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Anderson Co. Commission to vote on museum in former bank

10:54 PM, Aug 18, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR - Anderson County) A century's old building in one East Tennessee community could see new life, thanks to their old history.

On Monday, Anderson County Commission will vote on whether they will buy the former Bank of America building in downtown Lake City. According to commissioner Tim Isbel, the bank building would be transformed into a new museum, dedicated to coal mining.

"We'll direct everyone on a motorized trail. Because you have the Fraterville Mine disaster, and there's so much interesting history here," Isbel said Sunday.

Lake City used to be called "Coal Creek." Isbel said a majority of the residents in the Anderson County town had connections with the mining industry.

Several town officials, including Lake City mayor Tim Sharp, toured the building. It dates back to the 1910's, according to Cushman Wakefield, the current property owners.

Sharp said the property could help spark further development in the town -- which admittingly has been struggling in recent years.

"We'll try and have an area for memorabilia to purchase stuff. It would be staffed. So it would be very instrumental, and like I said it would be our catalyst to begin our downtown revitalization," the mayor said.

It it is approved, Isbel says this museum could be in business in the next few months. Ultimately, it could be a hub for other sites of coal history in Anderson County.

"What can Lake City give us that nobody else can? A coal mining museum. That did it," Isbel said.

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