Johnson City’s proud heritage dates back to the years of American colonization. William Bean, Tennessee’s first colonizer, built his cabin along Boone’s Creek in 1768, and Henry Johnson officially founded the city in 1856 as a railroad station called “Johnson’s Depot.” The city served as a major rail hub for the Southeast, was officially incorporated in 1869, and grew rapidly from 1870 to 1890 alongside the mining and railroad industries.
Today, Johnson City pays homage to its roots with historical landmarks, museums, tributes to Appalachian culture, and local experts who interpret these stories for future generations. At the same time, Johnson City continues to innovate for the future as a world-class hub for outdoor recreation, a bustling college town, and a vibrant community full of Southern charm. Make sure to learn more about Johnson City’s history on your next trip!