New Updated History Of Chattanooga By John Wilson Now Available

Sunday, December 1, 2013

An updated edition of the classic Chattanooga's Story by John Wilson is now available. It is the first update of the coffee table book since 1989 - before the Walnut Street Bridge was opened as a pedestrian bridge.

It includes a new chapter to bring the account up to date as well as a different set of historic photographs than was included in the original 1980 edition that was published by Roy McDonald at the Chattanooga News-Free Press. Some of the pictures have not been published before.

The new soft cover edition with 512 large-size pages was published at College Press in Collegedale.

Chattanooga's Story combines a chronological account of Chattanooga's remarkable story with information on many of the city's leading families. It includes a complete, fact-filled account of a city whose history has been filled with romantic interest and thrilling events.

Chattanooga's Story opens with the settlement at wilderness Ross's Landing and with the cruel Indian Removal. It proceeds to the recent remarkable transformation of the city from dirty industrial town to clean and sustainable, greenway-laced jewel drawing hundreds of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts. 

In between are full accounts of Chattanooga's experience with the steamboat, the railroad, floods, epidemics, booms and busts. One chapter is devoted to the deadly Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878 which devastated the city.

Highlighting the book are six chapters devoted to Chattanooga's vital role in the Civil War - written from the vantage point of the citizens who remained in town as the armies arrived and the battles were fought.

Other chapters deal with the bottling of the soft drink Coca-Cola that brought great wealth to a group of Chattanoogans. The book also provides valuable histories of businesses, banks, churches, schools and clubs. It delves into politics, city government, public power and desegregation. It pinpoints where the city's historical buildings and homes were located and what fate they met - including the leveling of the mansions that once stood on Cameron Hill and the lopping off of the landmark hill itself.

Chattanooga's Story is also a social history, telling of the theaters, soda fountains, balls and parades, and of the introduction of the telephone, automobile, radio and television.

There are also many "side-bar" accounts, drawn from numerous sources, offering added glimpses into Chattanooga's fascinating history.

John Wilson is also the author of a history of Lookout Mountain and other local history and family books. A native of Forest City, N.C., he joined the News-Free Press as a staff writer in 1971 after graduating from Covenant College. He launched the online newspaper,, in 1999. 

There are only 1,000 copies of the first edition of the new updated edition and they will only be available from the author. These have a blue cover with a photograph of the Delta Queen riverboat, the Market Street Bridge and the Tennessee Aquarium.

Cost of the new updated addition is $35, which includes sales tax. For those requiring mailing, there is a $6 charge for shipping and handling.

Order your copy by mailing a check for $35 (or $41 if mailing is required) made out to John Wilson at 129 Walnut St., Suite 416, Chattanooga, Tn., 37403. 

To obtain a copy directly from John Wilson, email or call 423 266-2325.


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