Historical Timeline



Several new apartments and duplexes popped up around town, but the biggest project for 2000 was the construction of a 168-unit apartment complex designed specifically for college students by Place Collegiate Properties just off the 121 North Bypass.

July 2000

The former Wal-Mart and Central Shopping Center got a makeover with the new name, Shoppes of Murray. Businesses included Dawahare, Office Depot, On Cue and Hallmark. A Cracker Barrel restaurant was constructed in the middle of the parking lot. Other new construction included Woodcrafter's showroom, Holiday Inn Express and a Ryan's Steakhouse in front of Lowes.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store opened in Murray in 2000.

November 2000

Voters approved the measure to allow restaurants seating at least 100 and deriving 70% of its revenue from food sales to serve alcohol by the drink. Hazel residents voted down the local measure.

March 2002

Mattel announced it would close its plant later in the year, impacting 980 employees.

June 12, 2002

Pella Corporation announced plans to move into the vacated Mattel manufacturing facility and hire 100 people during their first year of operations.

Pella Corporation (Facebook).

March 10, 2005

Murray and Calloway County School districts disagreement over school choice was finally settled when the board signed a contract to close the gap in the nonresident enrollment at the two districts.


With the transfer of a deed for about 180 acres of land, Fort Heiman was added as a unit to the Fort Donelson National Battlefield. The acreage includes two historic fortifications as part of the National Park Service.

Photo of Fort Heiman marker courtesy Shane Oliver.

June 2006

Governor Ernie Fletcher announced that $25 million in construction work on the U.S. Highway 68-80 between Murray and Mayfield would go into high gear as part of a concerted effort to upgrade western Kentucky's infrastructure and provide better opportunities to attract business and industry to the area.

Governor Fletcher / Paducah Sun

January 25, 2009

The 2009 ice storm was considered the worst natural disaster in recent Kentucky history, with an official estimate of at least $616 million in damages. The storm knocked out power from the main Tennessee Valley Authority line which is where most western Kentucky municipalities get their electricity.

The 2009 ice storm in Murray. Photo by Bobbie Bryant.

May 1, 2009

The Penny country store on Poor Farm Road opened as a museum after being closed for 30 years thanks to county magistrate and local antique enthusiast Johnny Gingles.

The Penny Store.

July 13, 2009

Governor Steve Beshear unveiled the design for two new bridges to replace the existing Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley bridges along U.S. Highway 68 and Kentucky Route 80.

October 28, 2009

A ceremonial ribbon cutting for Kentucky Route 80 was held with Governor Steve Beshear and other state and local officials in attendance.

March 2010

The new South Tower of the Murray-Calloway County Hospital was opened to the public.

Inside of the new South Tower at MCCH.

March 18, 2010

Danero Thomas was all smiles after his buzzer shot pushed the Racers past Vanderbilt 66-65 at the NCAA Tournament in San Jose, California. The win for Murray State was their first NCAA win since 1988, a span of 22 years. Two days later the Racers narrowly missed a trip to the Sweet 16 when they lost 54-52 to Butler.

September 20, 2010

The Regional Special Events Center received a new name, the CFSB Center. The change was in response to a $3.3 million donation from Benton-based Community Financial Services Bank.

The CFSB Center.

March 25, 2011

The 2010 U.S. Census showed that Murray was among the top 10 fastest growing cities in Kentucky and Calloway County was the fastest growing county in the Jackson Purchase.

May 18, 2011

Governor Steve Beshear visited the Pella Corporation plant to announce an expansion that would bring 75 new jobs because of the demand for energy-efficient vinyl products.

August 24, 2011

Author Maya Angelou spoke to students and the public at Lovett Auditorium.

October 4, 2011

An early morning fire destroyed the Ellis Popcorn processing plant on Poplar Street. Ellis had been in operation for 64 years and was located in that building for 25 years.

Ellis Popcorn building in Murray. Photo by ML&T photographer Greg Travis.

November 5, 2011

"A Prairie Home Companion" radio show was broadcast live from the CFSB Center in Murray in front of nearly 4,000 people.

January 26, 2012

The Motor Vessel Delta Mariner slammed into the Eggners Ferry Bridge which carried U.S. Highways 68 and 80 over Kentucky Lake between Marshall and Trigg counties. The crash dislodged a 300-foot-plus span from the bridge.

The Delta Mariner.

February 4, 2012

The Racers men's basketball team were the final undefeated team in the nation with a 23-0 record. One of their big wins along the way was a 76-72 victory at Memphis.

