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  • Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN

    Line separator BRISTOL HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, October 30, 2021 2 p.m. Cumberland Square Park The Bristol Historical Association, with the support of community partners, successfully applied for Virginia Department of Historic Resources markers to recognize the importance of two distinguished African Americans whose roots lie in Bristol; Charles Spurgeon Johnson, the first African American president of Fisk University ,who rose to become a renowned scholar specializing in race relations; and Spurgeon's father, the Reverend Charles Henry Johnson along with the church he led for years, Lee Street Baptist Church, founded by formerly enslaved people. BHA will be hosting a dedication ceremony for both markers on Saturday, October 30, 2021, at 2 p.m. in Bristol’s Cumberland Square Park. 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. 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!

  • Officers/Committees | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN

    Line separator BHA Officers / Committees OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS . Officers. President 1st Vice-President 2nd Vice-President Corresponding Secretary Treasurer Immediate Past President Recording Secretary Charles Flannagan Barbara Smith Linda Kirk Amy Hopper Wilma Gill Sid Oakley Pat Buckles Directors. 2021 Panel Geneva Dillard Susan Long Angela Hopkins Joyce Kistner Mary Lou Sproles Tim Buchanan Daniel Shew 2022 Panel Isabelle Ladd Carter Miles Brenda Otis Jan Rainero Jennifer Surber Mary Beth Rainero Sid Oakley Standing Committees. Archives Archives Arrangements Collections Display Exhibits Education & Outreach Finance Historian Historical Markers Membership Merchandising Newsletter/Website Nominating Parliamentarian Programs V. I. College Legacy Ways & Means Website Correspondent Susan Long Jennifer Surber Geneva Dillard Mary Lou Sproles Joyce Kistner Pending Isabelle Ladd Tim Buchanan Linda Kirk Carter Miles Alice Ann Hoffstatter Amy Hopper Named by President Robert Peel Sid Oakley Tim Buchanan Mary Beth Rainero Gail Fleenor CONTACT US!

  • Historic Properties | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN

    Line separator Photo Gallery Historic Pictures . Load More Out of gallery Modern Pictures . Load More Out of gallery Historic Markers . Load More Out of gallery Historic Figures . RJ Reynolds Joseph Anderson Rev James King COL James King AD Reynolds Margaret Anderson Caldwell 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 To join the association, please click the application link below. Download Application 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: ​ Isabelle Ladd Email: 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!

  • 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 Properties | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN

    Line separator 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 HOME Learn More FORD HOUSE Learn More E.W. KING HOUSE Learn More I.C. FOWLER 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 Out of 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!

  • 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! Country Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bonaire Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo (Brazzaville) Congo (Kinshasa) Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Honduras Hong Kong S.A.R., China Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian Territories Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Republic of Côte d’Ivoire Republic of Kosovo Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Korea Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu U.S. Virgin Islands Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States United States Minor Outlying Islands Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vatican Venezuela Vietnam Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe arrow&v DONATE More Ways to Give Bequests Do you want to leave a legacy? 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 , 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 Email Now! CONTACT US!

  • Latest Newsletter | Bristol Historical Association | Bristol, TN

    Line separator BHA NEWSLETTER Latest Newsletters . See our complete list of BHA Newsletters! If you would like to sign up to receive the monthly newsletter directly to your inbox, click the link below... Sign Up Women’s Suffrage Centennial Presentation August 2020 Read the Newsletter Video credit to City of Bristol, Tennessee/BTN-TV 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!