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23 results found

  • IC Fowler House | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN

    Line separator IC Fowler House Out of gallery 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 the oldest standing structure 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!

  • Ernie Ford House | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN

    Line separator Ford House Birthplace of Tennessee Ernie Ford Out of gallery The History . In 1991, the Bristol Historical Association discovered that the Birthplace of Tennessee Ernie Ford, located at 1223 Anderson Street in Bristol, Tennessee, was available for purchase. The house, while outwardly unassuming, had historical significance. The Association decided that this house was just what was needed and would be a great location for meetings and display of memorabilia. The Ford House, as it has since become known, was ideal for the organization and provided an opportunity to preserve a bit of Bristol's history. Prior to proceeding with the plan to restore the house, Ernie Ford was contacted to determine his feelings about the project. He was elated to discover the intentions of the Association. When he returned to Bristol for the grand opening of the Paramount Center for the Arts, he met with members of the organization on several occasions. Later, upon his return to California, BHA received several phone calls from him desiring to know how the restoration was progressing. While researching the history of the house, it was discovered that it was built in the early 1900's. Years later, following a severe fire, many repairs were necessary, thus altering the original design. Aluminum siding had been installed over imitation brick siding, which previously had covered the original clapboard siding. Inside, the house had taken on a modern look, with narrow woodwork and small windows. The two original fireplaces had been covered over following the installation of electric baseboard heaters. Restoration of the interior began with replacing the narrow woodwork. The next big project was to uncover the two fireplaces and locate suitable mantels. These were found in a nearby old house that was being demolished. Four windows needed to be replaced and were obtained from another old house. The original pine floor, which was heavily damaged by the fire, had been covered with carpeting which was removed and a new pine floor installed.. The dropped ceiling, not original to the house, was replaced with bead board. The property surrounding the house was in need of landscaping. A driveway alongside the house was graded and graveled. The association purchased an adjacent house and razed it to provide space for off-street parking. All rooms have furnishings from the era when the Ford family resided there. The living room includes a Victrola, a settee and a matching chair, a rocker, and a Bible table which were purchased; and a beautiful antique piano and floor lamp, both donated. Over the mantle hangs a large oil portrait of Ernie, which was painted and donated to the Association by Patricia Woody, a local resident. The center room houses a large collection of the star's personal memorabilia. Most of these plaques, awards, photos, and other items were donated by Mr. Ford's son Brion. One of Ernie Ford's favorite features of the house was the original clawfoot bathtub. On his last visit home in 1991, Ernie reminisced about being bathed in that bathtub as a small child. A modern kitchen was restored as an early 1900's kitchen, featuring a wood-burning cookstove and large porcelain cast iron sink. The back room has been returned to its original use as Ford's parents' bedroom. Much time and effort went into the entire project. The house restoration was completed in 2007. An historic marker, 1A 142, installed at the house by the Tennessee Historical Commission reads as follows: ​ Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Birthplace 1919-1991 Ernest Jennings Ford was born 13 February 1919 in Bristol, Tennessee. In 1937 he began his career at WOPI Radio in Bristol. Known professionally as Tennessee Ernie Ford, he began his rise to fame in1948 with Capital Records. The 1955 success of Sixteen Tons brought him to prime-time TV as host of the Ford Show (1956-1961) and the Tennessee Ernie Ford Show (1961-1965). His 1990 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, placement of three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his achievements in radio, television, and recordings, and receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom all reflect his status as one of America’s top entertainers. ​ In February of 2019, an exciting lineup of special events commemorated the 100th birthday of Bristol's most famous son, Ernest Jennings "Tennessee Ernie" Ford. Ford, who was born in Bristol, Tennessee, on February 13, 1919, went on to become an international TV, radio, and recording star in the 1950s. Ford hosted his own TV variety show and earned three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Grammy Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His song "Sixteen Tons" sold more than 20 million copies and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Congress National Recording Registry. Along with the Birthplace of Country Music and the Bristol Historical Association, a committee led by former Bristol VA mayor Don Ashley worked tirelessly to put together a variety of events that celebrated the life and legacy of "The Ol' Pea-Picker." ​ Festivities began on February 10th, when Anderson Street United Methodist Church, the Ford family's home church, hosted a special service followed by tours of its Ford archives. Tours of The Birthplace of Tennessee Ernie Ford, 1223 Anderson Street, were held that afternoon from 2-5 p.m. On February 12th, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum hosted the "Buck and Sid Show" in which Ernie's son, Buck Ford, reminisced about his father's career and life with long time Ford family friend Sid Oakley of the Bristol Historical Association. The program also included the screening of Ford family home movies. On February 13th, Ernie's actual birthday, the Bristol Post Office on 6th Street offered a special stamp and envelope cancellation marking Ford's birthday. Buck and Murphy Ford were the guests of honor for special events that afternoon beginning at 2 p.m. at the Paramount Center for the Arts. Episodes of Ford's TV shows and specials were shown, followed by a birthday celebration at 4 p.m. complete with birthday cake, courtesy of Food City. Local musicians performed Ford songs. During Radio Bristol's Farm and Fun Time on Thursday, February 14, from 7 - 9 pm, the "Heirloom Recipe" segment featured two of Tennessee Ernie's favorite recipes, "Betty Ford's Gumbo" and "Ernest Ford's Cornbread and Sausage Dressing" read aloud in grand style by Buck Ford. Bill and the Belles performed for the event. In addition to the events listed above, a special month-long collection of Tennessee Ernie Ford memorabilia was on display at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in addition to their permanent Ernie Ford exhibit. ​ BHA photographer Amy Hopper recorded some of these activities in short videos which may be viewed on BHA’s Youtube Channel: Many photos and other links were included in the BHA newsletter highlighting this event which can be viewed here: ​ ​ ​ Also, the newsletter commemorating Ernie's 97th birthday can be read here: ​ Ernie's 100th Birthday Videos Ernie's 100th Birthday Newsletter Ernie's 97th Birthday Newsletter ACT NOW! Donate to the Bristol Historical Association today! DONATE CONTACT US!

