Johnson City is in east Tennessee. It's known for outdoor activities at Winged Deer Park, which offers boating and disc golf, and Buffalo Mountain Park, with trails and sweeping views. Northwest of the city, Gray Fossil Site and Museum is an active Miocene-era excavation site with mastodon fossils. To the east, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is a former Cherokee site with a replica of 18th-century Fort Watauga.


Johnson City’s proud heritage dates back to the years of American colonization. William Bean, Tennessee’s first colonizer, built his cabin along Boone’s Creek in 1768, and Henry Johnson officially founded the city in 1856 as a railroad station called “Johnson’s Depot.” The city served as a major rail hub for the Southeast, was officially incorporated in 1869, and grew rapidly from 1870 to 1890 alongside the mining and railroad industries.
Today, Johnson City pays homage to its roots with historical landmarks, museums, tributes to Appalachian culture, and local experts who interpret these stories for future generations. At the same time, Johnson City continues to innovate for the future as a world-class hub for outdoor recreation, a bustling college town, and a vibrant community full of Southern charm. Make sure to learn more about Johnson City’s history on your next trip!

Population: 66,778 (2018)


Johnson City prides itself on a school system striving for excellence and many higher education opportunities.

The Johnson City School System is comprised of 11 schools and 522 certified teachers serving more than 7,000 students. The schools are consistently above state and national averages for ACT, SAT, and state test scores. The system also achieves exemplary ratings at all levels on all non-academic indicators such as attendance, promotion, and drop-out rate. The mission of Johnson City Schools is to enable all students to achieve excellence in learning, social responsibility, and self-worth. 

Regular meetings of the Johnson City Schools Board of Education are held the first Monday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Columbus Powell Building (Central Office Building), 100 E. Maple St., or at another location as announced. Additional information and a list of current school board members can be found here


East Tennessee State University is home to approximately 14,500 students. It offers 112 undergraduate and 75 master’s programs, including one of the country’s select few fully accredited graduate programs in storytelling. It also is the only four-year university in the world with a comprehensive bluegrass music program. ETSU also boasts a College of Pharmacy and the James H. Quillen College of Medicine. With a high-performing public school system and higher learning facilities to meet most anyone’s needs, education is key in East Tennessee.

Northeast State Community College is a comprehensive two-year community college under the governance of the Tennessee Board of Regents of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee. Northeast State provides university parallel programs designed for students desiring to transfer to another college or university, career programs for students planning to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation, and continuing education and community service programs for professional growth and personal enrichment to the citizens of Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties. Although the main campus is located in Blountville, Tennessee, Northeast State has a satellite facility located at 101 E. Market St., in Johnson city's downtown area. The entrance to the facility's parking garage is located off Buffalo Street. 

More information can be found on Johnson City Schools here: