This week in local history

Published 10:10 am Monday, July 23, 2018

The following events occurred during the week of July 22-28 in Bell County:

1889: Mt. Moriah Baptist Church organized by Rev. C. P. Bigby, Edmon Watkins, Martha Watkins and William Staton.

1898: The Victorian Fountain was put in place at the intersection of Cumberland Ave. and 20th Street. It was a gift to the city from English residents on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

1903: J. L. Manring purchased an automobile for $675 plus $15 for freight. According to the newspaper, “The self-moving vehicle was manufactured by Olds of Detroit, Michigan, who call it an Oldsmobile.” It was reported that it could reach a speed of 25 miles an hour and that $1.00 worth of gasoline would run it for 100 miles.

1910: A fire on Lothbury Avenue completely destroyed Wilson Brothers Saloon, Smith Chadwell’s Saloon, John Q. Perrigen Saloon, Sam Carden’s Saloon and two restaurants.

1926: It was announced that the new home for the Middlesboro Chamber of Commerce would be made on three sides of hard coal. Every coal company in the area was given an opportunity to contribute a lump of coal for the project.

1931: Clarence Kirby, age 16, tied the world record for tree sitting, having been in his treehouse for 1000 continuous hours. He received a letter of commendation from Curtis Candy Company since he was being sustained by Butterfinger Candy Bars.

1948: The L. & N. railroad finalized construction of a new 110 ton all steel bridge over Cumberland Ave. The old bridge had been in service for 42 years.

1955: Bell County officials destroyed 91 slot machines which had been the subject of a court fight.

1965: A flash flood washed out many homes in Middlesboro with Noetown being hit the worse. Water rose to over 10 feet in some areas.

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.