Palmer Memorial Center Collection, 1948-1983 and undated


Title: Palmer Memorial Center Collection

Collection Number: Kingsport Community Manuscript Collection (KCMC) 437

Physical Description: 1.5 linear feet, 2 boxes

Creator: Palmer Memorial Center staff and students

Repository: Archives of the City of Kingsport



Provenance: The Palmer Memorial Center Collection was donated to the Archives of the City of Kingsport by the Susan Curry, on behalf of the Palmer Center in June 2009.

Access/Restrictions: There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Processed by: This collection was processed by Brianne Wright and opened for research in June 2009.



This collection should be cited as:

Palmer Memorial Center Collection, 1948-1983 and undated. KC Manuscript Collection 437, Archives of the City of Kingsport, Tennessee.



The Palmer Memorial Center, now an Early Childhood Learning Center, was originally founded through the charter of the Tennessee-Virginia Cerebral Palsy Center, Inc., a private, non-profit corporation to educate and treat handicapped children. The group began in 1948 when a few local families with handicapped children started to band together and organize education and treatment efforts for their children. The group opened a facility in 1949 at Area A of Holston Ordinance Works.

Through the efforts of the volunteer medical staff and community, the corporation was able to raise funds for a new building and in 1957 the Cerebral Palsy Center opened on Ft. Henry Drive. In 1965, the building was renamed the Palmer Memorial Center for Crippled Children, Inc., in memory of Colonel Elbridge Palmer. Palmer, one time president of the Kingsport Press, was active in civil affairs and was also a national and international figure in crippled children’s programs.

In 1976, the corporation was dissolved and the Palmer Memorial Center became a facility of the Kingsport City Schools. In 1988 the center began housing early intervention programs for children. Since that time the Palmer Center has been operating as an early childhood center with a variety of preschool programs.



The Palmer Memorial Center Collection contains photographs, scrapbooks, and other materials relating to the center. The collection also contains correspondence to and from E.W. Palmer, guest books, newsletters, and other miscellaneous information on the history of the center.



Palmer, Colonel Elbridge Woodman (1886-1953)

Palmer Memorial Center





  1. By-laws and Charter of Incorporation, 1965
  2. Colonel E.W. Palmer, 1949-1953
  3. Dedication exercises, program and engravers proof, 1957
  4. “Happy Smiles,”1948-1954 (non inclusive)
  5. History and general information, 1956-1983 and undated
  6. Open House, 1965
  7. Tennessee-Virginia Cerebral Palsy Center,1963-1964
  8. Robert M. Reynolds Auditorium and Flag Pole dedication, 1972
  9. Wheelchair Games, scrapbook, 1982-1983




  1. Guest Book, 1957-1983
  2. In Remembrance Book, 1977-1982
  3. Oversize Photographs, 1949-1951 and undated
  4. Scrapbook, 1956-1963
  5. Scrapbook, 1957-1975
  6. Scrapbook, 1962-1970
  7. Scrapbook, 1963-1972
  8. Scrapbook, 1964-1977