Dating back to 1856, Johnson City has a long and interesting history. Henry Johnson founded it as a railroad station called “Johnson’s Depot.” Johnson City became a major rail hub for the southeast, as three railway lines crossed in the downtown area. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Johnson City served as headquarters for the narrow gauge East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (the ET&WNC, nicknamed “Tweetsie”) and the standard gauge Clinchfield Railroad.
During the 1920s, Johnson City became a center of the bootleg trade and was frequently visited by Al Capone. This notoriety won Johnson City the nickname, “Little Chicago”
Of course, since then, Johnson City has blossomed as local colleges, retailers and industries, including healthcare, have grown substantially. With every sign of continuing, Johnson City is more than just an ideal place to visit–I’ts an ideal place to live.
OTHER HISTORIC SITES
Only about five miles from Garland Farm Estates, Jonesborough is a true historic treasure. In fact, it was at the heart of Tennessee’s first attempt at statehood, when local settlers in 1786 petitioned the fledgling United States Congress to be recognized as the State of Franklin.
The site of the first permanent American Settlement outside of the 13 original colonies, Sycamore Shoals is a recognized national historic site. Located on the site, you’ll find a reconstruction of Fort Watauga, Tennessee’s oldest fort, which played a key role in defeating a formidable contingent of Loyalist and as the staging area for raids against British forces. Just walking through the fort and surrounding area is like walking through history.
One of the most exciting fossil finds in the country, the Gray Fossil Site is revealing exciting new information about the giant mammals of the past. It features a family-friendly museum.