This paint-up is not that old, but it hasn’t weathered well.  It’s on a shotgun building on the corner of East Market and Unicoi Streets in Kingsport TN.  The car is painted on tin and affixed to the wall.  The other side of the building has this same sign, less the car, in much better shape.  In this area, our prevailing weather comes in from the west, the direction which this sign is facing.


Volunteer Speedway

The bogie and the landing gear have been removed from this trailer.  It sits, rusting away, near Kingsport Speedway, off John B. Dennis Highway.

Kingsport Speedway dates from 1965, but Volunteer Speedway, in Bulls Gap, had its first race in 1974.

Both are still very much in business.

Clover Fork

This is not an old sign, but it’s a well done mosaic business sign in Evarts KY.  Thought you’d like to see it.

The Clover Fork meets up with Martin’s Fork at Harlan to kick-start the Cumberland River.  The meet-up is north of Harlan now, since everything was rerouted by the Army Corps of Engineers  (finished up in 1989) to relieve Harlan of the occasional inundation.

Martin Brothers Elastic Webs


What a great name.  Plant #1 is just a few blocks away on this street, 17th Street, in Middlesboro KY.  In its prime, the company had three plants in the city.  It was established here in 1929.

Below the name:

“For 4 generations the name Martin has stood for the best in elastic webbing”

And, no, the plant did not employ thousands of elastic spiders…



This is in Cumberland KY.  J.E. Issac, who would come to own several theaters in this area, built this complex in 1937, primarily as “Isaac’s New Theatre”, modern and comfortable, for 1937.  The coal was depleting fast in that year, the Depression was slowly beginning to ease a little and people needed some distraction.
It’s a shame that I’m stupid and didn’t get a good shot of the whole building, but, well, there it is.

In the middle, with the ticket booth still there, is occupied by “Lillian’s Novo Center”.

Chapman Restaurant


I can’t find definitive dates for this former restaurant.  I know it must post-date Norris Lake, impounded in 1936.  (There are a blue bazillion post cards of Norris Lake, since it was the biggest thing to hit this part of East Tennessee since the Civil War.)  There’s an old 50s-style Dexter Press post card I’ve seen on the web of this restaurant in what was then known as Lake City.  The town is now proudly known at Rocky Top, except to the Post Office, where it’s still Lake City.