  • E.W. King House | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN

    Line separator E.W. King House LEARN MORE! Out of gallery 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. ACT NOW! Donate to the Bristol Historical Association today! DONATE CONTACT US!

  • Robert Preston Home | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN

    Line separator Robert Preston Home Out of gallery The History . The Robert Preston house at Walnut Grove Plantation, constructed circa 1790, is the oldest frame house in Washington County, Virginia. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Robert Preston, born in Londonderry, Ireland in 1750, immigrated to Virginia in 1773. Preston apprenticed as a surveyor under his cousin, William Preston of Smithfield Plantation, in what is now Montgomery County, Virginia. Robert Preston moved to Washington County, Virginia in 1779. Granted a surveyor’s bond signed by then-Governor Thomas Jefferson in 1780, Robert Preston became the first surveyor in Washington County, Virginia. In the summer of 1780, Robert Preston married Margaret Rhea and acquired 800 acres of what is now part of Bristol, Virginia. He named the tract of land Walnut Grove. A Department of Historic Resources highway marker along Lee Highway documents “William Clark, of Lewis and Clark, breakfasted at the home of Preston’s son John at Walnut Grove in 1809.” A Lewis and Clark Portrait Sign on Lee Highway documents the property’s Lewis and Clark connection. For more information contact: ​ Jan Rainero Email: janrainero@hotmail.com ​ Isabelle Ladd Email: isladd@gmail.com A! Magazine for the Arts Article Walnut Grove is one of oldest homes in Washington County Read Article WATCH NOW Out of gallery Learn More! Click the link below to download the Robert Preston House pamphlet and learn more about this historical site. Note: Significantly more funds have been invested in the Robert Preston House project since the publication of this pamphlet. Download Now ACT NOW! Donate to the Bristol Historical Association today! DONATE CONTACT US!

