This week in local history

By the Bell County Historical Society

The following events occurred during the week of March 10-16 in Bell County:

1891: The newspaper reported that the Middlesborough Town and Land Company had spent $300,000 (roughly equivalent to $8,000,000 today) advertising the city and that lots on Cumberland Avenue had increased in value over the past 3 years from $10 a front foot to $400 a front foot.

1898: Due to the smallpox epidemic, the State Board of Health issued an order to allow no one to come into or leave Middlesboro without special permission and a permit from the Board of Health.

1918: D.Z. Gibson found an Indian skeleton while breaking ground on the outskirts of Middlesboro. The Indian had been buried with his tomahawk, knife and war club, all made of stone.

1928: Middlesboro won the 7th region basketball championship.

1932: Sometime during the night, Middlesboro homes were “circularized” with hand bills put out by the National Miners Union, which was generally recognized as a communist organization.

1945: Announcement that Jack Colson, who operated the Middlesboro Flying Field, was put in charge of flight training for Air Corps cadets.

1952: Middlesboro’s half million dollar sewerage plant was deemed inoperable. Only one bond had been retired in 18 years, and interest was not being paid. Sewerage was being dumped into the canal.

1960: The newly formed Bell County Rescue Squad made its first rescue when it bulldozed a road to a home that lacked heat due to being unable to get coal on account of the heavy snow.

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.