Monthly Archives: March 2016

Hello, Bank!


Construction work brings to light the facade of a structure built in 1927 at 209 Broad Street.  The date is in the escutcheon above the remains of the front door. Originally, there were white columns on either side of the building, in front of the facade.

There was a building boom on Broad Street in 1927 and both Kingsport National Bank and this, The Farmers and Merchants Bank, opened up around June of that year.  In 1945, it became Sullivan County Bank. At some later date, it was home to Harris & Graves Insurance.  By 1959, it was the Moore & Walker Insurance building.

Garrett & Garrett Attorneys, as you can see, had the upper floor.

Diamond Cabs


In the 1959 City Directory, the address of “Gillam (sic) and Diamond Cabs” (it’s Hinch Gilliam again…he was also managing Friendly Cabs up on Brooks Circle) was shown as 328 East Sullivan Street.  It was behind the old Trailways (Union) Bus Terminal on Cherokee Street, where the Greyhound Bus Station is now, sort of.

Anyway, there were seven cab companies listed for Kingsport in 1959: Friendly Cabs at 1725 Ft. Henry Drive, Gilliam and Diamond Cabs at 328 East Sullivan, City Cabs in Highland Park, Lynn Garden Cabs, 1212 Lynn Garden Drive, Nick’s Cabs in Highland Park, West View Cabs at 140 Fairview and Yellow Cab Company at 124 West Market (I think it was behind where the Nutty Java shop is now).

The “Roberts” was my stepfather.  He drove a cab off-and-on, until his ship came in.  After he was escorted off the ship later, broke again, he never went back to driving cabs.  He told me once that, back then, he never went into Long Island after dark.  It was a rough place, he thought, awash with bootleggers and blackguards.