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Sunday, October 29, 2023


Community Meeting on Holding Juneteenth in Riverview

When:  Monday, October 30, 2023
Time:  6 PM to 7 PM
Place:  Riverview Community Room, Wheatley Street, Kingsport across from the pickleball courts

Pizza, tea and chips will be served.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss plans to encourage the city of Kingsport to have the Juneteenth celebration for 2024 in Riverview.

Let your voice be heard downtown and across the street.  Everyone is asked to come out and voice your opinion.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Marvin Edward Johnson remembrance


Marvin Edward Johnson of Kingsport, TN, went home to be with the Lord on October 14, 2023.  He was born on August 31, 1954, in Kingsport, TN to Robert and Margaret Johnson. 

Marvin attended Douglass Elementary School and graduated from Dobyns-Bennett High School.  He attended Tennessee State University.  He was employed by the Kingsport Press.  

Marvin was preceded in death by his father, Robert Johnson and an infant brother.  

He is survived by his mother, Margaret Johnson;  brother, Anthony “Tony” Johnson;  nephew, Drako Myrick;  great-nephews, Cason Byrd, Prince McDowell;  great-niece, Chloe Myrick;  along with a host of extended family and friends.  

A memorial tribute will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at Carter-Trent Funeral Home, 520 Watauga Street in Kingsport. 

Interment will follow at Zion Hill Cemetery.  

The family request no flowers at this time.  

Carter-Trent Funeral Home in Kingsport is serving the Johnson family.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

The Sons and Daughters of Douglass/New Vision Youth Car Show: Congratulations to the Winners!


Everybody came out a winner displaying their vehicles and visiting the Sons and Daughters of Douglass/New Vision Youth Car Show in downtown Kingsport over the weekend.  Trophies were handed out, but there were also various prize giveaways to visitors.  The event was free to the public.. donations go to the New Vision Youth and Douglass Alumni Association.

The drizzle rain tapered off around 8 AM in Kingsport, and by the start of the event at 10 AM, the pavement was dry.

Show coordinator Scooter Maxwell (above)

Everyone who registered a vehicle received a participation plaque.  Representing the New Vision Youth was 7-year old Onalycia Woodson, 2nd grader at Washington Elementary and  New Vision Youth director Johnnie Mae Swagerty.

Representing the Sons and Daughters of Douglass were Thelma Bradley, Sylvia Ann Davis, Angie Edwards, Andra Watterson, Louetta Hall and Calvin Sneed.  

Individual awards included Best Import won by Lori Lively, and Best Truck, Angela Edwards.

Larry Maxwell and his 1966 Oldsmobile was recognized for Best Old School, Best GM model and Best Kids' Choice.

Of the Top 3, Gretta Simon won the 3rd Place trophy...

2nd place went to Larry Maxwell and his '66 Oldsmobile..

And First Place went to Keith Allison with his 2019 Dodge Barracuda.  He also received a plaque for Best Dodge.

Music was provided by "DJ Cal" (hit play on the video).  Skills and moves.  Moves and skills.


Monday, October 2, 2023

UPDATE! Admission to the Douglass Alumni/New Vision Youth Car Show is FREE!


An update to the upcoming Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni/New Vision Youth Car Show on Saturday, October 14, 2023...  

General admission is now free for adults and children!  Donations will be accepted, and we ask that you do so.. The donations help fund the programs and goals of both of these non-profit organizations based right in your community.  

The cost to display your vehicle in the Car Show is still $20.

The time will be from 10 AM to 3 PM on Saturday the 14th.. rain date is Saturday, October 21st.  Come out and enjoy the vehicles, food vendors and door prizes.. Music by DJ Cal!

We've never sponsored a Car Show before, and this one will be one of the last ones this year.  In just a few short weeks, these rides will go back in the garages and basements under wraps until next spring.

It is a fundraiser, so please spread the word and come out to support us!

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Archie L. Miller remembrance

Archie L. Miller departed this life on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at his residence. 

Archie believed in God.  He never hesitated to tell anyone about the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

He was kindhearted and always willing to give what he had to those in need.  He was never lost for words and could genuinely make anyone laugh.  He had a good heart.  He loved people. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Ruth Miller;  brothers, Bobby Miller, William "Tito" Miller, and James "Junior" Miller;  sisters, Lenda Miller, Letha Miller, Cora Roderick, Margaret Anderson, and Sherley A. Gudger.

