Sesquicentennial Commission to observe Henry Johnson’s birthday


The Sesquicentennial Commission is celebrating our founding father’s birthday with an 1800s-themed birthday party at King Commons, 112 N. Commerce St., from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, April 27.

Henry Johnson was an entrepreneur and is credited with the founding of Johnson City. In addition to being a long-serving postmaster, he operated a store, hotel and the first railroad depot in the City. In 1870, Johnson was elected as the City’s first mayor.

“This event is full of activities for people of all ages that are reminiscent of the time period when Johnson City was founded,” said Sesquicentennial Commissioner Dianna Cantler. “Those in attendance will enjoy live music as well as learn dances and play games popular during the 1800s.”

Ed Snodderly, owner of The Down Home, is one of several musicians performing during the event. Robin Beals, owner of Dance Productions Royale, will offer dance lessons to attendees. A variety of games, including Johnson’s favorite pastime of checkers, will also be available. In addition to the games, children can participate in arts and crafts activities. The City of Johnson City will provide attendees an opportunity to make a video message for inclusion in the 2019 time capsule. Birthday cake and root beer floats will be served.

A downtown scavenger hunt, beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, April 26 will culminate at the Henry Johnson Birthday Bash. Two versions of the scavenger hunt — 12 and under or 13 and older — will be available. Depending on age, participants will be asked to find 10 or 20 downtown locations based on clues developed by eighth-grade students in Liberty Bell’s Beta Club. Clue cards can be picked up at Johnson City Brewing, Atlantic Ale House, Trek Bike Shop and Owls Nest. The cards will have a space to answer the clues but extra points will be awarded to participants who snap at least five pictures and post them on social media with the hashtag #HJBirthdayBash. All answer cards must be submitted at the Henry Johnson Birthday Bash by 3 p.m. on Saturday. Multiple prizes will be awarded.

Free parking will be available in the Northeast State Community College parking garage. The entrance to the parking garage is located on Buffalo Street.

For more information about the yearlong sesquicentennial celebration, visit or follow @jctn150 (Johnson City 150 — SesquicentennialCelebration) on Facebook.


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