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The City of Bristol (Classic Reprint)

The City of Bristol (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The City of Bristol

Bristol's growing importance as a commercial and industrial city may be considered as dating from the beginning of the present century. Fourteen years of steady and spirited progress in the new century have put the village days of this community in the well-defined past. The locality and the region were destined from the logic of the situation to make Bristol not only an important trade and industrial center, but the gateway to vast resources in the mountains and valleys of the Southern Appalachian region. Being on the dividing line between Virginia and Tennessee, Bristol had its birth in what is recognized by authorities on American history as the westward path of the march of civilization on the continent of North America. The building of the first railroad southward from New York followed in part the route of the old stage coach line. By Joseph R. Anderson, the founder of Bristol, this location, which was the meeting point for two distinct sections of the most important railroad of the times, was recognized as a promising location for a city. From an obscure beginning, some sixty years ago, Bristol has sprung into prominence as one among the most prosperous and most promising business communities in the south, and now, because of the important highway developments of recent years, whose lines center here as the gateway to the great region of the Southern Appalachians, is recognized as the gateway for tourists, who are coming more and more each year to explore the grand chain of mountains stretching away to the south along the Tennessee-Carolina border.

With just such a combination of mountains and valleys as form Bristol's environment, it is not surprising that there has sprung-up here a splendid city, with ever enlarging opportunities and prospects. The conditions have been entirely favorable, not alone from the viewpoint of establishing a commercial and industrial center, but from that of civic and home life. Under the most promising stretch of skies in any portion of the Southland, Bristol has become a city of inviting proportions, with many substantial and costly structures in the business district, and with numerous handsome and costly homes in the several residence districts. With such buildings, representing an investment of multiplied millions of dollars, have come the civic and public improvements incident to the best spirit of progress. These include miles of paved streets, many miles of substantial concrete sidewalks, parks, an electric car service and a brilliant lighting system; an array of handsome and costly churches, representing every denomination; a substantial and thorough system of public schools and a trio of institutions for higher education, which schools have attracted boys and girls seeking an education from about twenty states of the Union. Both the Bristol business and home life are made more inviting by reason of the fact that, aside from the wealth of natural resources that back up the community, the entire surrounding country is rich from the viewpoint of agriculture, so that the products of the soil have added in a material way to Bristol as a market, although farming and agriculture upon modern lines and in accordance with scientific methods are as yet but in their infancy in the region.

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