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Bell County Historical Society

Middlesboro, Kentucky

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Book Shop
Our Program
Research Library
Lineage Certificates
Our History
Our Future
Our Geological History
Area Announcements
Important Links


We are
devoted to the   preservation
of our abundantly
rich heritage, bequeathed to us by our pioneering ancestors who traveled the Wilderness Trail, over the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky.



Our collection                   

The major emphasis of the Bell County Historical Society s the collection and preservation of  historical documents, photographs, and artifacts of the Bell County, Kentucky area including he adjacent counties of Harlan and Knox Counties from which Bell County was formed on February 5, 1867.  We are pleased to be able to display artifacts given to the museum as well as those loaned for a specific or indefinite length of time.


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Our Program


The historic building housing our museum, built as the Carnegie Library and deep-rooted in the enrichment and educational development of the citizens of Middlesboro, still follows the legacy of Andrew Carnegie. It remains dedicated to learning and enlightenment, providing an opportunity for the youth of this generation to know and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of this region, the region which witnessed  thousands of early pioneers traveling along the Wilderness Trail, through the Cumberland Gap and into  Kentucky. A great many made permanent homes here in Kentucky.

The names of scores of those early pioneer families who settled here in southeast Kentucky. remain with their descendants who live among the valleys and ridges of the 'Cumberland Mountains. Of course, not all remained. The Cumberland Gap became the Gateway to the West proving a passageway through the sheer cliffs of the Alleghany Mountains  for thousands of families heading westward to new frontiers. Whether here for a brief time or longer before continuing their journey, the Cumberland Gap and Bell County is an important memorable  part of their heritage and the imprint they left in our history is a fundamental part of ours..

Our ongoing program is the collection and preservation of artifacts, photographs and documents recognizing the importance  of the history of Bell County in our past and of those who live here and of those who past through, leaving their imprint in in the history Bell County.  We have developed a multi faceted program  to facilitate this directive.

On Site Events and

Community Events and



Research Facility

Family History Collection

Oral Histories
Long-time Residents

Internet Connection
with access to genealogy sites

Monthly Informal Genealogy Meeting
(members help members - all welcome)


To honor our early Kentucky adventurers and pioneers

First Families Through the
Cumberland Gap
Descendents of
Pioneer Families of Kentucky

Picture Displays at
Mountain Laurel Festival and
Middlesboro Fall

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Board Members
2010 - 2011

Records on File

board meeting vote


Elected Board Members for the 2010-2011 Fiscal year are:


President:  Marsha Bratton
Vice President: Barbara Shattuck
Corresponding Sec'y: Ken Smith
Recording Sec'y: Ann Matheny
Treasurer: Wilma Johnson

 Completing the Board:

Jerry  Browning (emeritus)
Virginia Huff
 Tom Keleman  
 Tom Shattuck
Bob Vaughn
Helen Wilder
Martha Wiley
Fred  Woods


Our financial Records,
the 990 Tax Forms,
are on file at the
Bell County Historical Society
at 207 N. 20th Street, Middlesboro, KY
and are available for review by appointment during office hours.

We are pleased to be able to currently extend our hours when we are open to the public.

Tuesday through Saturday from
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.




The Society fiscal year runs from

June 1 to May 31



                                                                                             Contact Information 


Postal address
P. O. Box 1344
Middlesboro, KY 40965
Street address
207 N. 20th Street
          Middlesboro, KY 40965
Electronic mail

General Information:


e-mail webmaster:  Webmaster: 
web page:

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 Last modified: 12/14/2010

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