Displaying items by tag: history

Madisonville Elks Lodge - 1906

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (8/30/13) - The Madisonville Elks Lodge building (pictured above) was erected in 1906 on the south side of Court Street. The upper floors were used by the lodge for their meetings and activities. The first floor was rented to various businesses, including a buggy shop, the post office, the library, doctor offices, and lawyer offices. The Jones Buggy Company sign can be seen on the lower window. 

The included photo/postcard and historical information is courtesy of the Historical Society of Hopkins County (HSHC).

Additional historic photos and postcards, as well as county-wide historical information, can be found in Arcardia Publishing’s book, Postcard History Series: Hopkins County, which was compiled by the HSHC, local author Lisa D. Piper, and several area contributors.

To learn more about the HSHC, click here.

To read additional historical articles via the Sugg Street Post, visit our "Days of Yore" section by clicking here

Sugg Street Post
Information/photo provided by the Historical Society of Hopkins County

 

 

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We All Float On – Canoeing and Kayaking in Dawson Springs

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (8/22/13)—If you live in or around the Hopkins County, KY region, adventure is right outside your doorstep (or at least a few miles down the road). From acres of sprawling forests, unique rock formations, and trail-laden parks, to immense waterways, scenic back roads, massive cave systems, and beyond, the western Kentucky region—and the state itself—is brimming with a variety of outdoors opportunities.

Yet, for all of the adrenaline-based activities at our disposal—mountain-biking, rock wall repelling, ATV/dirt bike riding, and jet-skiing, which is to name only a few—there are just as many options for relaxation, nature observation, family-friendly fun, and even a little light exercise.

Case in point: canoeing, kayaking, or boating on Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park’s Pennyrile Lake or Dawson Springs’ nearby Tradewater River.

Though many in our area are familiar with both locations, there may be less who are aware of their canoeing, kayaking, or boating possibilities.

Don’t own a canoe or kayak? While there are even more options at your disposal in Hopkins County if you do, don’t worry—both Pennyrile Lake and the Tradewater River have rentals available for reasonable prices. Worried about the upcoming shift into the fall and winter seasons? Don’t be. Both locations are accessible well into the later months of the year (and sometimes further).

Pennyrile Lake
A decades-old, 56 acre, reservoir-style body of water that stretches well over 3,300 foot from north to south, Pennyrile Lake is located amongst more than 14,000 acres of majestic woodlands. Though Pennyrile Lake’s size could be considered small in comparison to other nearby sites, such as Lake Beshear and Kentucky Lake, its diversity lends itself to a variety of pursuits. Take a few hours to soak up the indigenous wildlife amongst untainted shorelines, varied inlets, and a dense lily-pad “field”; examine the intricacies of sheer rock facings and outcroppings that border the lake’s edge, which are common to the Dawson Springs area; cast your fishing lure into fallen brush piles, beneath overhanging trees, and around the perimeter of adjoining docks; bring your camera and capture a variety of intriguing photographs; or simply take a fresh look at Pennyrile Lake’s historic dam from the water level. And that’s just scratching the surface. The pathway and approach you take to explore this striking setting is up to you and yours. What’s more, Pennyrile State Forest Resort Park offers lodging, camping, fresh food, golfing, swimming, and a bevy of other services/outdoors entertainment.

Here’s the lowdown on pricing and boating options, as well as times/dates that the lake is open to visitors:

• Paddleboats - $5/30 minutes; $8/hour; $25/day
• Canoes - $8/hour; $30/day
• Jon Boat (no motor) - $10/hour; $35/day
• Jon Boat (with motor) - $20/hour; $45/day; $86/two days

All rentals include boat paddles and life-jackets at no additional charge. Rentals are available from 10am – 5pm every day of the week until October 31st. For more information on Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, such as boat availability, call (270) 797-3421 or visit http://parks.ky.gov/parks/resortparks/pennyrile-forest/. Detailed directions to the park are also available at the aforementioned link.

