1800s - City of King's Port
The name King's Port was accepted in the late 18th century. It does not stem from King George or any other crown, but from Col. James King, who owned the King’s Mill Station at the mouth of Reedy Creek and used the Holston River to ship commodities. The success of his business gave the city its name, because the area was being referred to as King’s Port, which eventually evolved into Kingsport.
1800s - Col. James King
Col. James King settles on the Holston River and conducts his shipping business, King’s Mill Station, at the mouth of Reedy Creek. The area came to be known as King’s Port.
1822 - City of King's Port
1870s - King's Port High School
Evidence of a high school in King's Port was documented located on the banks of Reedy Creek.
1877 - King's Port High School
Professor Copenhaver was named the first principal of King's Port High School. Student Body: 40
1900 - Robert E. Lee School
Robert E. Lee School (dba Oklahoma School) opened on Myrtle and Sevier Streets. Student Body: 12
1914 - J. Fred Johnson
J. Fred Johnson sells 1200 acres of land that is now Bays Mountain Park to Kingsport Waterworks Corporation for construction of the dam to be used for the city’s population. This dam created a 44-acre lake and served the city until 1944.
1915 - Population
Population of the Model City 7,182
1917 - First Baptist Church established
1917 - City of Kingsport incorporated
City of Kingsport incorporated and re-chartered, first Mayor James W. Dobyns. Photo: Kingsport Public Library Archives
1917 - Local Kingsport Red Cross Chapter
Local Kingsport Red Cross Chapter is chartered during WWI with J. Fred Johnson serving as First Chairman (American Red Cross founded in 1881). Photo: American Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee
1917 - Kingsport Inn opened
Demolished in 1960.
1917 - First Christian Church Established
1917 - First Presbyterian Church established
1918 - Hagan Hammond dies in WWI
First Sullivan County/Kingsport soldier to die in World War I. A street, a bridge and an American Legion Post were all named after him.
1918 - Homestead Hotel built
Homestead Hotel built for Grant Leather Company.
1919 - Kingsport High School
Kingsport High School graduates 3 students.
1919 - Kingsport Book Club formed
1919 - Construction of White City
1920 - Allen Dryden Sr., opens first architectural firm
1920 - Tennessee Eastman Founded
Eastman Kodak founder, George Eastman, was in search of an area with suitable quantities of methanol and acetone. He set his sights on Kingsport, Tennessee, and it's forests.
1921 - Kingsport Public Library opened
1921 - Andrew Jackson School opens
Photo from the Archives of the City of Kingsport.
1921 - Abraham Lincoln School opens
1922 - Kingsport Press established
Kingsport Press established with John B. Dennis as Chairman of the Board. First contract was with Woolworth chain for mass production of a miniature clothbound series of the classics. Photo from Archives of the City of Kingsport.
1922 - Riverview Hospital
Riverview Hospital on Netherland Inn Road was formed.
1925 - Borden Mills and Kingsport Utilities
Borden Mills Plant and Kingsport Utilities started.
1926 - Dobyns-Bennett High School building opens
This building is now John Sevier Middle School.
1926 - Holliston Mills begins operating
Photo from the Archives of the City of Kingsport.
1927 - Kingsport Foundry
Kingsport Foundry opened.
1927 - Kingsport Music Club founded
The Kingsport Music Club was founded September 18, 1927. The first president was Mrs. Malcolm Morison.
1928 - Douglass School for African Americans built
Prior name was Oklahoma Grove. Douglass was a Rosenwald School. Julius Rosenwald was an industrialist from Chicago, the first CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Company. He established a foundation to fund the construction of hundreds of school buildings for African-American children in the early 20th century.
1930 - PET Dairy opens
1932 - Mason-Dixon
Mason-Dixon formed. Photo from Archives of the City of Kingsport.
1933 - Tornado
A tornado strikes in March. Red Cross develops first Community Disaster Plan and TVA electricity and flood control plans put in place.
1935 - Holston Valley Community Hospital
Holston Valley Community Hospital dedicated with 53 beds and nine bassinets on August 9, 1935. Photo from Kingsport Public Library Archives.
1936 - Jimmy Quillen
Jimmy Quillen becomes youngest newspaper publisher in the United States- Kingsport Mirror.
1936 - City Mission founded
1937 - McKeller Field
McKeller Field (Tri-Cities Airport) built.
1937 - Original Legion Pool opens
Photo from Archives of the City of Kingsport.
1939 - Civic Auditorium
Civic Auditorium built.
1939 - Downtown Merchants Association formed
1939 - Garden Apartments
Kingsport's first large scale apartment complex completed. Photo from Archives of the City of Kingsport.
1940 - WKPT Radio
WKPT Radio begins broadcasting.
1940 - Kingsport Housing Authority opens housing projects
Robert E. Lee and Riverview homes.
