The East Side community owes its development to two major Carter County events — the local housing boom shortly after American Bemberg Corp. and its sister plant, American Glanzstoff, located to Elizabethton, and the construction of Watauga Dam 20 years later.
Shortly after American Bemberg Corp. announced plans to build a plant in Elizabethton, land speculators and developers began buying up property in and around the city on which to build houses for plant workers, many of whom would re-locate to the area from neighboring cities and states. Some of the county’s oldest farms were sold during that time, among them the J. Bird Nave farm, which was located east of the Doe River just outside the city limits.
Nave sold the land that was developed as Lilly Addition to the Lilly Land Co. of West Virginia in 1926.
At that time, it was one of the largest land transactions in the town’s history — 200 acres sold for $40,000. The land was subdivided into 630 lots, 25 small truck farms and 250 highly restricted building lots.
Those lots were located along what today is Siam Road, Riverview Road, Walker, DeJarnette, Nave, Pearl and Fairview streets, and Central Avenue.
When it purchased the land the company said it would employ more than 100 salespeople in five states to sell the lots on the terms of 5 percent down and 2-1/2 percent per month.