Tradewater River
Named for the oftentimes “neutral” trade interactions it fostered between various native American tribes and white settlers in the early-to-mid-1800’s, the Tradewater River is a truly historic tributary of the Ohio River that meanders across western Kentucky and parts of Indiana for well over 100 miles. Though portions of the relatively slow-moving, yet tranquil and naturally picturesque, river are difficult or impossible to traverse by boat, canoe, or kayak due to large, sporadic deposits of fallen debris, local outdoors enthusiast and Dawson Springs resident, Hank Mills, offers regional adventure seekers and nature lovers a chance to experience between two and five unobstructed miles of the relaxing waterway through his personal, riverside business, Tradewater Canoes and Kayaks.

Below is a list of canoeing and kayaking options, as well as times/date and methods of scheduling a rental.

• Lower River (approx. two miles/one-and-a-half hours)—$20 per boat OR $15 per boat for groups renting three or more boats
• Upper River (approx. five miles/three to four hours)—$30 per boat OR $25 per boat for groups renting three or more boats

Rental fees include paddles, life-jackets, and onsite transportation to and from your launch/arrival site (if applicable). While walk-ins are acceptable from 9am to 5pm up until Labor Day (September 2nd, 2013), calling ahead of time to schedule a rental is strongly encouraged for those traveling into Dawson Springs from out of town. After Labor Day, pre-scheduling trips and rentals by phone will be mandatory. To set up an appointment, to find out more information, or to get specific directions, please call (270) 871-9475. Leave a voicemail if you don’t get an answer and someone will call you back as soon as possible. You can also find Tradewater Canoes and Kayaks on Facebook.

While the two aforementioned options are ideal for a relaxing daytrip by yourself, with friends, or with the whole family, Tradewater Canoes and Kayaks will also be hosting an exciting, adrenaline-pumping fitness challenge on Saturday, August 24th. In addition to a two mile kayak portion, the event will also host a 4K run and a 16.5 mile bike ride. If you’re interested in participating in the challenge, visit the following link for information on registration, locations, and more:
http://www.dawsonspringsky.com/trails/2013%20Brochure%20.pdf.

You may also find the Tradewater River Fitness Challenge on Facebook.

In the end, taking time out of our busy schedules and modern, fast-paced routines can oftentimes remind of us of what we are: adventure-seeking beings that have a natural drive to explore the world around us. We are nomadic at heart. And why not go and smell the roses from time-to-time? Immersing one’s self in the natural world can soothe and relax the mind, body, and perhaps the very essence of our being. Floating and swaying along on a serene waterway lightens our sense of immediacy, giving us a feeling of buoyancy and weightlessness, while provoking our ancestral instincts. 

Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photos by Luke Short and Tradewater Canoes and Kayaks

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World War I Soldiers - 1909

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (8/15/13) - Posing in this photograph (in what is believed to Earlington, KY) are 16 World War I soldiers. The men are standing in front of their tents and ready to eat. Some of the soldiers are holding forks, metal plates with handles, and metal cups. The postcard was mailed on August 17th, 1909, from Earlington. 

The included photo/postcard and historical information is courtesy of the Historical Society of Hopkins County (HSHC) and community member, Mike Winstead. 

Additional historic photos and postcards, as well as county-wide historical information, can be found in Arcardia Publishing’s book, Postcard History Series: Hopkins County, which was compiled by the HSHC, local author Lisa D. Piper, and several area contributors.

To learn more about the HSHC, click here.

Sugg Street Post
Information/photo provided by the Historical Society of Hopkins County

 

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Arnold Ligon - From Teen to Tycoon

MADISONVILLE, KY (7/30/13) - Arnold Ligon began hauling freight at the age of 17. He bought his first truck when he was 18. By 1949, he had a fleet of 26 trucks and buses. When the company was sold in 1982, it was the 17th largest hauler of truckload freight in the United States. The company was located at 2911 Anton Road, but moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 2000. 

The included photo/postcard and historical information is courtesy of the Historical Society of Hopkins County (HSHC).

Additional historic photos and postcards, as well as county-wide historical information, can be found in Arcardia Publishing’s book, Postcard History Series: Hopkins County, which was compiled by the HSHC, local author Lisa D. Piper, and several area contributors.

To learn more about the HSHC, click here.