May 25, 2012

Completed in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the re-construction of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge attracted thousands of people to celebrate the accomplishment. "Bridge Day" allowed the public to walk or bike on the bridge and its newly replaced span over Kentucky Lake.

July 17, 2012

Twelve years after liquor by the drink was voted in, Murray voters opted to allow package liquor stores to operate.

Voters during the 2012 election. Photo by Hawkins Teague, ML&T

July 2012

Murray was named "Friendliest Town in America" as part of Rand McNally and USA Today's Best of the Road competition.

December 2012

Governor Steve Beshear announced that IWIS, a German automotive supplier, would bring 75 full-time jobs and more than $12.5 million in investment to Murray.

IWIS, photo courtesy John Wright of ML&T.

February 2013

Friendly's Liquor, Wine & Beer was the first liquor store to open in Murray.

Friendly's became the first liquor store in Murray.

July 2013

Officials with Marriott Hotels announced plans to build a Spring Hill Suites location in Murray.

February 2014

National online real estate blog Movoto.com ranked Murray No. 1 among the best cities to live in Kentucky. Murray's quality of life and historic downtown area captured Movoto's attention.

February 2014

The Gatlin Building on the corner of Fourth and Main Streets in Murray collapsed. In March, a partial roof collapse in a building at the Court Square closed two businesses. In July, an early-morning fire erupted on the west side of Murray's court square, engulfing three historic buildings in flames leaving the future of five businesses uncertain.

The Gatlin Building partially collapsed in Murray.

February 2015

Hazel was named one of the best cities in America for antiquing by Fodor's Travel.

March 2015

The IWIS plant opened in Murray.

July 19, 2016

The Rotary Amphitheater Performing Arts Pavilion in the park was dedicated and opened to the public.

September 9, 2016

The first female firefighter joined the Murray Fire Department when Shae McKinney received her badge from her father Deputy Chief Dwain McKinney.

December 2016

The Wall Street Journal mentioned Murray in a piece on thriving college towns. Murray had been building itself back up after the Mattel toy company moved in 2002 to Mexico. The story referenced Murray State as a leading contributor. Murray's unemployment rate dropped from 9.3 percent to less than four percent.

March 6, 2017

Murray City Council voted to purchase the former BB&T bank building at 5th and Main for $900,000 for use as a city hall.

June 28, 2017

An explosion from a suspected gas leak occurred at the New Richmond Residential College on Murray State University's main campus. The explosion destroyed a considerable portion of the south wing of the building and left one person seriously injured. Later in the year the cause of the explosion was said to have been a lawnmower hitting a natural gas regulator.

August 22, 2017

The Murray City Council voted 6-4 to enact a one percent payroll tax for anyone that lives or works in Murray.

December 7, 2017

Governor Matt Bevin's office announced that a South Korean powertrain parts manufacturer, DAE-IL Corp., would locate in Murray's West Industrial Park.

February 12, 2018

The new bridge spanning Lake Barkley saw its first traffic as the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet opened the bridge to two-lane traffic.

April 11, 2018

By a 3-1 margin, the Calloway County Public Library Board of Trustees approved a $6.4 million renovation and expansion of the current facility on Main Street in Murray. About a week later, Jeff Gentry, Ricky Lamkin and Larry Tucker all resigned from the Calloway County Public Library Board of Trustees, leaving the board with just two members.

June 2018

By an 8-2 vote, the Murray City Council approved a new ordinance to prohibit smoking in all workplaces and public places.

June 25, 2018

In a rare joint meeting of the Calloway County Fiscal Court and the Murray City Council opted to join forces in pursuit of a federal grant, known as BUILD, to generate $25 million for the long-sought expansion of U.S. 641 South to four lanes of traffic between Murray and Hazel. Both bodies unanimously committed to contributing $500,000 each to the cause as it was strongly recommended by state officials.

December 6, 2018

U. S. Senator Mitch McConnell's office announced federal funds of $23 million towards the four-laning U.S. 641 South between Murray and Hazel.

May 15, 2019

A contractor demolished and removed Woods Hall from the Murray State campus.

June 20, 2019

Former Murray State basketball player Ja Morant joined the Memphis Grizzlies after becoming the No. 2 NBA draft pick.

December 9, 2019

Chicago based TPG Plastics, LLC announced that it would occupy the spec building at Murray West Industrial Park creating about 50 jobs in the Murray and Calloway County community.

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