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.

 Cherokee intermarried white, 1906

New to the collection is the series Cherokee intermarried white, 1906. These records were transcribed by Jeff Bowen from the National Archive film M-1301, Rolls 305-307 and include 288 intermarriage claims between Cherokees and non-Cherokees. These are official records that contain detailed genealogical information that may not be otherwise available. Application information in the form of sworn testimony can include ages, dates of birth, Cherokee names, dates of death, childrens' and parents' names and residence.

Barbara Adair McClung, wife of Calvin M. McClung, donated her husband's collection of history and genealogy books to the library after his death in 1919. That collection is the foundation of the current McClung Historical Collection. So, who was Calvin McClung?

Jim Clayton interviews Sheriff Buford Pusser on the Clayton Startime show in the early 1970s. This rare clip is one of the few surviving moving images of the real Buford Pusser, who became a national folk hero following the release of his motion picture bio Walking tall. From the Jim Clayton Collection at the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound.

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