ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bristol VA - The Birthplace of Country Music

Updated on March 4, 2015
Located on the west side of the Tennessee part of the city.
Located on the west side of the Tennessee part of the city. | Source

Award Winning City

Bristol is located in the Kingsport-Bristol Area of two southern US States. It spans portions of both Virginia and Tennessee as well as being located in the Southwestern Virginia Workforce Investment Act Area.

In addition, Bristol VA is a twin city to Bristol, Tennessee, located just on the other side of the state line that runs down the center of State Street. They share one city flag, with the seals of both cities on a red and blue background.

The City of Bristol extends from SW Virginia to Eastern Tennessee and, along with Kingsport and Jonson City, make up the local Tri-Cities Area business and employment market.

Bristol VA was recognized recently as one of the 25 Best Small Cities in America for Jobs and Business by economists, workforce specialists, and financial entities such as Money Magazine . Further, this city was recognized in the Best 100 Communities for Music Education in America.

In addition to all of this, Bristol has received the Gold Award For Municipal Excellence in 2008 as one of the top 8 cities named by the National League of Cities out of 187 city nominations.

Bristol is divided by State Street, an east-west corridor.

Bristol TN:
Bristol, TN, USA

get directions

Bristol VA:
Bristol, VA, USA

get directions

Gateway Then and Now

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Permission is granted by USER:Aplomado re: GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version. File licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License
Permission is granted by USER:Aplomado re: GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version. File licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License
Permission is granted by USER:Aplomado re: GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version. File licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

Beaver Flats and Solar Hill

Previous to 1871, most of Bristol's residents lived in the current downtown location then known as Beaver flats.

After city expansion in 1971, a century later, people began spreading out toward what was named Solar Hill, the site of current ongoing revitalization projects (see the map below).

In 1869 must after the American Civil War, an astronomical observatory was located atop a hill in the City of Bristol. It was built in order to provide a view of an approaching Total Solar Eclipse in August of 1869. Later, this area was christened Solar Hill in honor of the defunct observatory. Solar Street runs along the top of the hill itself.

This historic area is full of stories about American Presidents that passed through Bristol. These include tales about President Andrew Jackson, who stayed often at the King mansion near the hill and Andrew Johnson, who was injured in a stagecoach accident there. The Solar Hill Historic District provides many walking tours for tourists, schools, and residents, as well as the annual Christmas Historic Homes tour that help Tri-Cities Christian Schools.

This revitalized area has been listed on the US National Registry of Historic Places and has increased the local economy through Tourism and related industries.

The ongoing revitalization project restores older homes and raises historic markers at appropriate sites. Residents of this area include large estate owners as well as owners of smaller properties. Restoration and expansion is ongoing at the historic train station and public library in this area as well.

Solar Hill, Bristol VA

Solar Hill, Bristol VA:
Solar Street, Bristol, VA 24201, USA

get directions

The Local NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Track.

Grandstand at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Located at 151 Speedway Blvd, Bristol TN.
Grandstand at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Located at 151 Speedway Blvd, Bristol TN. | Source


An affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the minor leaguer Bristol Pirates plays its home games at DeVault Memorial Stadium. Virginia High School also plays its Bearcats ball players here. The high school participates in a regional Scholastic Bowl, Drum & Bugle Corps competitions and separate drumline events.

The Bristol TN Municipal Stadium (Stone Castle) supports football and soccer. It was built during the FDR administration as part of the WPA and the New Deal. Viking Hall in Tennessee holds the Tennessee High School basketball games.

Sports in Bristol

  • NASCAR Racing
  • Bristol Drag Speedway and Dragway
  • Bristol Whitesox baseball
  • Camping and Hiking
  • Golf Courses
  • Skiing
  • Virigina Intermont College sports
  • Whitewater Rafting and other water sports

The Carter Family - Wild Wood Flower

Birthplace of Country Music

In 1998, the United States Congress honored Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia by naming it The Birthplace of Country Music. An association was founded by the same name in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.

In 1927 and 1928, Raph Peer set up recording studios in Bristol to record talented country music artists of the era. These singers incuded Ernest Stoneman, The Carter Family. The Stamps Quartet, Jimmy Rodgers, The Dixie Mountaineers,and many others. many of these artists have been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

An elaborate website is set up at Birthplace of County Music for in-depth information, museum quality photos, contests, musical events, and other materials.

In downtown Bristol, Food City company has donated a large sum of money to find the development of a downtown cultural heritage center to showcase the music recorded in Bristol. This is $12,000,000 project that is creating new jobs for Bristol and the Tri City Area as well. Currently, the Paramount Center for the Performing Arts on State Street (shared by Virginia and Tennessee) hosts many country music events and stars.

Jimmy Rodgers - Waiting for a Train

Roni Stoneman and son Robert in 2008

Largest Employers

  • Sprint United Management - The Sprint history in Southwestern Virginia and Upper Eastern Tennessee dates back to the start of telephone service in the Tri Cities Area. The company's developing Telecenter in Bristol will offer increased numbers of clients with cutting edge Call Center and Telemarketing services. The facility is based ona $2,000,000 investment that provides 500 or more new jobs.
  • Electro Mechanical Corporation - Electrical power company founded in 1958.
  • Food City - well known regional grocery chain.
  • Officemax Inc - Office supplies and furniture.
  • Bristol City Public Schools - Education.
  • Strongwell
  • City of Bristol - City Government.
  • Exide Technologies

Top 10 Jobs

The highest demand for workers in the short term, until approximately 2016, include the following positions:

  1. Social and Human Service Assistants
  2. Medical Assistants
  3. Home Health and Personal Aides
  4. Computer Software Applications Engineers
  5. Social Workers
  6. Mainstream Preschool Teachers
  7. Network and Computer Systems Admins
  8. EMTs and Paramedics
  9. Paralegals and Legal Assistants
  10. Market Research Analysts

Longer term, the Top 10 most urgent employment needs from 2018 are found in the following occupations:

  1. Healthcare Practitioners and Technicians
  2. Food & Beverage Preparation and Service
  3. Education, Training, and Library positions
  4. Sales and Related jobs, such as retail sales person
  5. Healthcare Support
  6. Health Diagnosing and Treating Professionals
  7. Office/Administrative Support
  8. Primary, Secondary, and Special Education Teachers
  9. Transportation and Material Moving/Freight
  10. Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides

Higher Education

  • Virginia Intermont College - VIC is accredited by 17 separate organizations. The college offers Adult Degree Programs, traditional degrees, and an Honors Program. Degree programs include Art, Business, Biology, Education, Equine Studies, Photography, Pre-Law and Paralegal Studies, Psychology, Religious Studies, and several others.

Other Local Institutions of Higher Learning:

  • Graham Bible College
  • National College of Business & Technology
  • Virgina Academy of Hairstyling

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS

Comments & Additions

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)