Town with a Split Personality

Bristol is a town that straddles the state-line between Tennessee and Virginia. The state-line marker is literally in-between the yellow lines going down Main Street!

Bristol TN/VA



Bristol is a quaint little town, lots of restaurants and shops and lovely old old buildings and signs still hanging on the buildings. Here’s some of the old signs I loved…


The Paramount Theater is on the TN side… Bristol TN/VA

The Cameo Theater is on the Virginia…
Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA Pretty tree-lined streets Bristol TN/VA

Bristol is the birthplace of country music…
Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

We ate dinner at a little burger joint that’s call to fame is as the place Hank Williams ate his last meal before heading on to his last concert, which he never made as he passed away in the back seat of the car. There are many different stories about what happened that night, but I found THIS article with the story recounted by his driver that night. Sounds like the driver stopped there and got something to eat, but Hank didn’t even go in. It was still fun eating there. It was opened in 1942. The burgers were fantastic!

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA

There is a historic Woolworth lunch counter and soda fountain there too but it was closed the day we were there. The only day of the week it is closed 😦  I would have loved to eat there, next time! Bristol TN/VA

Bristol has an old railway station. It no longer acts as a station but is rented out for events. Trains still come chugging right next to it though and we were lucky to be there when one did. A man came out of the station while we were standing outside watching the train and took us inside for a tour of the old station and told us as much as he knew about it. The station now standing was built in 1902. It is the fourth depot, the first one opening in 1856. It was burned down in the Civil War during Stoneman’s raid in 1864. You can read about the history of the train station HERE.

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA Bristol TN/VA

Bristol TN/VA

Of course Bristol TN. is known for the Bristol Motor Speedway where NASCAR races are held…

Bristol TN/VA

There was a Confederate Hospital in Bristol on the TN side during the Civil War. What a shame that building is no longer around! Soldiers that died there are buried in East Hill Cemetery. We didn’t have time to go there. I’d love to though next time. I love old cemeteries. Bristol TN/VA

Tennessee Ernie Ford was born (1919) and raised in a small house in Bristol TN. It’s open to the public, but we didn’t get there either. He was a singer and TV host. Best known for the song Sixteen Tons I think. You can listen to him sing it HERE.

We’ll go back and roam around again and see the things we missed last time. Hope you enjoyed the day in Bristol as much as I did!

8 thoughts on “Town with a Split Personality

  1. I absolutely loved this post! So much happened in one place. The music story is just great. Kinda sad to think how someone as famous as TEF was might not be known at all by younger people. “Bless your little pea-pickin’ heart” I didn’t look it up – but I’m quite sure he used to say that. It seems that Bristol has really done a wonderful job preserving its history. So often buildings and stories are lost forever. As a vegetarian, I judge all diners by their French fries! I think I remember every fry I’ve ever eaten. haha


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