Important Events Comprise Our History
As 2017 approaches, please return from time to time and review Kingsport’s Centennial Timeline.
As you read this, our history committee is hard at work compiling a by-the-decade accounting of significant dates, descriptions of events, photos, documents, and images of mementos and relics – all compiled to emphasize Kingsport’s rich past.
Click here if you wish to submit a timeline entry. All submissions will be reviewed and approved by the history committee to be included.
Historic Quick Facts
- The Boat Yard town of Christianville, the early forerunner to present-day Kingsport, was founded in 1802 and extended along the North Fork of the Holston River.
- William King of Saltville, Virginia, organized the first freighting company in the local Boat Yard, which quickly became a major center for river freight to East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and downriver to as far as Natchez, Mississippi.
- In 1822, the towns of Christianville and Rossville were combined and incorporated by an Act of the Tennessee State General Assembly.
- Sadly, the events of the American Civil War, including the Battle of Kingsport fought in 1864, brought a severe downturn to our area – resulting not only in the loss of our town charter but to four ensuing decades of economic struggle.
- In 1917, Kingsport was re-chartered and became an early example of a “garden city,” as designed by nationally known city planner and landscape architect John Nolen of Cambridge, Massachusetts. We still carry the nickname, the Model City, due to Nolen’s distinctive plan.
- Kingsport has been home to many notable people, including Appalachian author Lisa Alther, noted boogie-woogie pianist and singer Cripple Clarence Lofton, Super Glue inventor Harry Coover and former NBC News correspondent John Palmer – in addition to others.
- Kingsport City Schools’ Project Heritage Timeline chronicles the history of Kingsport’s education community, including an 1870s high school on the banks of Reedy Creek.