A Town Built in a Crater

Situated in downtown Middlesboro, a town of about 10,000 people with its own interesting history.

Built entirely in the basin of a giant meteor crater, it lies 1 mile west of the Cumberland Gap and sits directly between the Appalachians and the Cumberland Mountains.

It is said that “ragtime” music was invented here by Ben Harney, who played in the local saloons in the 1890s.

By the 1930s, Middlesboro was filled with slot machines, saloons, and brothels and came to be known as “Little Las Vegas.”

The town has no natural bodies of water, but early immigrants built an artificial canal that runs from nearby Fern Lake into the heart of the city. This has resulted in a large population of ducks and both pedestrians and vehicular traffic must yield the right-of-way to them at all times or risk fines.

Middlesboro is the hometown of the actor Lee Majors, best known as TV’s Six Million Dollar Man.

Our current plan for Day 1 of Tour #1803 is for a late dinner  at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. It’s a familiar stop for any traveler and we’re just not (yet) adventurous enough to try something local, like Shades Cafe & Steakhouse. Maybe next time.

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