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Today in Johnson City History: November 18

Rebecca Henderson and Johnson City Press • Nov 18, 2019 at 5:45 AM

Nov. 18, 1886: The young men of Johnson City were organizing a rollerskating club. They had leased the first floor of the old Austin factory building and were refitted it for rink purposes.

Nov. 18, 1909: The Comet reported that six passengers barely escaped with their lives when an accommodation train collided with a work train on the Virginia and Southwestern Railway in Bluff City. Having brief warning, the passengers jumped and a moment later the engine pulling the work train was torn to splinters.

Nov. 18, 1948: Mrs. Carrie M. Pace, a secretary with the law firm of Cox, Taylor, Epps and Miller, corresponded with the Harman Fur Farms in Christiansburg, Virginia, regarding the mink scarves that she had recently ordered.

Nov. 18, 1980: The Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice began the first day of a six-day run at Freedom Hall Civic Center. More than 17,000 fans enjoyed the performances.

Nov. 18, 1993: Construction bids for the city’s new Mountain View Elementary School came in higher than expected, as the city had budgeted $6 million for the project and furnishings. The bid placed the total estimate at $8.4 million. That’s the equivalent of about $15 million in 2019.

Nov. 18, 2010: Ground was ceremoniously broken on a new 4,800-square-foot student study center adjacent to the Quillen College of Medicine’s Stanton-Gerber Hall on the Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus. The $1.5 million building was largely funded by fees medical students imposed upon themselves. Alumni had donated money, too.

Sources: The Comet; Archives of Appalachia, Cox-Painter-Adams Family Papers; Bobbie H. Shirley, Freedom Hall; Johnson City Press.