Custom House Chronicles

Stories, historical tidbits, and musings from the East Tennessee History Center staff.

Knoxville's Million Dollar Fire took place on April 8, 1897, beginning at the Hotel Knox and destroying many of the buildings on Gay Street. From the McClung Digital Collection, this booklet published by J. E. Auldridge includes an map showing the area affected and photos of that area before, during, and after the fire. In addition to the information about the fire, the advertisements in the booklet are a fascinating view of businesses in Knoxville.

Tennessee monument, Andersonville

Camp Sumter, the Confederate prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia, was used from February 1864 to May 1865. Remembered as the Andersonville prison, it is the most infamous of the Civil War prisons. Nearly a hundred years ago the Tennessee Monument in the Andersonville Prison Park was dedicated on November 12, 1915.

Tennessee death certificates become public record after 50 years. The Tennessee death certificates for 1963, the most recent public records, are now available at the McClung Collection. Although both Familysearch.org and Ancestry.com have made death certificates available on their databases, the more recent certificates are only available on microfilm.

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