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Stories like the following can be found within Brianne Wright’s new book, On This Day in Kingsport History:

  • Charley Grubb evaded his prison sentence when he slyly escaped from the courtroom during the jury deliberations on May 25, 1929.
  • On June 5, 1936, the Rotherwood Bridge collapse nearly claimed five lives.
  • After four decades, the State Theater officially aired its last film on March 26, 1978.

The Friends of the Archives of the City of Kingsport will host a book signing and reception for the new book, On This Day in Kingsport History on December 1 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Reclaimed Roots, 108 E. Market Street, in Downtown Kingsport. Books will be available at the signing for $21.99 and at the library thereafter. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Friends of the Archives.

With a story for each day of the year, Kingsport City archivist and author Wright illuminates the significant people, places and events of the Model City. From its early days as Boatyard to the modern-day Kingsport, colorful characters and quirky events shaped the city’s unique history one day at a time.

Wright has been the archivist for the City of Kingsport since 2007. She is the author of Downtown Kingsport: Images of America. She graduated from the University of Tennessee and received her master’s in archival studies from East Tennessee State University. She was a recipient of the East Tennessee Historical Society’s Award of Excellence in 2014. She lives in Church Hill, Tennessee, with her husband, Mitch, and daughter, Lily.

cattails golf course logo
2017 Cattails Discount Card

$12 off every 18 hole round
$6 off every 9 hole round
1 Free 18 hole round GF/CF included
15% off merchandise in the Pro Shop
20% off breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees at “The Meadows”
Marriott Reciprocal Golf Program Member
$4.00 Reg. Range Ball & $8.00 Large Range Ball

On sale now for only $135!


jeff fleming city manager

As we approach Kingsport’s centennial, I am reminded of the impact this city has had on so many lives.

My mom is from Hawkins County, my dad from Southwest Virginia. They came to Kingsport seeking a better life for their children and grandchildren. Citizens of this new town came from nearby and faraway.  It was an early melting pot of diversity from around the world – people with a common goal – to build a better future.

March 2nd isn’t just Kingsport’s birthday, it’s also my son’s.  Just like his mother, sister, and I, he was born at Holston Valley Hospital. He reaped the benefit of one of the many institutions that were envisioned, planned and funded by the Kingsport Spirit. And so goes the circle of life. Our family, like so many others, inherited a city with exceptional schools, incredible parks, strong volunteerism, charitable conviction, civic-minded businesses, an infectious community pride, and a can-do attitude.

Jim Harlan, chair of the Kingsport Community Foundation said, “You’re here today because someone came before you to lay the groundwork…someone helped you…someone prayed for you – and it’s your responsibility to do the same for those to come.”

When you think about the odds this fledgling city faced, the Kingsport Spirit is even more pronounced. In 1910, developers set out to build a city.  Four years later, World War I broke out. Twelve years later, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. Ten years later, World War II consumed the globe again.

At every turn, in any situation, Kingsport citizens have risen to the occasion.

Whether it be the groundbreaking founding of Douglass High School in 1928, the Santa Train in 1942, Bays Mountain Park in 1968, Fun Fest in 1980, Kingsport Tomorrow in 1989, MeadowView Convention Center in 1996, the Academic Village in 2002, the Kingsport Carousel in 2010, the PEAK young professionals in 2013, or the recent OneKingsport Summit – Kingsport is willing to dream – it’s willing to work – and it’s willing to leave a legacy.

The original vision was fifty thousand residents. Today, Kingsport’s population stands at 53,028.

We stand at a crossroads. Rest on the successes of the past, or boldly dream and build for the future.  What will Kingsport be in 2117? I won’t be here to find out, but I hope we’ve all left it a little better than we found it – for future generations.

In closing, you’ve made the dream of this little boy from Cherry Street a reality. I consider it one of life’s greatest blessings to be able to give back to the place that made, shaped, and nurtured me. It’s an even greater blessing that my wife and children have shared this journey with me. Wherever I go, people remind me, “There’s something different about this place. Don’t ever take that for granted.”

Whether you’ve been here 100 years or 100 days – I hope you feel THE KINGSPORT SPIRIT. It will leave an indelible mark on your soul that you’ll carry wherever you go.

Jeff Fleming

City Manager

Be Loyal Buy Local Art

You can support the cause and help strengthen the local economy by shopping at your friends’ and neighbors’ local stores. Purchase their products. Dine at their restaurants. Use their services. In turn, these locally owned and operated businesses will continually pump your hard-earned dollars back into the local economy by way of taxes, payrolls and purchases.

This means more money for new jobs, schools, roads, services and parks in your community.

Local business owners think money spent in our community should largely stay here.

So get out and shop local. You’ll be happy you did!

buy local_little shop

Its 3 days away! Small Business Saturday is a national initiative that declares a day to support local businesses around the country. Shop locally for your holiday gifts and support your community!