1941 - Wallace News opens
1942 - Tennessee Eastman constructed Holston Ordinance Works
Tennessee Eastman, a government contractor, constructed Holston Ordinance Works to manufacture explosives during World War II. They stopped production in 1945 but reactivated in 1949 and continue operation today. Photo from Archives of the City of Kingsport.
1942 - J. Fred Johnson Stadium and Park open
1943 - Santa Train
Santa Train begins.
1944 - J. Fred Johnson dies
1945 - Saint Dominic School opens
1946 - Kingsport Symphony
Kingsport Symphony formed.
1946 - First Soapbox Derby held
1947 - Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce formed.
1947 - Kingsport Theater Guild formed
1947 - John B. Dennis dies
1948 - Freedom Train
Freedom Train stops in Kingsport. More than 11,000 came to see. Photo from Archives of the City of Kingsport.
1948 - Kingsport Lifesaving Crew begins
Takes first call December 18.
1949 - Allandale Mansion built
Harvey Brooks and wife, Ruth Haire Brooks, farm land was inundated by construction of Ft. Patrick Dam and forced relocation and building of their new home, Allandale Mansion. She died in 1962, and when he died in 1969, Mr. Brooks left the house and 25 acres to the City of Kingsport.
1949 - Television comes to Kingsport
1949 - Ridgefields Country Club opens
1951 - Douglass High School opens
New Douglass High School opens in Riverview.
1952 - Warriors Path State Park
Warriors Path State Park is acquired from the TVA for recreational use. Named for the Great Indian Warpath used by the Iroquois in war raids against the Cherokee and other tribes, the park is 950 acres around the Ft. Patrick Henry Reservoir and Duck Island on the South Fork of the Holston River.
1952 - Women’s Auxiliary at Holston Valley formed
1953 - American Legion Fourth of July Parade begins
1954 - Kingsport selected as a test site for Polio vaccine
1955 - Kingsport chosen by US Department of State
Kingsport chosen by US Department of State as part of a Department sponsored observation tour of American city governments.
1956 - Pal's opens
1957 - Cerebral Palsy Center/Palmer Center opens
Cerebral Palsy Center /Palmer Center for Crippled Children (now Early Childhood Learning Center and part of city schools) opened on Fort Henry Drive.
1960 - Tennessee Eastman Aniline Plant Explosion
Tennessee Eastman Aniline Plant Explosion on October 4, 1960, at 4:42 p.m. was a terrible tragedy in Kingsport’s history which caused Eastman to institute new safety review programs. Photo from Archives of the City of Kingsport.
1961 - J. Fred Johnson Memorial Library
J. Fred Johnson Memorial Library opens in old Post Office building.
1962 - Stone Drive
Stone Drive completed.
1963 - Kingsport Press goes on strike
Kingsport Press on strike in one of the nation’s longest strikes, continuing from March 11 through the spring of 1967. Photo from Archives of the City of Kingsport.
1965 - Girls Inc. of Kingsport chartered
1966 - School integration
384 African-American students and 16 teachers integrate from Douglass School to Dobyns-Bennett High School.
1967 - Dobyns-Bennett High School opened in new building
1967 - Holston River Bridge collapsed
1968 - Bays Mountain opens
Bays Mountain first opens to visitors as a park with a strict 100-car limit. It is the largest city-owned park in the state of Tennessee.
1968 - Glen Bruce park dedicated
1969 - Netherland Inn placed on National Register of Historic Places
1969 - Kingsport Press merges with Arcata
Kingsport Press merges with Arcata National Corporation. In the 1990s, Quebecor Printing, a company located in Canada, purchased Arcata Graphics.
1969 - Allandale bequeathed to City of Kingsport
Photo from Archives of the City of Kingsport.
1970 - Kingsport Mall
Kingsport Mall completed. Interstate 81 built.
1971 - Bays Mountain Park
The Planetarium and the Nature Interpretive Center at Bays Mountain Park open.
1971 - Kingsport University Center at Allandale opens
1972 - Largest graduating class at Dobyns-Bennett High School
Largest graduating class ever at Dobyns-Bennett High School, 512 students
1974 - Downtown Kingsport Association organized
1974 - Indian Path Medical Center
Indian Path Medical Center opens for healthcare in Kingsport.
1975 - Remodeled American Legion Pool opens
1976 - Portion of Long Island dedicated
Portion of Long Island dedicated to the Cherokee Nation.
1976 - Fort Henry Mall opens
1977 - Farmers Market begins
Farmers Market begins in parking lot of First Presbyterian Church.
1977 - Cora Cox earns Tennessee Teacher of the Year Award
1979 - Holston Valley Hospital performs first open heart surgery
1980 - Fun Fest begins
Kingsport Fun Fest begins this Fall as a summer community event. Events are an effort to unite residents, foster a belief that Kingsport is a caring community and good place to live and work.
