The city of Kingsport, Massachusetts was founded in the 17th century. Its main industry for most of its lifespan has been fishing, although in World War II, major shipyards were constructed that now make it a major shipping hub. It is nestled at the base of a massive cliff rising over the ocean. (The cliff is called Kingsport Head because a rock formation at the edge of the cliff looks like a head.) A small bay formed a natural inlet for the early city, though it has expanded along the shore greatly.

According to the 1960 census, it has around 700,000 people in it. Another 150,000 or so live in nearby communities, suburbs and towns within reach of the commuter train and bus lines. Approximately 70 percent of households have an automobile, the rest use public transportation to get around.

Kingsport History Timeline

Map of Kingsport

Locations – By Neighborhood

Harborside– Lower-class, industrial and fishing. Historical neighborhood. Many immigrants.

  • McCarty’s Newsstand
  • Arruda’s Original Portugese
  • Braxton’s Hardware
  • Fishing wharves
  • Mariner’s Church
  • The O’Connor Boathouse (rock/blues)
  • Old Harbormaster Building
  • Club 64 (beatnik/folk)

The Hollow – Middle class, bisected by Blake’s Creek, with some wealthier houses.

Central Hill – Around the Congregational Hospital, wealthy, old-money neighborhood.

South Shore – Somewhat touristy, shipyards and fishing, public marinas, businesses and middle class.

Downtown – Crowded, major construction of modern office and apartments, thriving businesses

The West Side – Middle class neighborhood, family residences

  • Bijou Theater (stage)
  • Moreno’s (men’s clothing)
  • The Hall School
  • Crawford Public School
  • Kingsport Arena (ice hockey – Kingsport Rockets)
  • Sherman Arms Hotel

Hilltown – Industrial, lower class, Chinese enclaves.

  • Shoremist Inn
  • Reyneaux’s Antiques
  • Fishpacking center
  • Kingsport Chronicle
  • King Edward Hotel

Martin’s Beach – North of the Head, across the Martin River, Negro neighborhood and fishing marinas

  • Benton Public School
  • The Open Door (juke joint)
  • Temple No. 14, Nation of Islam

Kingsport Head – Massive outcropping of rock above city, tangled neighborhoods and wildcat developments

  • Fort Wightman – WWII and post-war coastal artillery emplacement

New Oakham – Kingsport College and associated development.

  • Teagarden Apartments
  • Lady Quinn’s (women’s fashion boutique)
  • Kingsport College
  • New Town Common
  • Sadler’s Sound Lounge (jazz)
  • North House

East Pepperell – Working class, shipping hub, and close-knit neighborhoods.

  • 14th Street Market
  • St. Erasmus’ Rest Home For Mariners
  • Talbot Hall (new city hall)
  • Holy Mother Home For Children
  • Pepperell Stadium (football, AFL – Kingsport Stars)

Somerbury – Suburban, middle class office commuters, new neighborhood.

  • Julia’s Beauty Parlor
  • New England Bell Company
  • Kingsport Edison Electric Company (“King Ed”)
  • The Minuteman Motor Lodge

Tolland – Shipyards and WWII-era buildout – residential and industrial.

  • Fairgate Shoe Company
  • Illsley Shipyards
  • Farnsworth Paints (factory)
  • El Morocco (jazz/folk, beatnik)
  • Tolland Park (Baseball – National League, Kingsport Blues)

Washington – Italian and Portugese enclaves, small business, residential

  • Sea’s Harvest (restaurant)
  • Birdland (jazz)
  • Hullabaloo Club (rock and roll)

West Pepperell – Small town surrounded by suburb/development and farming areas

The Causeway – Uncertain roads and bridges over and around the Martin River.

  • Spencer’s Glue Works
  • Bishopsgate Asylum
  • Clarence J. Peabody Observatory

Locations Near Kingsport


The Lighthouse JDCorley JDCorley