To view all the Hot Deals for Kingsport, please visit

To review the State of the City – 2016 Year in Review book, please check it out here.


police badge

In 2017, the Kingsport Police Department, just like the city it serves, will be turning 100 years old.  While researching old photographs in preparation for the upcoming centennial celebration, it was discovered that the earliest police officers in Kingsport wore an all dark blue uniform. By the 1950s, K.P.D. had transitioned to a uniform consisting of a gray shirt and navy blue pants that would become the standard for the next 60 plus years.

K.P.D. has been discussing the possibility of a change in uniforms, and it has been decided that transitioning back to uniforms in the original color would be a great way to celebrate and commemorate the rich history and 100th birthday of this police department. While the original K.P.D. uniforms from a century ago were most likely constructed of very heavy wool, the new uniforms will be fashioned from more modern lightweight materials and will be significantly more comfortable.

While the new look most certainly pays homage to the early days of the Kingsport Police Department, it also has an up-to-date style, more in line with today’s most progressive law enforcement agencies. An updated badge has been designed to accompany the new uniforms. The transition to the new uniforms will be at no additional cost to the taxpayers, as K.P.D. already has a line item in the budget each year for uniforms.

Officers will have three basic uniform options available to them year around, depending on the weather and their assignment.  The Class A uniform will consist of a long-sleeve solid navy blue shirt and tie, the Class B uniform will consist of an open-collar long-sleeve solid navy blue shirt, and the Class C uniform will consist of an open-collar short-sleeve solid navy blue shirt.  All three options will be worn with matching solid navy blue trousers.

Look for these sharp new uniforms out in the community!

Jim Clark Hero Shot

Jim Clark

Kingsport Police Officer Serves For Others

Officer Jim Clark protects communities through strong communication channels.

Since 1992, Clark has been serving as Direct Patrol for the Kingsport Police Department. He loves his job because it allows him to become involved and connect with residents. He strongly believes communication between the police department and the residents they protect is the most important aspect of community safety.

Clark has seen first-hand the positive effect communicating with residents has on his job. After working closely with Kingsport communities and getting to know the residents, he created trusting relationships. These relationships allowed Clark to connect with residents and instill that he was there to keep them safe.

Once communication flowed more freely, residents started reporting things they saw to Clark. Eventually, these communities slowly because a more safe and secure environment for residents.

“What we do is sometimes social work, or we’re a preacher or law enforcement,” said Clark. “We see people at their worst sometimes so we have to be able to do it all.”

Through his efforts, he’s helped residents and other officers understand how important trust, communication and safety is for everyone.

kingsport 100 logo

Maybe you want to start your holiday shopping early for parents-to-be with a centennial baby blanket or perhaps the morning coffee drinker in your family needs a new centennial mug. Now is the time to start your centennial keepsake shopping and be thinking about how you want to celebrate our centennial year in 2017.

Centennial merchandise is on sale at your Kingsport Chamber, located at 400 Clinchfield Street. Merchandise available for purchase includes umbrellas, teddy bears, tote bags, magnets and two varieties of long and short sleeve t-shirts. There are also two different colors of youth shirts available. To view the merchandise, visit

Stop by the Kingsport Chamber and get your centennial keepsakes for 2017!


Tunnel Photo

Happy Halloween! We saved the best legend for last. Today, “Ima Goner”, our ghostly friend, is visiting the infamous Sensabaugh Tunnel and learning about its spooky legend.

Sensabaugh Tunnel is a nationally recognized urban legend from Kingsport. Here are the three different tales of everyone’s favorite creepy tunnel.

Sensabaugh Tunnel was built in the 1920s and was named for the man that owned the land, Edward Sensabaugh.

In one version of this legend, Edward let a homeless man into his home as an act of charity. Their guest tried to steal jewelry and Edward confronted him with a gun. The thief grabbed Edward’s baby daughter to use as a shield and ran out of the house. He got away and drowned the baby in the tunnel.

In a second version of the legend, Edward Sensabaugh went mad and killed his entire family and threw their bodies into the tunnel.

But in the third version (that some claim is the most accurate), Edward Sensabaugh lived into his old age, not dying until the 1950s and had none of his children die as babies. By the time Edward grew old, vandals and teens had taken to using the tunnel for their fun. Edward wasn’t happy about it. So he would hide at one end of the tunnel and fill it with an eerie shriek, scaring off anyone hiding inside. Thus beginning the legend of Sensa­baugh Tunnel.

Legend has it, if you switch off your car engine in the middle of the tunnel, it won’t switch back on. Some say you can also hear the baby’s cry and the approaching footsteps of Edward himself. Some have even claimed when driving through the tunnel the shadow of a woman appears in your backseat.

Are you brave enough to visit the Sensabaugh Tunnel?