But before it was a park, it was a neighborhood – one of the city’s oldest and most storied neighborhoods.
Between the time of the infamous May Flood of 1901 and Elizabethton’s Urban Renewal Program of the early 1970s, Cat Island was home to a number of families, many of whom had lived there for years. Although there’s not trace of the community today, most former Cat Island residents can take you to the exact spot where their house once stood.
Sam Bradshaw is quick to point to left field of the ballpark at Cat Island Park and said, “I lived right there at 210 S. East Street.”
Bradshaw, like most of his former Cat Island neighbors, remembers the people who lived there and where most of their homes were located.
“It’s hard to forget when they were such a big part of your life,” he reminisced.