Chamber of Commerce sets 67th annual membership meeting

By Greg Miller
STAR Staff

The Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce's 67th annual membership meeting will be held at the Truman Clark Annex of the Carter County Health Department on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 11:30 a.m.
   Robert Reedy of Reedy and Sykes, outgoing Chamber president, will hand over the gavel to incoming president, Duncan Street, Carter County Bank.
   Reedy will give the "Presidential Citation" to the person he feels has been the most supportive of his efforts as Chamber president.
   Elizabethton Mayor Sam LaPorte, who received the "Citizen of the Year" award in 2001, will present the award to the award winner for 2002.
   Richard Tester, a former winner of the "Citizen of the Year" award, as well as 1998 Chamber president, will offer the invocation.
   The history of the Chamber goes back to the 19th century, according to information provided by the organization.
   According to that information, the Elizabethton STAR reported in an article in the early 1930s, that the organization's history went back 40 years.
   "Apparently a Board of Trade was organized in 1890 and lists the following citizens as "serving as president or secretary at one time or another: Lee Miller, Joe Lacy, J. Frank Seiler, E.C. Alexander, Dayton Hunter and others whose names we do not have."
   In those early days of the 1890s, the board received a complete layout for the City of Elizabethton from a Mr. Shoolbred, an eminent engineer from North Carolina. The board also "secured the Watauga Extract Co., a woolen mill, two chair companies, the Tennessee-Carolina Mill, and many other activities in the interest and development of the town.
   "On Sept. 1, 1924, the Board of Trade was re-organized into a Chamber of Commerce, and Harlen Dixon was elected its first president. Herbert Shipley was the secretary."
   Tickets for the luncheon are $12 each and are available at the Chamber, Highway 19E Bypass. Today is the deadline for ticket purchase or reservation.
   For more information or to reserve tickets for the dinner, call 547-3850.