To cherish his memory, he leaves his daughters of Knoxville, TN, Ashley Brown and Anita Harris;  grandson, Quintin Brown;  granddaughters, Alanna and Qiara Brown, Terryonna Grove, and Raquel Harris; sisters, Bessie Miles (Dickie) of Yonkers, NY and Nancy R. Jones of Gastonia, NC;  brothers, David Miller (Joanne) of New York, NY and Grover Miller (Janet) of Kingsport, TN;  and longtime companion Barbara Coclough and a wonderful host of nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

Services will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 1 PM, at the Clark Funeral Chapel and Cremation Service, 802-806 East Sevier Avenue, Kingsport.  Interment will follow at the Zion Cemetery, Baileyton, TN.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Come to the Douglass Alumni/New Vision Youth Car Show! Volunteers Needed!

We need volunteers from the Douglass community and the Riverview community to help us for a few hours with crowd control and helping us direct visitors on site at the car show. This is the first time the Riverview community has ever been involved in a car show. Please contact either Calvin at or Johnnie Mae at 423-429-7553 to help make this fundraiser a success.
The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association and the New Vision Youth of Kingsport will hold a Car Show on Saturday, October 14, 2023 in downtown Kingsport from 10 AM to 3 PM. The location is the Cherokee Street Parking lot, 175 Cherokee Street, Kingsport. Owners of every classic vehicle from restored antiques to 50's, 60's and 70's muscle cars, to your granddaddy's Olds Cutlass to Uncle Henry's Buick, to Aunt Martha's Studebaker, to your great-granddaddy's Model T, to your brother's 4 x 4 are invited to display those marvelous machines. All vehicles are welcome!
It costs $20 to display your vehicle, and general admission for the public is $10 dollars for adults, kids under 10 are free. Trophies and plaques will be presented to the Top 3 Best of Show, Kids Favorite, Best in Top 25, along with Best Import, Best Ford, GMC, Chrysler-Dodge, and Best Hot Rod.
This is the place where classic meets custom! There will also be a 50/50 Raffle, food vendors and various giveaways. Rain date will be Saturday, October 21st. Bring the family to buckle up and enjoy the ride! Proceeds benefit the programs of the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association and the New Vision Youth Group. For more information, contact Calvin Sneed at or Johnnie Mae Swagerty at 423-429-7553 or

Monday, September 4, 2023

Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Meeting this coming Saturday

The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association will have its regularly scheduled Board meeting this coming Saturday, September 9, 2023.

The meeting will be at 1 PM, in the Eastman Board Room on the second floor of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex Tower, 301 Louis Street in Kingsport.

Please spread the word.

---Douglas Releford, president

Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association, Kingsport

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Sons & Daughters of Douglass - New Vision Youth CAR SHOW!


No matter where you are in the Tri-Cities or upper East Tennessee-Southwest Virginia, come show off your restored or tricked-out ride at the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni-New Vision Youth Car Show on Saturday, October 14, 2023 (rain date Saturday, October 21st).  

Everybody is invited to come out and look at the cars and trucks.. the time is from 10 AM to 3 PM.

All vehicles are welcome!

The admission is FREE for adult general admission, children are also free.   We will be accepting donations.   It only costs $20 to display your vehicle in the show.

The 1st Place Trophy of the Top 3:

The 2nd Place and 3rd Place Trophies of the Top 3:

Even the kids get to pick their 1st Place favorite vehicles:

Winners for specific vehicle brands will also get awards: Best Hot Rod, Best GM, Best Ford, Best Chrysler-Dodge, Best Import, Best GMC.  All of the vehicle owner-entrants get a recognition:

The location is 175 Cherokee Street in downtown Kingsport.. it's in the parking lot beside Bellafina's Chocolates on Cherokee Street, in the back of Kingsport Armature on Market Street, and across from the old Rascals Club on Cumberland Street.  

Food trucks will also be on site; also other audience participation events will be going on.

Proceeds from your donations will go to fund programs of the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association and the New Vision Youth.  This is the first time that both organizations have partnered to put on a car show... please show your support by coming out and donating.  

We hear them cars in the neighborhood all the time.. come on out and finally see them on display LOL!

Also, we need VOLUNTEERS to help us set up the event, maintain the grounds, then tear down at the end.  The Douglass Alumni and the New Vision Youth Group need your help and support.  We thank you for your participation in this "first of a kind" endeavor.

