Re: Our Town in the Movies: Scenes from Hampton,Tennessee circa 1940

Curtis Brookshire

I'm behind my time on replying. What a wonderful window in time! Even if there is little on the railroad and no train, we all know what the train looks like, but we haven't seen this much of Hampton. Notice the color of the buildings and how they weather - important stuff for modelers. You can see the red windows on the depot. There's that Queen City Trailways bus coming through bound for Charlotte NC. Bet it came from the Johnson City bus depot - which just happened to be shared with a certain railroad. Notice how much grass there is on the mountains, not a solid block of trees like in our time. Also notice the people which make up the lions share of the movie. Some of the elderly look like they may have less than a full mouth of teeth. I'm struck by how many of the boys are wearing overalls. It just never occurred to me. As pointed out earlier, the youngest ones, if still living, would be well into their 80's now. The older boys will probably be in uniform soon, serving in World War II. The older girls may one day ride the emergency commuter trains to Port Rayon to work at NARC and Bemberg.

Now when was this filmed? Hard to tell by fashion or vehicles. The women's hair styles scream 1940s. It appears that this was shot just after highway 19E was relocated above the ET right of way; where it would be until rebuilt to 4 lanes, 50 years later. The Stemwinder articles on Hampton state that the highway relocation was finished in 1941, which leads me to think we're looking at late summer/early fall 1941. Travelers without a car would ride that Trailways bus, the ET having discontinued passenger service the previous year. I hope some more of these home movies will surface in the future.

Curtis Brookshire
Pine Level, NC

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