I’ve written before about the efforts of my friend David R. Duggan and a host of others to preserve the history of the city of Alcoa during its centennial year, but history buffs are in for another treat this Tuesday, Nov. 5.
As part of the Blount County Public Library’s continuing Southern Appalachian Studies Series, David will present the DVD, “From 1919-2019: The Alcoa Century, An Historical Documentary.” The screening begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the library, 508 N. Cusick St., Maryville. The presentation is free and open to the public.
The city of Alcoa was founded in 1919 by the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA). This presentation is the latest of several events planned in 2019-2020 celebrating the city’s centennial. The first was on July 1.
The DVD was created by Darryl Reed based upon the historical timeline he created and wrote for the city of Alcoa’s Centennial Celebration. It was sponsored by the city of Alcoa, produced by Nathaniel Tipton, Modifi Creative, and narrated by Bruce Damrow. David wrote the script, and David Lazar provided technical assistance. In the video, David shares selected pieces of the city’s history as well as the history of the Aluminum Company of America.
I have a copy of the DVD, and have thoroughly enjoyed it. If you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth your time. The information, narration and illustrations are all top-notch, and there are some interviews with people whose names you’ll recognize, telling about their memories and experiences. It truly is an exceptionally well-done production — and a great addition to any historian’s resource materials if you’d like to have a copy of your own. The DVDs cost $20 and are for sale at the Alcoa Municipal Building or from David.
The DVD is a companion to the book David, with the help of lots of other volunteers, compiled on the history of the city. Entitled “Alcoa: A Century in Words and Pictures,” the book contains about 300 photos, about 80 percent of them either never before published or published on a very limited basis, and lots of good information. Historians who would like a copy of the book can purchase one for $35. They, too, are available at the Alcoa Municipal Building or you can contact David for a copy.
According to a press release from the library, “Both the book and DVD include interesting facts as to why ALCOA chose to locate here, the incorporation of the city, the city school system plus various aspects of life in the community. The DVD is a fantastic and fun means of telling the Alcoa story which proves to be very entertaining and educational.” I can definitely vouch for that.
David is a Blount County Circuit Court judge and the official historian for the city of Alcoa. He grew up in Alcoa, attended Springbrook Elementary and Alcoa High School, and finishing his education at the University of Tennessee with a law degree in 1987. He has a true passion for collecting and preserving the history of his hometown as well as sharing the information with anyone interested. He’s also interested in collecting more information, so if you have something to share, come to the screening and let him know.
If you’d like more information about library programs or services, call the library at 865-982-0981 or visit the website at www.blountlibrary.org.