Questions?  Email:

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Icey Belle!


The Riverview community has its newest centenarian!

Happy 100th birthday to Mrs. Icey Belle Jones, who has just celebrated a century of God's Grace on earth.

Her birthday was celebrated by all of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond at the V.O. Dobbins Community Center.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Betti Jean Dunn remembrance


We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our mother, Ms. Betti Jean Dunn.  She passed away peacefully, at the age of 69, in her Kingsport, Tennessee home. 

Betti is survived by her sister, Mrs. Alfreda Wilson; sons Behm-Azis Dunn, and wife Tiffany, N'Kobi Dunn, and wife Sara and Rashid Dunn, and wife Jennifer; 4 nieces, Curshina, Kanjuette, Aisha, and Taneshia; 14 grandchildren; and numerous cousins. 

What our mother loved most was spending time with friends & family, traveling, and tending to her many flowers.  Gladiolus were her favorite.

To honor Betti Jean's memory the family is holding a Celebration of Life service on Sunday, August 6, 2023, at Clark Funeral Chapel & Cremation Service, 802-806 E. Sevier Ave. Kingsport, Tennessee, from 2 pm until 3 pm.  

We invite anyone who may have shared a laugh, hug, or smile with our dear mother to attend and remember her wonderful life.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

James W. "Jimmy" Deal, Jr. remembrance


It is with sadness that we announce the transition of James W. “Jimmy” Deal, Jr, 82 of Kingsport, who entered eternal rest on Monday, August 7, 2023.

 Jimmy was a graduate of Douglass High School, Kingsport.  He served his country in the US Air Force and after returning he married his high school sweetheart and they were happily married for 59 years.  He was an electrician at Domtar for 55 years before his retirement in 2020.

Jimmy was a devoted father and grandfather and loved to visit his children and grandchildren in Nashville.  He was a DB football fan and loved the Tennessee Titans.  You could find him every Saturday morning picking up breakfast at Bojangles.  Jimmy attended many music events in the Tri-Cities.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James W. Deal, Sr. and Lillian Long “Roberta” Deal; sister, L. Yvonne Deal; son, James “Trippy” Deal; grandsons, Terrence and Liam Deal.

Survivors include his loving wife, Athenia “Tina” Deal of the home; children, Ingrid Rogers, Nikki (Steven) Lawson, Kip (Davita) Deal, Torre (Malasya) Deal and Dustin Deal; sister, Charlyne Edwards; 17 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; aunt, Helen Bunting; sister-in-law, Luvinia Yarborough; uncle, Willard C. Long, Sr.; along with a host of nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 1:30 pm on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at Central Baptist Church located at 301 Carver Street, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660.  A funeral service will follow with Pastor Perry Stuckey officiating. 

A military graveside service will follow at Oak Hill Memorial Park with honors conducted by American Legion Hammond Post #3/265.  Pallbearers will be William Carpenter, James Henry, Scotty Edwards, Zach Casey, Jason Robertson, Jason Maxwell, and Lester Bailey.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the ICU nurses at Holston Valley Hospital, Zach Casey, Kelsey and Carla Casey, and Dot Wilmer for their loving care.

It is in dying that we are born into eternal life-St. Francis of Assisi.

Carter-Trent Funeral Home downtown, Kingsport is serving the Deal family.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Ethel Ruth Russell remembrance


Ethel Ruth Russell was born May 11, 1934, to Corinne Johnson in Kingsport, Tennessee.  From a young age she was cared for by Florida “Mamaw” Lyle.

Ethel Ruth graduated from Douglass High School and played basketball for the Douglass Tigerettes.  After graduating high school, Ethel Ruth worked for many establishments.  She would go on to retire from Eastman Chemical Company after 38 years of service.

Ethel Ruth served on the Sons and Daughters of Douglas Alumni Board for many years and was a member of the Daughters of Elks Dunbar Temple #344.

Ethel Ruth accepted Christ as her Savior at a young age.  She was a member of St. Mark Methodist Church in Kingsport, where she loved to sing in the choir and serve.

 In her leisure time, she enjoyed cooking for her family and church and spending time with those she loved.