To read additional historical articles via the Sugg Street Post, visit our "Days of Yore" section by clicking here.

Sugg Street Post
Information/photo provided by the Historical Society of Hopkins County

 

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Hopkins County Fair - 1891

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (7/16/13) - The Hopkins County Fair takes place during the summer in the city of Madisonville at the Hopkins County Fairgrounds/Ballard Convention Center. This postcard was sent as an advertisement for the Ninth Annual Fair of the Hopkins County Stock and Agricultural Association. The fair was held August 12th through August 15th in 1891, with J.H. Lunsford as president and J.B. Harvey as secretary. 

Today, the annual Hopkins County Fair showcases a wide variety of entertainment for all ages. To learn more about the 2013 Hopkins County Fair, visit the following link: http://www.hopkinscountyfair.com/

The included photo/postcard and historical information is courtesy of the Historical Society of Hopkins County (HSHC) and community member, Mike Winstead. 

Additional historic photos and postcards, as well as county-wide historical information, can be found in Arcardia Publishing’s book, Postcard History Series: Hopkins County, which was compiled by the HSHC, local author Lisa D. Piper, and several area contributors.

To learn more about the HSHC, click here.

Sugg Street Post
Information/photo provided by the Historical Society of Hopkins County

 

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Reinecke Smokestack - A Full Week of Work

MADISONVILLE, KY (7/8/13) - Eureka Mine is seen in this undated postcard. The mine was operated by the Reinecke Coal Mining Company, which started operations in 1886 and closed in 1939. The brick building in the foreground is the power plant. The smokestack is all that is left standing at the site on West Noel Avenue in Madisonville today. 

The message on the undated postcard offers up what may have been a jab at the lack of stability in employment during the time period (or perhaps the lack of stable employment for the message's author):

Wednesday
I have worked three days and they have not fired me yet so I guess I will stay the rest of the week anyway
Marion.

The included photo/postcard and historical information is courtesy of the Historical Society of Hopkins County (HSHC) and community member, Mike Winstead. 

Additional historic photos and postcards, as well as county-wide historical information, can be found in Arcardia Publishing’s book, Postcard History Series: Hopkins County, which was compiled by the HSHC, local author Lisa D. Piper, and several area contributors.

To learn more about the HSHC, click here.

Sugg Street Post
Information/photo provided by the Historical Society of Hopkins County

 

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Morton's Theatre - 1905

MADISONVILLE, KY (6/28/13) - The 1905 photograph found above shows the interior of Morton's Theatre, which was once located on the northeast corner of Cardwell and Union Streets in Madisonville. The box seats on the north side of the theatre and the stage area, complete with elaborate curtains and decor, are pictured in the photo. W.C. Morton drew plans for the Morton Theatre, and construction was begun in 1900 and completed in 1901. For 73 years, Morton's was the showplace of Madisonville. 

The included photo/postcard and historical information is courtesy of the Historical Society of Hopkins County (HSHC).

Additional historic photos and postcards, as well as county-wide historical information, can be found in Arcardia Publishing’s book, Postcard History Series: Hopkins County, which was compiled by the HSHC, local author Lisa D. Piper, and several area contributors.

To learn more about the HSHC, click here.

Sugg Street Post
Information/photo provided by the Historical Society of Hopkins County

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The Courthouse

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (6/21/13) - A siren could be heard in the distance. There were loud popping sounds accompanying the bright flashes, which were accentuating the night sky. Exploding firecrackers added to the excitement of the occasion. A marching band struck up a hearty rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner.” The street signs were adorned with flags and brightly colored placards. The old courthouse was lit with red and blue lights. As always, the courthouse was the focal point for the annual Independence Day celebration. The townspeople lined the streets to witness the pageantry of this patriotic event. It was a time to also reflect on the one hundred and twenty-seven celebrations which had come before.

