It’s actually 950 acres, according to current information. This is mid- to late-60s.
Tennessee acquired the land for the park in 1952. Fort Patrick Henry Lake was fully impounded in 1953.
Looking over old maps of this area, I found that Duck Island didn’t exist, as an island, before the impounding of the lake. It was just the eastern shore of the South Fork of the Holston River above Wexler Bend. And somewhere in there, it got ducks.
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.
Here we area at 3109 Bristol Hi-way in the late 40s or early 50s. Published by Fred W. Stanley, Johnson City, Tenn. It’s a Dextone “Made Direct from Kodachrome and Ansco Color By Dexter Press, Inc. West Nyack, N.J.” Postally unused.
On the back:
MODEL CITY MOTEL
New and Strictly Modern
Located 1 1/2 miles from downtown Kingsport, Tenn. on U.S. Hi-way 11-W. Away from the city noise. For reservations, phone 4309 or write Model City Motel, 3109 Bristol Hi-way, Kingsport, Tenn. Owned and operated by Charlie Chase and James McAinch.
(The “McAinch” is a typo. It should be “McAninch”. In 1959 Charlie Chase and Bobby McAninch were listed as the owners of this bide-a-wee)