The Scottish Empire Builder

Alexander Arthur was born in Scotland and settled in America, where he saw the potential of timber, iron ore, and coal, all in abundant supply in Appalachia. And he was determined to build his empire in these mountains with the founding of Middlesboro, Kentucky, and Harrogate, Tennessee, to house those who ran his iron ore operations near the Cumberland Gap. He even built what was the largest hotel in the world at that time, right here in Appalachia. But the opening of new iron mines in Minnesota began the end of his dream, and the Panic of 1893 finished it. Listen as Steve and Rod tell his tale on today’s episode of Stories.

We’re available for download on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, or on your favorite podcast app.

We tweet @storyappalachia.

Thanks so much for listening to our stories!

(Picture courtesy of

Leave a Reply