This week in local history

Published 6:10 am Monday, September 3, 2018

The following events occurred during the week of Sept. 2-8 in Bell County:

1888: Lot on the southwest corner of Cumberland and 21st was purchased from the Middlesborough Town Company, the office of which was still located in Knoxville, for A. D. Campbell’s, which is still in existence today.

1890: Middlesborough had 82 business houses already erected and another 72 under construction. There were in operation 7 hotels.

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1899: The street care tracks were removed from the center of Cumberland Ave.

1904: The Middlesboro Distilling Company was opening a large wholesale liquor store in the Gormon Building. J. Goodfriend was president of the company.

1929: All past records for visitation by tourists to Bell County were surpassed Labor Day weekend. Every hotel, tourist camp and rooming house was filled and some tourists were taken into private homes.

1931; Thousands of people thronged Cumberland avenue for the unveiling of merchants’ windows showing their latest fall merchandise. Fire sirens signaled the moment and all the windows were undraped at one time.

1952: W. L. Shope was the first African-American to be appointed to the State Parole Board. He was formerly the principal of Lincoln High School.

1986: Fire destroyed Middlesboro City Hall along with the Police Department and the Fire Department.

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.