Johnson City 150

Johnson City 150

Johnson City Sesquicentennial Commission

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150_logoThe City of Johnson City was founded on Dec. 1, 1869 in Northeast Tennessee, where three railroads — the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, the Clinchfield, and the Southern Railway — converged. This year, the City of Johnson City will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its establishment with a yearlong celebration, and community members are invited to take part in activities to celebrate the City’s past, present and future.

To view a list of the monthly themes click here.  Upcoming events are listed below and will be updated as events are finalized.


  • March 20  A Business Showcase will be held 4-7 p.m. at the Carnegie Hotel. Thirty vendors will be set up to tell the story of Johnson City’s business community – where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going. The event is FREE and open to the public. Food and drinks will be provided by local Johnson City restaurants and breweries.
  • March 26 Business and Biscuits will be held 6:30-8 p.m. at the Maple Street Biscuit Company. Hosted by the Young Professionals of the Tri-Cities this event is part of a three-part series focused on topics relating to professional development. The featured speaker will be Lisa Carter, CEO of Niswonger Children's Hospital. Tickets are $15 and include access to the all you can eat Build Your Own Biscuit Bar. 
  • March 28 The Regional Excellence Awards, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce serving Johnson City-Jonesborough-Washington County TN, will be held at the Millennium Centre.  Find more information at the Chamber’s website,
  • April 6 Johnson City Community Service Day. More details to come.
  • April 6 The Sesquicentennial Headquarters, 309 E. Main St., will be open to the public 1-4 p.m.. On display are the contents from the 1969 time capsule and historic photos. 
  • April 27 The Sesquicentennial Headquarters, 309 E. Main St., will be open to the public 1-4 p.m.. On display are the contents from the 1969 time capsule and historic photos. 
  • April 27 Henry Johnson’s Birthday Celebration will be held 3-5p.m. at King Commons. This will be an 1800s themed party featuring live music, a scavenger hunt, train rides for children as well as arts and crafts activities. Attendees will also have the opportunity to record a video message to be included in the 2019 time capsule. 
  • May 10 Sesquicentennial Celebration Concert will be held 7 p.m. at Central Baptist Church, 300 N. Roan St.. 
  • May 27 Memorial Day dedication. 9 a.m. at the Doughboy Statue in Memorial Park.
  • July 22 The Tri-City Beverage Story: A History of Dr. Enuf and Mountain Dew in Johnson City at Reece Museum. The exhibit will run through Sept. 13.
  • October 1 Johnson City: Then and Now at Reece Museum. An exhibition in partnership with the Archives of Appalachia at ETSU featuring archival and same-site contemporary photographs of downtown Johnson City. Exhibit runs through Dec. 20
  • September 11 Remembrance/Patriots Day. 7:30 a.m. at the Amphitheater in Memorial Park.
  • October Johnson City Sessions Music Event. More details to come.
  • November 9 Second Annual American Legion Veterans Day Parade. 11 a.m. 
  • November 30 Black Tie Gala. More details to come.
  • December 1 Johnson City Birthday Celebration. More details to come.
East Tennessee State University Department of History is sponsoring its second History Harvest, an effort to locate and digitally preserve documents, photographs, artifacts, and personal and family histories. The title of this year’s effort is “Johnson City’s History Harvest: Preserving Our Heritage.” Learn more here.

Sesquicentennial Commission launches legacy project fundraising campaign

Johnson City’s Sesquicentennial Commission is offering citizens a chance to leave behind a legacy as part of the City’s 150th birthday.

A two-part Legacy Project located in the King Commons area of downtown will include a Natural Adventure Area with state-of-the-art play features to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for people of all ages and abilities as well as a History Plaza that will incorporate important historical dates and facts relevant to Johnson City’s heritage.

“We were tasked with designing a project that would honor our City’s history while fueling its future by nourishing the local economy and encouraging community engagement,” said Donna Noland, a member of the Sesquicentennial Commission Fundraising Committee. “The design and features included in this Legacy Project reflect the interests and suggestions of residents and business owners, and upon completion will serve as a tangible reminder of this milestone birthday.”

As the engineering and design phase for the project nears completion, the Fundraising Committee is asking community members and businesses to support the project through monetary or in-kind donations. Naming rights of play features are also up for grabs.

Noting the project’s proximity to the public library, designers have included an outdoor classroom and a storybook station in the Natural Adventure Area as well as more traditional playground items such as a slide, climbing features, and a musical play area.

The History Plaza prominently features the three-star emblem of the Tennessee state flag, which was designed by Johnson City resident LeRoy Reeves. Stone bands circling an ornamental dome would highlight significant events and people in City history.

Community Involvement

The Johnson City Sesquicentennial Commission needs your input as they prepare for next year’s celebration. If your church, club or other organization is planning a Sesquicentennial-themed event or activity in 2019, please send details to to be included in promotional materials.