While there is poverty in Briceville, there are still many residents that help and support other Briceville residents. Many residents volunteer time, money and goods to help meet the needs of the community. The Clinton Baptist Association of churches donate time, money and resources to help meet the needs, as well. The association opened the Briceville Friendship Center and Briceville Free Medical Clinic to help aid citizens with medicine, medical treatment, food, clothes, baby needs and the like.
The third Tuesday of each month, Briceville Friendship Center opens to serve the community of Briceville with a food pantry. Items in the pantry are donated or purchased by the associated churches and friends. If you would like to donate non-perishable goods, please contact our office. We will make an appointment for your donation deliveries. If you wish to make a monetary donation, checks can be made to Clinton Baptist Association and mailed to PO Box 266, Clinton, Tn 37717. Please write in the memo: "Briceville Friendship Center." To make a donation online click the donate button on the HOME page.
The Briceville Free Medical Clinic was established in 2010 to provide medical relief to the uninsured and under-insured community members of Briceville, TN.
The Briceville Free Medical Clinic is currently under construction. The Clinton Baptist Association is partnering with the Free Medical Clinics to re-open the Briceville Clinic by April 2021. The partnership will help provide Briceville with a registered nurse/doctor on-site at least once a week with TeleDoc system.
The Clinton Baptist Association has received and maintained a medical/prescription grant from the East Tennessee Baptist Memorial Hospital and Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. Each year the Clinton Baptist Association is able to help many Anderson County residents with prescription costs and some medical or dental bills. The Clinton Baptist Association has partnerships with pharmacies throughout Anderson County. Patients can call our offices and request prescription assistance to be filled at the pharmacy closest to their residence. The pharmacies will bill the association monthly to cover the expense. The association applies for needed funds annually.
Briceville and the Coal Creek Valley grew rapidly in the 1890s as the demand for coal soared. By 1900, the valley had over 4,000 residents, and by 1910 Briceville was the largest community in Anderson County. The Knoxville Iron Company, cofounded by Welsh immigrants in 1868, began mining coal in the Coal Creek Valley in the late 1860s. Briceville's economy was historically based on coal mining. Briceville played an important role in three major late-19th and early-20th century incidents related to the region's coal mining activities: the Coal Creek War in 1891, the Fraterville Mine disaster of 1902, and the Cross Mountain Mine disaster of 1911.
In the early 1890s, Briceville played a central role in the Coal Creek War labor uprising. In 1902, an explosion occured at a mine in Fraterville killing 216 miners, including several Briceville residents. On December 9, 1911, an expolosion occurred at the Cross Mountain Mine. The explosion killed or trapped 89 miners, five were eventually freed.
In the late 1940’s the Federal Government felt that it was necessary to provide an early warning system for Oak Ridge. A radar installation seemed adequate to provide this warning in case of an enemy attack. Construction began in 1950 and in 1951, the 663rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron moved into new military installation on Cross Mountain above Briceville. The base was designed to accommodate many more than the 365 men living on the main base. The 663rd had an effect on the area economy. A number of jobs were made available during the construction. Area merchants benefited from the 365 men spending their pay in Briceville and Lake City. To prove this point, the base would occasionally pay the men with two dollar bills. After a rocky start, even blaming such things as a drought on the radar, the base was finally accepted. A number of the servicemen found brides among the local girls. A few returned to this area to live after they left the air force. During the 1950’s cutbacks in military spending caused the closing of a number of small, limited value bases around the country, including the one at Briceville. The unit evacuated Cross Mountain, the base was dismantled and the land sold.
The significance of Briceville history has lead to the hardships they face today. Families still live in Briceville as their ancestors did before them. Briceville is faced with struggles as citizens become older and have no means to relocate. Many Briceville families are in need. The economic loss has affected Briceville and surrounding areas, leaving people without jobs and without the means to obtain the things they need to establish a more secure economic situation.