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Welcome to the official web site for the Bristol Historical Association. The Bristol Historical Association is dedicated to the identification, preservation, interpretation, and presentation of local history.

The Bristol Historical Association Celebrates a Virtual 40th

BHA's 40th Anniversary A Virtual Celebration Hosted by Joyce Kistner, Founder and 1st President of BHA October 1, 2020 7 p.m.

In April 1979, a group of nine women devoted to preserving the history of Bristol VA/TN met to organize The Bristol Historical Association. The group consisted of Joyce Kistner, president; Christine Caldwell, Faith Dillow Esposito, Mary Geiger, Ann Greear, Tina Hitt, Martha Marshall, Janice Martin, and Margaret Mitchell. They chose as their logo the image from a 1930s button showing the Bristol sign and a view of State Street. Thursday, October 1st, at 7 p.m., BHA will celebrate its 40th Anniversary with a very special program created and presented by founding member and first president, Joyce Kistner.

As with most things this year, due to COVID-19, the program will be held virtually.

The program will air on BTN-TV and may be viewed on channel 16 for BTES cable subscribers and on channel 192 for Charter/Spectrum subscribers in Bristol, TN. You may watch, beginning October 1, at 6:45 PM onwards

The link for the video is https://youtu.be/UchgpW2tFEE

In April 1979, a group of nine women devoted to preserving the history of Bristol VA/TN met to organize The Bristol Historical Association. The group consisted of Joyce Kistner, president; Christine Caldwell, Faith Dillow Esposito, Mary Geiger, Ann Greear, Tina Hitt, Martha Marshall, Janice Martin, and Margaret Mitchell. They chose as their logo the image from a 1930s button showing the Bristol sign and a view of State Street. Thursday, October 1st, at 7 p.m., BHA will celebrate its 40th Anniversary with a very special program created and presented by founding member and first president, Joyce Kistner.

As with most things this year, due to COVID-19, the program will be held virtually. Please visit the October BHA Newsletter for all the News about our Exciting Accomplishments. This Newsletter will be available on this website October 1, 2020 the same day of the virtual program.

The program will air on BTN-TV and may be viewed on channel 16 for BTES cable subscribers and on channel 192 for Charter/Spectrum subscribers in Bristol, TN. For anyone outside the viewing area, you may view the presentation archived online.

The link for the video is https://youtu.be/UchgpW2tFEE

You may also visit BHA's Youtube channel any time to view and read the presentation slides in greater detail at YouTube.com/watchbtntv

BHA CHANGE IN VENUE WE ARE GOING VIRTUAL!

THE STRUGGLE FOR WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE: 1848-1920 AND TENNESSEE'S CRITICAL ROLE

Greetings!

Charles Flannagan

What were we thinking?

The pandemic that we continue to endure has its positive side. It has caused us to slow down and reevaluate what is most important to us. An unanticipated result has been that we are beginning to silently, perhaps begrudgingly, admit that we just may be finding new and better ways to conduct certain aspects of our personal, social and business lives. It has made the work of the Bristol Historical Association and similar entities even more important as we strive to preserve for posterity the story of an everyday life of yesterday that our great-grandchildren may find rather strange. The new normal of their world may be dramatically different, not only from the world of our ancestors, but from our world as well. Of course, has not that always been the case in history?

As we embrace some of the positive changes in the way we live and conduct our lives and reconsider our old ways of doing things, we finally are becoming bold enough to ask the question, "What were we thinking?"

That really is not a new question, it is just one that we normally reserved for our ancestors and stated as "What were they thinking?". We found ourselves confronting that question as we tried to absorb the messages from our August program designed to honor the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. For most, the idea that women should not be voting or holding public office was a foreign thought. The answers to why there was so much opposition to suffrage for women eked out as the movement got a microscopic review in the lead up to the centennial celebrations. Issues like women's legal rights beyond suffrage, racism, and opposition by the manufacturing industry and railroads over concerns about feared changes to labor laws surfaced. The fears of the liquor industry were realized in 1920 through the 18th Amendment, even prior to women getting to vote on the issue. It was never just a simple question of should women vote. There were underlying reasons for the opposition, articulated and unarticulated, that entered the picture. Thanks go to those who preserved that information for us to discover, providing yet another example of the importance of preserving factual information that was, or is destined to be, history.

The Bristol Historical Association is going to survive this pandemic! However, we have missed our primary revenue streams in 2020 and we can use your support! One way you can help is by joining as a member. We invite you to do so, and thank you in advance. We would love for you to join us!

Thank you! And stay safe!


Charles Flannagan
President Bristol Historical Association

NANCY ARNOLD WILL PRESENT A LIVE DRAMA AT 7:00 PM AUGUST 10, 2020
This event can be viewed through one of these sources:
BTES-TV subscribers Channel 16
Spectrum customers Channel 192
YouTube.com/watchbtntv
Links are also available at Bristoltn.org and Facebook.com/CityBristolTn

Please become a part of our association and enjoy learning about and enhancing our knowledge of the history of Bristol. We have informative programs throughout the year and a Christmas Luncheon each December. Individual members and committees work to further our mission by designing and selling merchandise through local vendors, maintaining the Tennessee Ernie Ford Birthplace, continuing work on The Robert Preston House at Walnut Grove and the V.I. College Legacy, fielding inquires about Bristol’s history, preserving historic memorabilia, preparing and installing monthly exhibits at the Bristol Public Library, acknowledging donations to the association, scanning and filing historic photos and documents, making educational presentations at local schools, awarding commemorative plaques to owners of historic homes and businesses, distributing interesting email and Facebook posts (Bristol History), publishing newsletters, maintaining this website, and more.

