This week in local history

Published 10:10 am Monday, May 28, 2018

The following events occurred during the week of May 27-June 2:

1890: Middlesborough broke the record for southern land sales with a total of $350,164 (approximately equal to $6,700,000 today) sold in just 3 ½ hours. There were 1500 to 2000 people in town for the land sales.

1891: The City Council voted to have all occupants of tents on Cumberland Avenue to remove them by July 1.

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1903: The newspaper reported: “Chief of Police, Tom Shumate, is making life a burden for rounders, loafers and deadbeats. Tom pulls them, Judge Anderson assesses fines, and if they fail to pay cash, Mayor Turner puts them to work on the sewer.”

1910: Haley’s comet was visible to Middleboro viewers for the first time.

1912: Walter Johnson made four demonstration flights in his bi-plane, which had been brought in by train. The longest flight was for 8 minutes while the shortest was for 4 minutes. This was the first time for any plane to fly in Middlesboro and there was a huge crowd for the event.

1928: Announcement made that Pinnacle Mountain was to be developed by Judge Manring and others who have formed a company to build a road to the top of the mountain. The “viewing tower” they built was at the present location of the Pinnacle Overlook.

1932: The Middlesboro Welfare Association urged every family with a garden plot to grow twice the amount needed for themselves in order that food be available to orphans and widows.

1935: Greyhound doubled its bus service in Bell County so that there were 6 northbound and 4 southbound buses daily.

1946: The Bell County Citizens League was discussing the county wide laxity in law enforcement, noting that slot machines were readily available in some of the leading hotels.

1951: Pvt. Kenneth Seals of Middlesboro was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor.

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.