This rather well-produced post card, from the 1940s, appears to show a recreation room at the Kingsport Inn. There are a doughty fireplace, a radio set, a piano, game boards and chairs, an American flag and ashtrays everywhere. You can just see into the next room through the door. The door to that room is open and there looks to be a window beyond the door.
I had dinner once at the Inn. I was competing in the Optimist Oratorical Contest. I didn’t win, but I had a good meal…roast beef, I think, and mashed potatoes. That I remember, but as to what vegetable or dessert was served or what the interior of the Inn actually looked like, I have no clue.
Five or six years ago, while working on some project or another, I ran into the man who had been our coach for the contest. He vaguely remembered me. “I didn’t think you’d come to be anything,” he remarked. I was a bit stung at first, then I thought, “Well, up yours, dude. I did just fine, thank you.”
This card had been mounted in a scrap book, held in place by paper corners. When the card was removed, some of the paper remained on the corners of the card.
On the back upper left is: KINGSPORT INN Kingsport, Tennessee.
It was printed by the Albertype Company in Brooklyn.
Those of you who used to travel West Sullivan Street know that a major widening of this venerable artery is underway. This echo of the path of the South Fork of the Holston River will become a grand boulevard to lead traffic down to where they’re hoping to get all that development going.
Anyway, my point in all this is that wall you can just see a bit of at the lower right hand corner. That wall was on the boundary of the leveled parking lot for The Little Store Supermarket built here in 1952-53 (Grand Opening was January 15, 1953). It was the second Little Store in Kingsport. The first opened in 1939 at 311 East Sullivan Street (for years afterward that building was Brown’s Custom Shop). Kermit Young started the first Little Store in Bristol in 1934. He learned the business working at his father’s grocery operation in Johnson City. Thank you, Kingsport Times-News, January 14, 1953. Note: this building was razed in 2009.
From The Little Store to Oakwood Market, all on Canal Street: this was Supermarket Row.
The photo for this postcard was taken in the mid-50s, as far as I can tell.
It’s still there, more or less, but it’s for sale as of the date of this posting. In the 1959 City Directory, this motel is listed as being owned by Esther D. and Pratt A. Hegler.
On the front: (in a cursive typeface) Greenwood Motel
(sanserif) 1840 Ft. Henry Drive KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE
On the back:
(the first part is the same as on the front)
Phone CI 6-6187
On U. S. 11W – 23 Hwys.
-Kingsport’s Most Luxurious Motel –
Beautyrest Mattresses – Ceramic Tile Baths with Tubs and Showers –
Air Conditioned – Room Phones – Free 21″ TV – Wall to Wall Carpet –
Electric Heat- Room Thermostats – Shaded Grounds – Children’s Swings – Picnic Table
The card is a TichnorGloss QUALITY VIEWS. REG. U. S. PAT. OFF. MADE ONLY BY TICHNOR BROS. INC. BOSTON 15 MASS.
Plate number is G89859