1st Vice-President 2nd Vice-President Corresponding Secretary Treasurer Immediate Past President Recording Secretary Barbara Smith Angela Hopkins Amy Hopper Pat Buckles Wilma Gill Charles Flannagan Dreama Chapman Directors. 2023 Directors Judy Slaughter Vickie Mitoraj Joyce Kistner Mary Lou Sproles Julia Davis Daniel Shew Tim Buchanan 2023-24 Directors Linda Kirk Carter Miles Brenda Otis Jan Rainero Jennifer Surber Charles Flannagan Alice Ann Hoffstatter Sid Oakley Standing Committees. Archives Arrangements Collections Display Exhibits Education & Outreach Finance Ford House Historian Historical Markers Membership Merchandising Newsletter/Website Nominating Parliamentarian Pleasant Hill Preston House Programs V. I. College Legacy Ways & Means Website Correspondent Susan Long/Jennifer Surber/ Linda Kirk Pending Mary Lou Sproles Joyce Kistner Joyce Kistner Isabelle Ladd Brenda Otis Tim Buchanan Linda Kirk Carter Miles Alice Ann Hoffstatter Amy Hopper Amy Hopper Robert Peel Tim Buchanan Isabelle Ladd / Jan Rainero Pending Tim Buchanan Mary Beth Rainero Pat Buckles CONTACT US!