A cannon salute signaled the festivities of the 1886 celebration. The town was not only celebrating the birth of the nation, but a new courthouse as well. People came as far as fifty miles away to see this wondrous structure. It was an extremely ornate building supported by marble pillars. In the center of the structure was an impressive clock which chimed on every hour. Each window was individually sculptured with lead glass in each pane. Over the huge double entrance was carved: COUNTY COURTHOUSE. At the top of the steeple, a flag stood motionless in the hot summer air. There was loud cheering as Civil War veterans rode proudly past on their spirited steeds. The mayor proclaimed: "This building is dedicated to all those individuals who are committed to keeping our country free." With that, the crowd roared its resounding approval. The courthouse was the picture of modern architecture and gothic beauty.

At the turn of the Twentieth Century, a different celebration was being held. The long overdue monument to the Civil War dead was being dedicated. A local resident who had served directly under General Grant was the first to speak: "It was a scary time for the country and for a nineteen-year-old soldier." He continued: "I remember how badly I felt when I heard that President Lincoln had been shot. I truly believed the country had lost the only person who could put it back together again." The recent assassination of President McKinley was still in the minds of the people in the audience. The old soldier gave way to another who had fought on the opposite side. This gentleman had fought gallantly under General George Pickett, having survived the famous charge at Gettysburg. He spoke in a high, piercing voice: "It was a time of stubbornness and unmitigated pride. We thought we were fighting for a principle, but we were really caught up with the aura of the times." There were more speeches that day and more painful memories. A bugle sounded taps as the flag was raised to half-mast atop the courthouse steeple. The courthouse was sullenly quiet. We were mourning the recent loss of a President and the passing of a bygone era.

Fifteen years later, the country was in the middle of the First World War. There were streamers galore, each sending a message of support to doughboys everywhere. Lemonade flowed freely to quench the thirst caused by the boiling sun. A sign was hung over the courthouse entrance. It read: WE SUPPORT OUR BOYS. There were patriotic essays read aloud by local dignitaries. An essay by a ten-year old girl from a nearby county was declared the winner. She wrote how proud she was of her country. She also wrote about the beautiful countryside with its colorful flowers and towering sycamore trees. The day could not have been complete without a parade. In keeping with the mood, the parade's theme reflected support for America in its war effort. The courthouse chimed a resounding eight times signifying the end of a perfect celebration.

In 1933, the country was in the middle of a horrible depression. The courthouse, in fact, housed all kinds of helping agencies created by the Roosevelt Administration. However, today's celebration was anything but glum. There was an abundance of food and drinks available in the makeshift cafeteria located in tents in back of the courthouse. The courthouse had just received a new coat of paint inside and out. It looked and smelled like a new building. There was promise in the air. Hope could easily have been the theme for this year's gathering. The courthouse was being visited today by the Governor himself. He was to speak about the New Deal program and what it meant to farmers. This was a farming community and what he had to say would be important to everyone in the county. The band played "Happy Days Are Here Again" as the Governor approached the microphone. He spoke very succinctly: "Farmers are important to this country if we are ever to get out of this mess. The President has authorized a new program which will provide assistance to farmers in this county." The Governor proceeded to tell the audience about yet another bureaucratic program that was sure to cure the farmer's ills. The audience responded with polite applause. They had hoped the news would be about new farm markets instead of another program designed to enlarge government. Mr. Jackson, a local farmer, summed it up best: "Looks like we are going to have to build another courthouse, because this one is already filled with government agencies." Even the disappointing speech by the Governor failed to dampen the celebration. The traditional parade was already beginning to form. The courthouse was a fitting monument to the spirit of the people there. A new coat of paint would soon be doused on the economy. At least that seemed to be the pervading view of this small farming community.

“Cantaloupes and watermelons for sale," shouted a teenaged lad. This was a familiar cry in this part of the country. The area’s watermelons and cantaloupes were considered the finest within a twelve-county radius. Today, local residents could dine for free on these tasty treats. The annual celebration, as always, had its share of long-winded speakers. Another monument was being dedicated. This one was to honor those brave soldiers who had fought and died in World War II. The war had been over for four years. The beauty pageant was just getting under way. The mayor had successfully fought to have the winner represent the county in the state beauty contest for the first time. Cars were blocking the parade route and had to be removed by an accommodating tow truck. The courthouse, for the first time, began to resemble an aging landmark. Surrounding structures were springing up everywhere. Some former tenants of the courthouse had moved across town to another location. There was talk of constructing a new building to take its place. Progress had come to this area. People in New York may soon be eating those famous watermelons and cantaloupes. The celebration continued with the courthouse oblivious to all these changes.

