This week in local history

Published 10:10 am Monday, April 16, 2018

The following events occurred during the week of April 15-21:

1890: The grand opening of “The Middlesborough.” Originally 100 x 150 feet with four stories and a basement, it was built on what is now called Edgewood Court.

1897: At the annual meeting of the Middlesboro Cycle Club, President C. H. Alexander reported on the accomplishments of the group, including having built “one of the handsomest sporting parks in the State, comprising a first class baseball park, an excellent bicycle track and a splendid enclosure for all manner of track athletes.”

1929: The Spring Festival of the Mount Moriah Baptist was declared, “a splendid success…Miss Lena Spriggs, the beautiful and talented daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Boyce Spriggs, was crowned Queen of the event.”

1932: County Attorney Walter B. Smith warned that the American Civil Liberties Union would not be allowed to enter Bell County “for the purpose of sowing seeds of discontent and unrest among the

people here.”

1934: The Booneway Hotel (formerly The Middlesborough) was completely destroyed by fire. The flames were such that the fire was evident for over 50 miles around.

1941: Gun battle in Mingo Hollow, only a short distance from where the famous Quarterhouse Battle was fought in 1902. This was an outcome of efforts to unionize the coal mines in Mingo Hollow. Three company men and one union man were killed and nine union men were wounded.

1950: Middlesboro city officials went on record condemning the Bell County Grand Jury for indicting the entire 17 member police force of Middlesboro on charges of gambling and alcohol violations. 150 local businessmen and residents of Middlesboro appeared in court to post bond for the city police department.

1960: Little Theatre production of “The King and I” opened with Kate Lomasney as Anna and Tommy Fuson as her son Louis. The director was Louisa Hoe and production manager was Mrs. Craig Ralston.

1965: Bond issue to build a new high school passed 1826 for to 1608 against.

To learn more about local history, visit the Bell County Museum, located just north of the Middlesboro Post Office, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.