Posted by on Jan 22, 2013 in Historic Sites | 0 comments

Bristol VA-TN Historic Sign

From Wikipedia: “The Bristol Virginia-Tennessee Slogan Sign is a landmark in the twin cities of Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee, USA. The sign is positioned over State Street, a roadway along the border separating the two states. In 1988, the landmark was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Although the landmark is technically located in both Tennessee and Virginia, the National Register considers the location as Tennessee. In 1901, the center of Main Street was officially designated as the state line separating Tennessee and Virginia by the United States Congress. The street has since been renamed as State Street.”

GPS coordinates: +36° 35′ 41.71″, -82° 10′ 46.57″

Link to the Facebook page for the 100th Anniversary of the sign

Bristol VA-TN Sign

From the Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau website:

“In 1910 the Bristol Gas and Electric Company donated an electric sign to the community of Bristol.  The Bristol Sign was erected on the Interstate Hardware Company building near the railroad tracks off of State Street and originally showcased the slogan ‘PUSH! THAT’S BRISTOL!’

“Five years later, the owners of the hardware company asked that the sign be moved due to possible damage to their building. In 1915 the Bristol Sign was moved to its current location rising 25 feet over the line dividing the states of Virginia and Tennessee on State Street.  At the time it was noted as one of the largest signs in the nation.

“Through the years the sign was the center of praise and on occassion a good laugh.  From time to time some of the lights would go out and the sign would spell ‘PU__! THAT’S BRISTOL!’ or ‘__SH THAT’S BRISTOl!’ In 1921  the Bristol Advertising Club offered a contest for the best new slogan for the sign.  The winning slogan was ‘A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE.’  The second most popular suggestion was ‘THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE.’ The club chose the first because they felt it was ‘modest in claim, and truthful in statement.’

“In 1988 the sign was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Today the sign is maintained by both Bristol, TN and Bristol, VA.”

Bristol VA-TN Sign Marker 1

This marker is on the northwest corner of State Street and MLK Boulevard. “Landmark Bridge between two states. Erected 1910. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior September 8, 1988. Marker in memory of Mattie and Jim Owens, Bristol Historical Association.” A small placard beneath the bronze marker reads: “Bristol Sign has been registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark pursuant to the authority vested in the Virginia Historic Landmarks Board.”

Photos by Sharon Steele-Smith.


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