July 23, 2014 - 11:26
Murders on Main St returns
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Murders on Main Street, a historic interpretation of murders that occurred in Etowah from 1908-1947, will be held in downtown Etowah on October 24-26 from 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Murders on Main Street, a historic interpretation of murders that occurred in Etowah from 1908-1947, will be held in downtown Etowah on October 24-26 from 6:30-9:00 p.m.

In 1977, Durant Tullock began collecting pictures and stories of Etowah’s past and was fascinated with some of the unique murders that had taken place in his hometown. Tullock began documenting this information and shared some of the stories with the community during his local lectures. After noticing the strong interest in the murders, Tullock came up with the idea of bringing these stories to life.

 “The first recorded murder in Etowah took place in 1908 just a few short years after the birth of the new city created in 1906 by the arrival of the L&N Railroad,” says Tullock. As the director of the Etowah Area Chamber of Commerce Tullock thought this would be a great partnership to share in Etowah history between the Gem Players Association and the Chamber. Murders on Main Street would also be a great way to educate people about Etowah history.

 “We decided to take six of the most interesting murders that took place in the downtown historic district and have local actors telling the story of what occurred. When the City of Etowah began, the railroad brought in workers to build the facilities, work in the shops, and run the rail line. This new industry brought in tough, rugged men to work in the area.  It was almost like we envision the early days of the Wild West. The town had a lot of taverns and pool halls which could get rowdy when the men were not working. Many men carried guns on their sides during the early days. This often led to trouble and sometimes murder.”

The hour-long walking tour begins at the Historic L&N Depot where you get a briefing of the murders before being escorted by guides to the actual scenes of the crimes. Tours leave every 15 minutes in groups of 20.  At the scene, the volunteer actors will portray the murderer, victim, witnesses, and some of the local gossips, who will tell the stories that surrounded the murders. The characters wear period costumes and relate the stories to the audiences. The tour covers a four-block area with each story lasting 10 minutes.

One of the murders drew national attention and another sheds light on one of Etowah’s unsolved mysteries. All of the information comes from newspaper accounts, court records, and family interviews. “Although this is our interpretation of the event, we strived for factual accuracy when telling what took place. That is why it has taken me 10 years to write the narrative to Murders on Main Street,” says Tullock.

Last year’s limited three-evening event was a sellout. Tickets are $ 10 each and will go on sale September 17th.  Reservations are required and may be purchased by calling the Etowah Chamber office at (423)263-2228 or stopping by the Chamber office located in the L&N Depot at 727 Tennessee Avenue.


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