Ethel Ruth departed this side of life on Friday, July 28, 2023.  She was preceded in death by her mother, Corinne Johnson; adopted mother, Florida Phipps "Mamaw" Lyle; brothers, Charles Lyle, Willie B. Lyle, and John Henry Lyle Jr.; sisters, Helen Underwood Fain, Shirley Liggette, and Vada Watterson; very special friend, Mr. Ray Leeper; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

To cherish her memories, Ethel Ruth leaves her loving children, Sherry Lynn Russell, Robin Nadine Russell, Teresa Diane Russell, and Wendell Scott (Gladys) Russell; grandchildren, Dion Russell, Koran Willis, Yerusha Dujon, Esther Rodolphe, Jesse Dujon, and Zion Dujon; great-grandchildren, Briasha Russell, King Russell, Prince Russell, Kingston Neale, Keenan, Ben, Eli Phillips, Bianca Russell, Aniya Stidhil, S. Cornett, Ny’zareyah Rodolphe, Da’Kari Dixon, Diy’lon Dixon, and Autumn Willis; special niece, Doris Calloway; one great-great-grandchild; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to close family and friends, Francis Hankins, Gladys Gambrell, Jane Goodwin, Ethel Skaggs, Monique Henry, Alicia and Damya Camp, William Odem, Judy Blye, the Mabry family, the Carnes family, Jennifer Calloway, her St. Mark United Methodist Church family, and her healthcare providers.

Professional care of Ms. Ethel Ruth Russell and family are entrusted to Clark Funeral Chapel and Cremation Service, Inc., (423) 245-4971.

"Cement Hill... the City on a Hill"; In Memory of Mrs. Ethel Ruth Russell

In memory of Mrs. Ethel Ruth Russell, who passed away back on Friday, July 28th, 2023, we are repeating the article below on her life growing up on Cement Hill beside Riverview.  The article written by your website host, first appeared on the Douglass website, on January 17th, 2014.  "Miss Ethel Ruth" was a longtime Kingsport resident, Eastman employee, Riverview resident, Douglass graduate, Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association board member, and everybody's favorite cook: 


By Calvin Sneed


"The houses on Cement Hill were not shanties.. they were just houses like anybody else's."

Looking at Cement Hill from downtown Kingsport, you would not have known there were many homes on the hill's summitt. That's because former Cement Hill resident Ethel Ruth Russell says, none of the houses faced downtown.

"There were homes on the top of the hill, but not in the front of it facing downtown," she says. "I guess they (the city) figured it would make the downtown look bad, so they didn't let them build houses on the town side. They were all on the back side.

Mrs. Russell was born in Kingsport, and lived on Cement Hill until she was 11 or 12 years old. She admits to not remembering a whole lot about "life on the hill" that early.  She does say the homes were nice and comfortable, even though they were close together, and everybody "had it pretty easy."


Most of the homes on Cement Hill in the 1930's and 40's, Mrs. Russell says, were on the south side facing the Holston River and the railroad track and bridges connecting Tennessee Eastman with the Holston Army Ammunition plant. There was no Industry Drive, she remembers.. only a narrow dirt road at the base of the hill that really didn't go anywhere, but it had hog pens, vegetable gardens and storage areas.

"Most of our neighbors were black families," she says. "There were maybe 2 or 3 white families, but there were more blacks than whites. Most of the black families were all from South Carolina that came to work in Kingsport. At my house, it was me, my grandfather Reed Alexander, my mother Corrine, and my uncle June in our little house."


Mrs. Russell says, everybody who lived on Cement Hill, worked for the nearby Penn-Dixie Cement Plant, which owned the land on the hill. Of course, this is not surprising in Kingsport. The homes of Borden Village were built to house the workers of the nearby Borden Mills Plant.. the homes of Fort Robinson and West View Park housed workers for the downtown Mead Paper plant and the Kingsport Press.. and although Tennessee Eastman workers were scattered throughout the city, Green Acres, Litz Manor, Greenfields, Fair Acres, Ridgefields tended to get more concentrated populations of Eastman workers.

But many Penn-Dixie Cement workers had the convenience of living in homes, on land owned by their company that was very nearby. Mrs. Russell says, the only person who lived on Cement Hill, but did not work at Penn-Dixie was Eddie Ervin. He was the mail carrier.

FIRST GRADE ROSTER:  Some students who
lived on Cement Hill, others in the new Riverview Apartments

Family was important, living that close together on Cement Hill. Apparently, just like in the Riverview Community that had just been started just next door, Cement Hill was one big family. "Our next door neighbors were the Rays, Henry Ray, Ronnie Ray -- they called him 'Chicken' Ray," says Mrs. Russell. "The McClintocks also lived there on the side of the hill. Levenus and them all lived there, because Uncle Edgar had a job at the cement plant, too."

