This & That

Story published: 08-28-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Swift writes about the Mountain City of yesteryear

By Jack Swift

It is interesting to me to think about how Mountain City looked in the period of horse and buggy before the automobile came on the scene. There was time when unpaved roads were the norm in Johnson County and a picture I have of downtown Mountain City shows how it was circa 1900. The photo shows muddy streets and while it is impossible to see in the picture, it is very possible that there were board sidewalks. No doubt there were hitching posts since the horse was a staple in those days. Riding a horse or riding in a horse drawn vehicle would have been the choices of folks. Oh, walking was probably popular also. I suppose there was great deal of that in those days.

The picture I have shows on the left a large wooden building with a sign that reads, “Mountain City Inn.” The view appears to be toward the east on Main Street. Another picture I have appears to have been taken on Church Street looking north. A sign reads, “London Stoffle Hardware.” A wagon drawn by a team of horses sits in front of the business.

Another photo I have has a scene reminiscent of the railroads days in Johnson County and Mountain City. It shows a wooden train car with folks looking out the windows and doors.

Suffice it to say, Mountain City was far different than it is now. What would it have been like to live when there were no cars, no air conditioning, no telephone, no electric power, no radio, no television, none of other conveniences that we take for granted now.

I guess the saying, “You never miss what you’ve never had,” is very true.

While I’m on the subject of early Mountain City, I want to mention another picture I have. Apparently there were a few automobiles around the time of the picture. The picture is of the old Johnson County courthouse. It shows several people around the courthouse and one lone car — it looks like a T Model. What the occasion was is anyone’s guess. Perhaps court was being held then.