Have you ever heard of Winston Terrace subdivision?

J. H. Osborne • Feb 17, 2019 at 6:00 PM

I’d noticed the photo before when flipping through my treasured copy of the 1951 book published by the Kingsport Rotary to promote the city. And I wondered where the street in the photo was located. Other than time away at school and a summer in Europe, I’ve spent my whole life here. And I knew I’d never heard of Winston Terrace or seen its entrance flanked by large brick ... well, whatever you call large brick things that mark subdivision entrances.

Turns out I’ve been driving through Winston Terrace as long as I could drive and was pedaling through on my bicycle years before that. But the brick entrance things are gone, best I can tell. Unless someone has ’em hidden behind some pretty thick bushes.

It turns out, Winston Terrace was a big deal when its first six model homes opened in April 1937. Many area businesses placed large advertisements in the Kingsport Times to congratulate the developers and encourage would-be homeowners to consider making Winston Terrace — described repeatedly as “the largest development in the South” — their new home.

Dobyns-Taylor “presented” one of the model homes as “House of Maple,” a “modern home completely furnished with Early American maple furniture.” The everything-store’s ad trumpeted “Truly a Colonial Home” with a large living room, three bedrooms and a large dining room, all fully furnished with “completely livable” maple furniture.

Montgomery Ward’s ad touted that the company’s “air conditioned furnaces” had been installed in all the Winston Terrace homes. “Air conditioning for your home!”

Ward, like Dobyns-Taylor, was on Broad Street back then. So was J.C. Penney, J. Fred Johnson Department Store, Nettie Lee Shop (in the Freels building), Jarrett Furniture Company, Sterchi Brothers, Morgan’s Department Store, the Strand Theatre, Holston Drug Store, Freels Drug Store, and Kress 5-10-25-Store. They all ran ads celebrating the opening of Winston Terrace. So did Tennessee Eastman Corporation, the Mead Corporation, Ball Brothers (of State Street in Bristol) and Golden Rule Grocery, Five Points.

Inter-Mountain Telephone Company took out a full-page ad proclaiming “Everybody’s Talking,” presumably about Winston Terrace, and boasting, “Kingsport telephone operators answer 20,000 calls daily.”

The model homes opened on a Wednesday in a ceremony featuring an array of local dignitaries and ... Arthur Bulova, chairman of the board of directors of the Bulova Watch Company and  the board of directors of Kingsport Insured Homes Corporation, the major backer of the development. Bulova hosted a dinner at the Kingsport Inn the night before the model homes were opened. Promotional materials and news stories at the time made much of the spacious lots and attention to landscaping that would make Winston Terrace stand out among other developments. One article from that week noted Mrs. John B. Dennis personally oversaw the landscaping efforts. Mrs. Dennis was a landscape architect, a profession which had brought her to Kingsport in its earliest days as a modern city. She arrived single. By 1929, she’d married the city founder who recruited her to help create Kingsport.

Back in 1937, an article in the Kingsport Times noted Winston Terrace’s location as “on Highway 81 at the south end of the country club golf course.”

The 1951 Rotary book states Winston Terrace was completed in 1944 and consisted of 31 dwellings, varying in type and all owner-occupied. The book describes Winston Terrace as “skirting the Greenfields development to the south and extending westward from old State Highway 81.” (Greenfields replaced the golf course mentioned above.) The area, it notes, was annexed into the city in 1950.

I’m wondering if that later led to the removal of the brick entrance I’d noticed in the photo and couldn’t place.

I think it was located at what is now Pineola Avenue’s intersection with present-day Eastman Road.

I did a little more research, using the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s online property data search. I looked for property in Sullivan County identified as being in the Winston Terrace subdivision. Voila! There I had my definitive answer: 72 homes, all but two located in the 1600 blocks of Pineola, Carolina, and East Sevier avenues. The other two: on Midland.

J.H. Osborne covers Sullivan County government for the Times News. Email him at [email protected]

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