She says, when she was born, her family had arrived from Woodruff, South Carolina just a little while earlier. Her grandfather also came to work for Penn-Dixie Cement.

"My grandfather Reed Alexander, was a well-respected man," she says. "I always called him 'Pap.' I used to roll his cigarettes with this little machine he had. He never called me Ethel or Ruth, he called me 'Daughter' even though I was his granddaughter. In the house with us, was my uncle June and my mom Corrine. I did not know my grandmother much.. I was only about 2 or 3 years old, but I been told that I was the best-dressed little girl around. She belonged to the Holiness Church and I would go with her and I was dressed nice from head to toe. My uncle June also dressed nice.. a sharp dressed man. He used to shine shoes at Jason Taylor's hat shop."


Mrs. Russell does not remember a lot of cars around Cement Hill, but she does remember a foot bridge between the hill and downtown Kingsport. "Scared to death of it," she laughs. "I used to crawl under the trains, just to keep from walking that bridge. It was too high up, I guess, but I sure didn't like to cross the tracks on it. I guess I was too young to know that it was probably fine to use it, but I saw it the first time and I hated it. They couldn't have dragged me across it. Eveyrbody else used it, though, going back and forth to downtown."


Mrs. Russell attended Douglass Elementary School, when it was "up on East Walnut Avenue and the Bristol Highway (the corner is now East Sevier Avenue and East Center Street), and sometimes I would just walk to school from home. Other times, I would just call a Gilliam's Cab. Pap had an account with Gilliam's, and whenever I need one, it was right there. Gilliam's came in handy too, when I started going over to Riverview from home. Me and Janie Goodwin became good friends because we were in the same grade, and I started spending the night with her and her mother and Miss Bly. When I started coming over, the last memories I had of Cement Hill, was staying with Florida Lytle. She lived in Riverview Apartments #46. Since I was 11 years old, I would come over and stay with her because I was best friends with Janie."


Many people knew that African-Americans lived on Cement Hill, but nobody had heard about what life was like there. Peaceful... calm... but what was the history of Cement Hill before anybody lived on it? Oddly enough.. it shares the same form of history as its successor, Riverview.

"The top part where you went to observe and take pictures from, Calvin" says out-going Kingsport City Manager John Campbell, "was pretty much a covered landfill. In fact, there are 3 landfills that Domtar has to monitor on a regular basis, and that would pretty prohibit any future development up there, except a passive recreation area. That's where we feel the future lies for Cement Hill."


He says, the idyllic life like Mrs. Russell and her neighbors lived would not be possible on the Cement Hill of today.

Campbell says, the Kingsport Leadership Group had developed some creative plans for putting housing on Cement Hill, but he says he's pretty sure that Domtar, the current owner of the property would ban that because of the landfill monitoring. "Some people say there's a lot of bad stuff in those landfills, but we (the city) doesn't know of anything other than routine, general miscellaneous materials that go into landfills," he says. "They are clearly marked, and they have been monitored in TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conversation) files. We have look through those files, and that's why we are looking at passive trails because with that, you can work around most landfill issues."


When the ballfields are built on the General Shale site, Campbell says, the athletic theme would fit in nicely with Cement Hill.

"We actually have some money set aside to purchase Cement Hill at what we think is a reasonable price," he says, "although we're not sure Domtar thinks it's reasonable. There's also money set aside to do a master plan. Our vision has been for the past two years is a passive recreation area for the most part, with walking trails and mountain biking trails. The idea of taking advantage of the views with some picnic shelters and overlooks is a good one. Also, planting trees in certain ways that would look good in artwork, even a waterfall there at the train station, have been talked about."

"The idea of developing Cement Hill, in conjunction with the new ballfields is a good one," Campbell says, "and it's definitely an idea we're considering."


"I wouldn't mind seeing the history of Cement Hill preserved in any development they build," says former resident Ethel Ruth Russell. "I've never really thought about going back up there, other than just passing by on Industry Drive. Every time I do, I think about the gardens, the nice homes, and of course the hogpens."

"There's not too much to look at now, except a bare hill. Maybe that will change back to the nice area I knew, growing up."


Annual Community Cookoff Cookout announcement