Bristol TN Is My Home Town

Remembrances of my childhood keep flashing before my eyes…

My hometown is unique! It is split right down the middle. The white line down the middle of the main street is the state line, half in Virginia and half in Tennessee. It has been like this since the town was founded over 150 years ago. Two separate cities, two different forms of government, two different police departments, two different fire departments, there are even two completely different school systems. You might think all this would produce complete chaos, but the citizenry responds cooperatively.

Bristol sign over State Street
Bristol sign over State Street

Unity between the two cities and the two states

The old Kings Mountain Hospital where I was born was in Virginia and my family lived in Virginia, but moved to Tennessee some eighteen month after I was born. Years later the Bristol Memorial Hospital was built in Tennessee to replace the old Kings Mountain Hospital. I recall this to show the unity between the two cities and the two states.

Have you ever been to Bristol TN / VA

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This rivalry is good for the cities of Bristol


Of course one could see a great opportunity for rivalry within the educational systems and rightly so. Sports hold a great rivalry between the Virginia High School Bearcats and the Tennessee High School Vikings. Year after year the high schools of these two cities compete first on one side of town then the other to determine the city championship in football, basketball, baseball etc. Likewise the high school bands perform and compete. This rivalry is good for the cities of Bristol and has developed many sports and music stars.

Birthplace of Country Music

You would be surprised to learn that many couples who have grown up in the ‘twin’ cities have married across those state lines. Men and women who once attended rival high schools during their teenage years now married and raising families still residing within the cities of their birth and raising children who will continue the inter-city rivalries began many years ago.

The late Tennessee Ernie Ford was born and raised in Bristol Tennessee, and many others to include June Carter Cash started singing Country Music and recorded their music in Bristol as early as 1927. The United States Congress has declared that Bristol is the official Birthplace of Country Music in 1998. Around 60 years ago my dad introduced me to Little Jimmy Dickens at the Paramount Theatre on State Street in Bristol.

Bristol is also the home of Bristol Motor Speedway, home of the Worlds fastest half mile oval that entertains over 160 thousand race fans from all over the world each event annually. Local hotels and motels sell out each year for the spring and fall events. They say a motel room can not be found between Roanoke Virginia and Knoxville Tennessee. Some people even rent out their homes for the weeks of the races.

Also Bristol Caverns is located just about five miles south of the city of Bristol Tennessee.

© SamSonS

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Comments 14 comments

Putz Ballard profile image

Putz Ballard 6 years ago

I love your town and about 12 years ago met Jack Branch form across the line on Cove Creek Road as you are driving towards Hiltons. A great fiddle builder and player now 84 years old.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Putz Ballard, for your visit and your nice comments...

Kristeen profile image

Kristeen 6 years ago from Michigan

This is a great story about your home town. It makes me want to go there and it brings back fond memories of my own home town which I will be bringing forth in my next hub. Do you still live there?

This was a nice way to start my morning. God's blessings to you.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Kristeen, for your visit and nice comments...

My sister still lives in Bristol. I live in Johnson City about 25 miles away. Will be looking for your 'Hub' and likewise - God's blessings to you.

sarmack profile image

sarmack 6 years ago from Washington

Tennessee & Virginia! I have ancestors from both states. Beautiful areas of the country. It is good to hear about living in the same town for life.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks sarmack, I wrote that thinking it might cause ours who are proud of their 'roots' to likewise write about their home town and families...

Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

I want to go there too. I love small towns. Great story. Thanks for sharing

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Granny's House for your visit and your gracious comments...

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

It also has a great race track. It's a nice area and I enjoyed the read.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks suziecat7, for your friendship, your visit and your comments. Yes, BMS is nice...

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

My biggest dream is traveling in US. That's why I join HP. It give us a lot of information about many cities in US. And I found again through this hub. I thought Bristol Tennessee is the beautiful town. You definitely enjoy living in this town. Thanks for share with us. I'll bookmark this one.


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks prasetio30, I hope you visit 'My Hometown" when you visit America. Blessings to you my friend...

Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

Thanks for suggesting I read your hub. Bristol sounds like a wonderful town. I think Texarkana may be split too -- Texas and Arkansas.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Sally for stopping by again. Yes Bristol is split (TN/VA) and I had heard that Texarkana was named by Davy Crockett (birthplace just 30 min from here) for three of the states he loved Texas, Arkansas & Louisiana.

visit again soon...

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