Historic Quick Facts
- The Boat Yard town of Christianville, the early forerunner to present-day Kingsport, was founded in 1802 and extended along the North Fork of the Holston River.
- William King of Saltville, Virginia, organized the first freighting company in the local Boat Yard, which quickly became a major center for river freight to East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and downriver to as far as Natchez, Mississippi.
- In 1822, the towns of Christianville and Rossville were combined and incorporated by an Act of the Tennessee State General Assembly.
- Sadly, the events of the American Civil War, including the Battle of Kingsport fought in 1864, brought a severe downturn to our area – resulting not only in the loss of our town charter but to four ensuing decades of economic struggle.
- In 1917, Kingsport was re-chartered and became an early example of a “garden city,” as designed by nationally known city planner and landscape architect John Nolen of Cambridge, Massachusetts. We still carry the nickname, the Model City, due to Nolen’s distinctive plan.
- Kingsport has been home to many notable people, including Appalachian author Lisa Alther, noted boogie-woogie pianist and singer Cripple Clarence Lofton, Super Glue inventor Harry Coover and former NBC News correspondent John Palmer – in addition to others.
- Kingsport City Schools’ Project Heritage Timeline chronicles the history of Kingsport’s education community, including an 1870s high school on the banks of Reedy Creek.