1982 - Greenbelt construction begins
1985 - Kingsport recognized as a Main Street Community
1985 - Interstate 181 established
Interstate 181 (future I-26) established as an interstate designation of US-23, connecting Johnson City to Kingsport.
1985 - Coach Van Huss Coach of the Year
Coach Van Huss named National Coach of the Year for men’s basketball.
1986 - Justice Center built
1988 - Survivor’s Club (now Kingsport Historical Society) is founded
1988 - Farmstead Museum at Bays Mountain opens
1989 - Friends of Allandale Established
1989 - Kingsport Tomorrow/Vision 2017
Kingsport Tomorrow/Vision 2017 process has far-reaching implications on city plans.
1990 - Coach Walter “Buck” Van Huss dies
June 30, 1990, Coach Walter “Buck” Van Huss dies at the age of 71 during open-heart surgery. He was six victories from being the winningest high school basketball coach in history and was looking forward to his next season with the DB Indians. Van Huss had a 1,021-313 record in 37 years of coaching and led Kingsport to the state tournament eight of his first 14 years at that school.
1991 - Renaissance Center opens
1991 - Arcata becomes Quebecor
1993 - Graham Clark named Head Football Coach at DB
Graham Clark is named Head Football Coach at Dobyns-Bennett High School. Coach Clark is the longest-serving coach in the school's history.
1994 - Kingsport Archives
Archives of the City of Kingsport opens (first municipal archive in Tennessee).
1994 - Eastman spins off from Kodak
1995 - Hunter Wright Stadium built
1996 - Meadowview Marriott opens
Meadowview Marriott opens with 195 rooms; 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
1997 - Kingsport named All-American City
1997 - Lafe Cook joins Kingsport City Schools
Lafe Cook joins Kingsport City Schools as Dobyns-Bennett Director of Bands. Mr. Cook is the longest-serving band director in the school's history.
1998 - Downtown Heritage trail dedicated
1999 - Economic Summit
Economic Summit breathes new life into Kingsport.
2002 - Red Cross Chapter assigns 309 New Disaster Certificates
Red Cross Chapter assigns 309 new disaster certificates for volunteers after 9/11 reignites spirit of service.
2002 - Blazier-Wilson Hall opens
Blazier-Wilson Hall (known as RCAT or Regional Center for Applied Technology) opens as first building in Academic Village downtown.
2003 - Interstate 181 becomes extension of I-26
Interstate 181 becomes extension of I-26 from Johnson City to the I-81 intersection (Tri-Cities Crossing) in Kingsport.
2003 - Kingsport Symphony renamed Symphony of the Mountains
2003 - Jimmy Quillen dies
United States Congressman longer than any Tennessean in history.
2005 - New parks open
Scott Adams Memorial Skate Park and Domtar Park open.
2006 - Red Cross Chapter renamed
Red Cross Chapter renamed American Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee. Chapter manages Tennessee response to Gulf Coast Hurricane Katrina, serving 20,000 families and raising $1.6 million locally to support relief efforts.
2006 - Riverview Splash Pad opens
2007 - Boundless Playground opens
Boundless Playground opens at Warriors Path State Park, a unique one-of-a-kind play area for children with universally accessible equipment.
2007 - Quebecor closes
2008 - Sculpture Walk begins in Downtown Kingsport
2008 - Regional Center for Health Professions opens
Regional Center for Health Professions opens as the second building in Academic Village.
2009 - RCAM opens
The Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) opens.
2009 - Kingsport Higher Education Center
Kingsport Higher Education Center opened & wins Innovations in American Government Award from The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
2009 - Phillips-Campbell Hall (Kingsport Center for Higher Education) opens
Phillips-Campbell Hall (Kingsport Center for Higher Education) opens as the fourth and flagship building in Academic Village.
2010 - V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex opens
2010 - Pal Barger Regional Center for Automotive Programs opens
Pal Barger Regional Center for Automotive Programs opens as the fifth building in Academic Village.
2011 - Kingsport Farmers Market Building opens
2013 - Kingsport Aquatic Center opens
2013 - PEAK (Professionals Engaged in Advancing Kingsport) begins
PEAK (Professionals Engaged in Advancing Kingsport) begins a young professional movement, becomes largest in Tennessee.
2014 - Welcome Center opens
2015 - Kingsport Carousel opens
Kingsport Carousel opens as one of the most highly successful volunteer projects the city has accomplished. By December 31, the venue welcomes 50,000 riders.
2015 - ONEKingsport Summit
ONEKingsport Summit promises to make Kingsport the premier destination in Northeast Tennessee for people to live, work, raise a family and for businesses to grow and prosper.
2017- Kingsport Centennial
Kingsport celebrates 100 years on March 2, 2017, at the Kingsport Farmer's Market.