Wouldn’t you like to be involved? To join the association, please click here.
To visit our on-line store click here.

Bristol Historical Association

Wanna know the big deal about Big Creek that fabled community at what is now the bottom of South Holston Lake?Click here to read the article.

"We would love to hear from those interested in this article about Big Creek. If you want to share your personal stories or photos about Big Creek and/or Anne W. Armstrong, please send them to us via email, using the "Contacts' tab on this web site"




Parking

Hello!

Because you enjoyed the benefits of VIP Parking during last year’s Rhythm and Roots with the Bristol Historical Association, you have first choice of this year’s VIP Parking at Century Link across from the Bristol Post Office at the corner of Anderson and 6th Street. We have 65 parking places this year, and we are offering these spaces to last year’s participants first before they are placed on the Birthplace of Country Music’s web site this coming week and advertised in our BHA Newsletter and web site, www.bristolhistoricalassociation.com We are giving you the opportunity to reserve your place now.

You may send your check for $75 for the 3 day reserved parking, and when your check is received you will be sent a parking pass no later than the 25th of August. Checks made payable to the Bristol Historical Association for $75 must accompany your request for a reserved Parking Pass. You will receive an email receipt within one month of the receipt of your payment. Please send your check to: Amy Hopper, BHA Parking Chair, 133 Spanish Oak Rd., Bristol, Tennessee 37620, and please include your email address. My email is amyhopper2014@gmail.com

You may choose which place you want on a first come, first served basis. The numbers will be a little different from last year, so choose the place you want early. A final map with the space numbers will accompany your email. Feel free to pass this VIP Parking information on to friends and family. Thank you for your support of the Bristol Historical Association and its mission of preserving, protecting, and promoting our rich history. To learn more about our work when in town, go up Lee Highway almost to the Mellow Mushroom restaurant, and look on your left to see the Robert Preston House which BHA is in the process of restoring to the era of 1795. The property was recognized by the state of Virginia with a State Marker on June 14, 2018, which commemorates the importance of the Walnut Grove Plantation where the Robert Preston House is located. The Tennessee Ernie Ford House, located at 1223 Anderson Street, has been in the news of late due to the celebration of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s 100th Birthday this past February. You may read about these and many other of our activities on the newsletters archived on our BHA website, www.bristolhistoricalassociation.com.

Sincerely, Amy Hopper BHA Corresponding Secretary and Chairman of VIP Parking

 

ROBERT PRESTON HOUSE


Bristol Sign

Preston House Report

Preston House Report & Pictures

Led by Isabelle Ladd and Jan Rainero. 

Bristol Sign

Current Projects include, but are not limited to:
  • Restoration, establishment, and accreditation of Robert Preston House as a regional museum
  • Continued restoration and maintenance of the birthplace home of Tennessee Ernie Ford
  • Recognition of historically significant buildings through placement of BHA markers / plaques
  • Collection, preservation, and exhibition of memorabilia
  • Continued promotion / celebration of area sites and interest

Members of the Bristol Historical Association enjoy a variety of service and fellowship opportunities, receive quarterly newsletters, and, most importantly, take pride in the part they play in preserving and promoting the history of our area. Please consider lending your support to this worthwhile endeavor by becoming a member of our Association.

Thank You.
Sid Oakley, President.

Our History

History is told through the buildings and homes in a city. The intention of the Bristol Historical Association is to promote an interest in the history of Bristol by designating properties with historical significance.

In 1988 the Bristol Preservation Society launched a program to mark structures and sites throughout Bristol which would date back seventy-five years or more. Historian, V .N. (Bud) Phillips initiated a search for sites which would qualify for designation and receive a plaque. Markers were placed on four sites at that time: Troutdale Restaurant at 412 Sixth Street, the Billy Wood house on the corner of Locust and Sixth Street, East Hill Cemetery, and the Tennessee Ernie Ford House on Anderson Street.

In 1999 the Bristol Preservation Society and the Bristol Historical Association merged. The combined organization has continued the marking program with renewed interest. A generous contribution from Mr. William W. Walling has enabled the program to move forward. Mr. Walling has financed the cost of the first twenty-five plaques. Much credit is due to Mr Walling for his vital part in the promotion of the Landmark Designation program.

BECOME A MEMBER

We invite you to become a member... Application Form

OUR PRESIDENT

BHA President - Charles B. Flannagan
President
Charles B. Flannagan

Read his welcome message on this page...

MAKE A DONATION

Add an immediate gift or pledge for ongoing work of BHA and see your legacy at work!

 

SHOP AT OUR STORE

We stock a wide variety of Bristol Historical Association gifts such as Books, Pins, Cards, Clothing and Coffee Mugs. Visit Our Store

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Robert Preston Brochure
NEW: Robert Preston Brochure

LANDMARKS