Bristol Historical Association Newsletter

May 2012

Vol. 2Issue  2
In This Issue: Click and Go!
School Education Outreach
Joe Tennis Will Present Program
Renew Your Membership!
Preston House Update
Quick Links


Education Outreach

Joyce Kistner


Joyce Kistner and Barbara Smith are pleased to report further progress and success in teaching Bristol history to the fourth grade students of Bristol Tennessee  and Bristol Virginia public schools as well as two private schools. Over 400 students enjoyed these presentations, and each child was given a bookmark depicting scenes of historical highpoints in  Bristol's history.  The wonderful artwork on these bookmarks was designed and created by Joyce Kistner. Due to popular demand, purchase of these Bristol bookmarks will be made available through the Merchandise Committee in the near future.





JUNE 11th

On Monday, June 11th, Dr. John Gaines will present a program about General John Cabell Breckinridge, an American lawyer and politician. Breckinridge served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Kentucky and was the 14th Vice President of the United States (1857-1861), to date, the youngest vice president in U.S. history, inaugurated at age 36. 

Following the outbreak of the American Civil War, Breckinridge served in the Confederate States Army as a general and commander of Confederate forces prior to the 1863 Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, and of the young Virginia Military Institute cadets, at the 1864 Battle of New Market in New Market, Virginia. He also served as the fifth and final Confederate Secretary of War.  Don't miss this fascinating story of the only vice president ever to take up arms against the government of the United States. 

I trust that I have the courage to lead a forlorn hope.
--John C. Breckinridge, 1860


The Bristol Historical Association acknowledges with gratitude 
the following gifts and givers:

Sara Burleson and Kenneth and Joyce Kistner: Memorial for John and Doris Booth

Linda Roberts, Don Moneyhun, and Mary Beth Rainero: Preston House pledge

James M. Gregory: Preston House

Jan Rainero: Preston House, Memorials for King Rogers, Jr., Mrs. Bud Tallman, and Mrs. W.W. Walling

Bristol Evening Lions Club: Appreciation for "Snapshots of Bristol History" Presentation

WalMart Foundation: VAP grant through Susan Long

Gary Rose: Donation of thousands of digital images of Bristol

Rebecca Bounds: Original copy of sheet music from Bristol's 1956 Centennial Celebration


Greetings from the President 


The items you will read about in this newsletter are the tip of the iceberg as far as the involvement of BHA members is concerned. This newsletter alone requires hours of time and energy in gathering and editing articles for your benefit.  New projects are being planned as existing ones are being implemented.  All committees are actively creating new ideas and building on those from earlier days.  Your contribution as members is invaluable to us,  and without your financial help we would not be able to pursue our mission of preserving and presenting Bristol history to the community .  We have some upcoming exciting announcements about funding for the Preston house, progress on the sale of the E. W. King house, a big undertaking by the Merchandising Committee, an important  honor for the Ford house , new plans for our Education in the Schools project, Archival progress and more!  Renew your memberships today, and talk to a friend about joining BHA.  Enjoy our upcoming programs at the Library! We look forward to your being there. 


Isabelle Ladd 


Joe Tennis to Present Talk on Franklin and Washington  


Author Joe Tennis will be the guest speaker for a public meeting of the Bristol Historical Association on Monday, May 14. The meeting will be held in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room at the Bristol Public Library at 6:30pm. Tennis will present a program called "Franklin and Washington: A Lost State and a County of Change."


Benjamin Franklin's face is on the $100 bill, and many towns and counties across the United States bear his name, including places in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.  Franklin's name also showed up on the short-lived State of Franklin, located in what is now East Tennessee, from 1784 to 1788. This "lost state" predated Tennessee with a geographic boundary stretching from a northern border at Washington County, Va., south to the Smoky Mountains.


In his recent book, "Finding Franklin: Mystery of the Lost Capitol" (Backyard Books, $6.99), Tennis examines how the State of Franklin is perceived after 200 years. Tennis has also most recently released a new pictorial book of Washington County, Va., highlighting the history of Mendota, Abingdon, Damascus, Bristol and the Virginia Creeper Trail.


"Finding Franklin" is a comical adventure book that stays true to the history of the State of Franklin, Tennessee, according to Tennis, while also exploring the mystery of what happened to the lost state's capitol building. That building, described by the author, stood in Greeneville, TN. It was moved to Nashville and set up for Tennessee's centennial celebration in 1897, but was later dismantled and lost.


Tennis is known for his numerous regional books, including "Washington County, Virginia: Then & Now", a 96-page journey along the Holston River, old railroads and legendary highways like U.S. 11 and U.S. 58.  "This book has a theme: the railroad," Tennis said. "Almost every photo in this book, including the cover, is tied to the railroads of Washington County - from the main line through Glade Spring, Meadowview, Wyndale and Wallace to the paths that are now trails."


Tennis is the author of five other books and a regular newspaper column, "Tennis Anyone?", in the Bristol Herald Courier.


The May 14 meeting is in conjunction with the Bristol Public Library's mission of "Expanding Minds and Building Community."  This educational presentation is free and open to the public. 




Renew your Membership!

 Renew your membership!

Did you know that BHA offers a variety of membership levels, most of which come with discounts on BHA merchandise?  

And don't forget that you can give BHA memberships as gifts! 

For more information, 

contact Roxann Coulthard at roxann@bvunet.net 

or visit BHA's website at  





Snapshots of Bristol History  

Six presentations of this wonderful program have been given to date in addition to the one at the last BHA general meeting.  The team of presenters are Roxann Coulthard and Roy and Carolyn Williams.  Roxanne and Roy were presenters at the Evening Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, and the Tips group.  Roy and Carolyn took the program to the Gibbon Study Club, the Host Lions Club and to "Lead Bristol" for the Chamber of Commerce.  Others have been scheduled for the near future.  
To book this free program for your organization, contact Roxann Coulthard at roxann@bvunet.net or call 276- 466-5357.


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The PrestonHouse
by Jan Rainero


Many exciting activities are taking place at the Preston House located in Washington County, VA, on Lee Highway. Jordan Pennington, a member of the Preston House Committee, submitted a request to the Washington County Tax Assessor's office to exempt the property from taxes due to its historical status in the County. Clearing of trees and brush, bee removal from the inside of the house, and upcoming work on the foundation along with repainting the shutters are already showing visible improvement to the house as Phase One Stabilization work continues.


Many thanks to all the Job Corps folks who helped with cleaning up the property!
"Beekeeper" Jan Rainero helping relocate the Preston House Bees!


Power to the Preston House!

Thanks BVU for all you do!

Many thanks to Regions Bank for their support of the Preston House Project!