Behind the Lens: When the State Line Runs Down Main Street

Photos and musing from our photographer.
by | March 2019
(Dakota Bennett)

Walk across State Street in downtown Bristol, Va., and about the time you hit the double yellow lines, you’ll find yourself in Bristol, Tenn.

The two cities of the same name share a common downtown. Boundary plaques embedded between the double yellow lines remind people of which side of the border they’re on.

And if that’s not enough, the cities split the utility bill for the large electric sign that straddles the main drag proclaiming Bristol “A Good Place to Live.” The twin cities also share a library, a wastewater treatment plant and billing as “the Birthplace of Country Music.”

Some 100 pairs of U.S. cities share a border. But the two Bristols belong to an exclusive club of cities that share not only a border but also a name.

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David Kidd | Photojournalist / Storyteller | dkidd@governing.com