  • Give | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN

    Line separator GIVE! Your Gift Matters! You can help the Bristol Historical Association and make an important contribution toward preserving the history of our community by making a donation, bequest, or other planned gift. There are a variety of methods to give that will assist us with our efforts and offer you, the donor, or your heirs, a tax benefit. ​ Add an immediate gift or pledge for ongoing work of BHA and see your legacy at work! To donate now via PayPal, please click the link below, or make your check out to the Bristol Historical Association and mail your gift to Bristol Historical Association PO Box 204 Bristol, TN 37621. ​ Please let us know if your donation is in memory or honor of any individual and also if it is intended for a specific BHA program or project, such as the Robert Preston House Project, Archives, Ford House, etc. DONATE TODAY! 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Please consider including the Bristol Historical Association in your estate planning. A bequest or gift made through your will and/or trust can help assure the future viability of BHA as well as dramatically shape its future. Charitable Gift Annuities, Charitable Trusts, and Securities Through a charitable gift annuity or charitable trust you retain an interest in the gift, with the remainder to be received by BHA at a later time. BHA also welcomes financial donations in the form of securities. Tax Benefits There may be specific tax benefits to you and your estate in utilizing one of the planned giving tools in support of BHA. Donors may also designate that the funds be used for specifics uses such as the BHA's annual budget, ongoing programs, and/or other special projects. The Bristol Historical Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and your gift is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. For more information about planned giving, please contact BHA through this web site at BristolTNVA@aol.com , or write to us at Bristol Historical Association PO Box 204 Bristol, TN 37621. We Collect History Too! As we continue to record and collect the ongoing history of our community, we are also pleased to accept donations of historical materials. To arrange a material donation, please email BristolTNVA@aol.com Email Now! 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!

  • Join | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN

    Line separator 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 $30 Family $45 Researcher $50-$99 Historian $100-$249 Curator $250-$499 Preservationist $500-$999 Lifetime Member (Individual) $1000 and above Lifetime Member (Family) $1500 and above Virginia Intermont Legacy $50 ($20 supports preservation of VI Records) Business Partner $100 and above Student Membership (under 21 years old) $5 Please also consider adding a donation to your membership dues. Any gift is very greatly appreciated! Download Application CONTACT US!

  • Historic Images | Bristol Historical

    Line separator 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 . Out of gallery Historic Markers . Out of gallery Historic Photos . Load More Out of gallery CONTACT US!

  • Merchandise / Vendors | Bristol Historical

    Line separator Merchandise Bristol Historical Association Merchandise Vendors. Believe In Bristol 6th Street Bristol, TN 37620 423-573-2201 Birthplace of Country Music Museum 101 Country Music Way Bristol, VA 24201 423-573-1927 Blakley Mitchell 517 State Street Bristol, VA 24201 276-669-0116 Boxwood Antiques 533 State Street Bristol, VA 24201 276-644-9520 Bristol Café and Market 2600 Volunteer Parkway Bristol, TN 37620 423-652-0771 CDR Frame Shop & Art Gallery 1010 Commonwealth Avenue Bristol, VA 24201 276-644-9950 Cranberry Lane 623 State Street Bristol, VA 24201 276-669-9899 Gwen's Herb Shop 1061 Old Abingdon Highway Bristol, VA 24201 276-466-0077 H. Johnson Pharmacy 500 Bluff City Highway Bristol, TN 37620 423-969-2895 Red Rooster Gift Shop 1258 Highway 126 Bristol, TN 37620 423-764-0716 Willow Creek Antiques 619 State Street Bristol, VA 24201 276-466-4064 The Bristol Historical Association offers a selection of Bristol-themed fine quality merchandise and giftware, including mugs, cups, hats, t-shirts, note cards, artwork, a cookbook, and many other unique items inspired by our region’s rich history. BHA merchandise can be purchased at the wonderful shops listed below. Please visit them, “shop local,” and support our community businesses as well as BHA. BHA merchandise sales support BHA’s mission, projects, programs, exhibits, and educational initiatives. *Some vendors carry selected merchandise. Please call for availability. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide online shopping or mail orders at this time. CONTACT US!