Historical society annual fundraiser slated for Saturday

Published 1:07 pm Thursday, September 26, 2019

This Saturday, the Bell County Historical Society will be hosting a Garden Party fundraiser at the American Association Building. The party will begin at 4 p.m. and will end at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person and the price includes a souvenir glass, entertainment and heavy appetizers.

Funds raised will go toward the continued preservation and assisting in interpreting the rich and varied history of Bell County.

The museum was originally a Carnegie Library built in 1908 with funding donated by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. A total of 1,689 Carnegie libraries were built for the public in the U.S. between 1883 and 1929. Twenty-three of those in the state of Kentucky.

This historic building is still remembered by many as their childhood library. It served also as Middlesboro’s police station briefly before it became the museum it is today.

The museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts from the areas past, and a genealogy research library with a historic photo collection open to the public.

Galleries display objects from different eras in Bell County history. Pre-history, and the meteor that created the crater were the city of Middlesboro now stands. Native American and natural history. The Civil War and the Victorian era. Coal mining and life in a coal mining community throughout the history of the area. Ben Harney and the birth of Ragtime music, and many others.

One of the more odd exhibits harbored at the museum is a small collection of Bigfoot footprint casts, hair samples and other evidence amassed in the state of Kentucky by the filmmakers from Searching For Bigfoot. But that isn’t really the odd part, along with this assortment of field artifacts is a seven foot tall stuffed Bigfoot suit used to perpetrate a now infamous hoax in 2008, as seen in the film “Anatomy of a Bigfoot Hoax.”

The American Association Building is located at 2215 Cumberland Avenue.

For more information you can contact Charla at 269-9988 or the Bell County Historical Society at 242-0005. Checks can be made at the Bell County Historical Society at P.O. Box 1344.

For more information on the Bell County Historical Society Museum and their events visit bellcountyhistorical.com or their Facebook page.