This week in local history

The following events occurred during the week of March 11-17 in Bell County.

1890: Governor Buchanon signed Middlesborough’s charter, making it officially a city.

1897: The Cumberland Gap tunnel was closed due to timbers giving away. All freight and passengers had to be transferred over the mountain by wagon.

1898: Surgeon Wertenbaker of the U. S. Marine Hospital arrived to confer with state and local officials about the smallpox epidemic in Middlesboro. County officials had refused to make any money available, and the inmates of the pest houses (where quarantined smallpox suffers were housed) had had no dinner. Under discussion was a request for U.S. government aid.

1922: The Health Department examined 1317 Middlesboro primary school students. It found 408 underweight, 565 with defective teeth, 354 with nose and throat defects and 30 with intestinal parasites.

1928: The new Middlesboro branch of the Kroger Grocery and Baking Company opened on Cumberland Avenue.

1930: Exhibition Flyers were in Middlesboro for an Air Carnival with stunt flying. They also took passengers for an airplane ride—$.50 for children and $1.00 for adults.

1954: The Majestic Bar and Grill was charged with ABC violations for serving beer on Sunday and for employing women in jobs other than as waitresses

1957: The old Fox Livery Stable, built in 1889, was torn down. Located at the corner of 19th and Amesbury, the building had housed a garage, a blacksmith shop, a storehouse, a restaurant, a taxi stand, and finally a coal yard.