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This week in local history

By the Bell County Historical Society

The following events occurred during the week of May 12-18 in Bell County:

1890: The first Middlesborough Board of Council met three times in one day. The first two meetings were for election of officers and organization. Then, because of widespread claims of election fraud, there was a vote recount, followed by a certificate of election results and a third meeting to again elect the same officers and officials.

1895: Fern Lake Fishing Club was organized. The yearly dues were $10.

1898: An ordinance was passed prohibiting women from going in or out of any building where a saloon was kept.

1919: The Christian Science Society opened its Reading Room in the Masonic Building on 20th Street.

1931: The Middlesboro police purchased a Thompson sub-machine gun which, according to the newspaper, “now gives the city protection which is not given in many cities of this size. The police have been equipped for a year with tear gas and hand grenades.”

1932: The American Civil Liberties Union group was refused admittance to Bell County.

1940 The census reported Middlesboro with a population of 11,436.

1946: Summer recreation plans call for Middlesboro to have four playgrounds (Noetown, Junction, Binghamtown and Central) and for the Salvation to run one in East End. There would be supervisors at each playground and a full-time caretaker at Ford’s Woods. Julian Pitzer was the director of the program.

1953: A controversy was brewing over whether the city of Middlesboro should buy the local water system for $950,000.

1965: George Cadle won the regional golf championship.

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.