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.