It was 1968 and some area residents felt the annual celebration should be postponed. The Vietnam War had stirred a great deal of controversy between the old and young in the community. Families were torn apart by their divergent views. How could an Independence Day celebration be of any meaningful value in such an atmosphere? One of the local politicians sensed that something was needed to charge up this event. He invited one of the more controversial presidential candidates to speak. This candidate's radical views were known widely throughout the country. While his candidacy was anything but serious, his ideas were further fueling an already divided nation. An elevated stage was constructed at the entrance of the courthouse in accordance with the speaker's wishes. The candidate was introduced to the overflowing crowd. "I plan to make this country stronger by winning this war," assured the confidant speaker. "The rights of the working man will be uppermost in my mind when I'm your President. No long-haired hippie radical or whining member of some minority group will have a voice in my administration." A hissing chorus of boos and catcalls poured forth from the crowd. The speaker looked ominously at the distracted mob. With a menacing smile, he said: "When I'm elected President, I will come back to this area and hang all of you anarchists." A hush fell over the audience and they listened to the rest of the speech in almost total silence. The candidate finished and the mayor asked if anyone else had an opposing view. The first speaker was adorned with metals from both World War II and the Korean War. He spoke almost in a whisper: "I may not agree with all of the protest against the war and other issues in our country, but I will defend any American's right to speak out." A thundering applause could be heard as the speaker stepped down from the platform. A young man with shoulder length hair and protruding beard spoke next. "Today, I have heard what America is all about. It is not about stifling opposing viewpoints and beliefs, but about the importance of everyone being allowed to think what they want without being afraid of reprisals." The day was filled with countless other such testimonials. A marching band joined a solitary guitar player for a most unusual version of "America the Beautiful.” A new generation of sounds echoed off the old courthouse until the break of dawn.

The theme of the 1986 celebration was: "SAVE THE OLD COURTHOUSE.” A new county building had finally been built in 1985 and most of the former courthouse occupants had moved out. There had been talk for over forty years of what would become of the courthouse if a new building took its place. Now, the community was faced with the problem of either leveling the beloved structure or finding another use for it. Committees were forming to raise money to maintain the old building and to determine some meaningful ways to make use of its heritage. The once proud steeple was in need of repair. The huge clock had not worked in over three years. This faithful friend to the community was dying a slow death from decay and neglect. If the ornate structure was to see many more Independence Day celebrations, it must have a helping hand. The community had totally mobilized all efforts to see that this old friend would be around for a long time. This year's festivities were centered on the courthouse, much like the first celebration back in 1886. It was time to pay homage to a dear friend.

We are now celebrating Independence Day in the present. The courthouse has had a new steeple since 2000. The tower clock now proudly chimes again. Housed in the courthouse is a new generation of occupants ranging from artists to gourmet cooks. Visitors come from miles around just to admire its renewed beauty. No one can remember when the community was without this magnificent structure. It has been the meeting place for many important events. It has been a stabilizing force for the people in this area. The courthouse stands as a beacon of the past, ready to make many more contributions to this community's heritage.

________________________________________________________

For some, writing is a way of life. For Madisonville resident Mike Barton, it’s also a part-time job and a leisurely love affair. Along with authoring five insightfully written business books, which includes Recognition at WorkBuilding a Fundamentally Sound Corporate Compliance Program, and Incentive Pay: Creating a Competitive Advantage, as well as numerous published articles and short pieces, Mike holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Evansville. And while Mike’s in-depth sense of business know-how has led him to employment as a teacher/professor, an HR Administrator with Baptist Health Madisonville, and a talented lecturer, he says that he simply loves to write. Period. In turn, the Sugg Street Post recently got in touch with Mike and found that he was interested in submitting some of his works to our website. Of course, we were happy to oblige.

 

Sugg Street Post
Written by Mike Barton
Photo by Jeff Harp

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Turn of the Century Prohibitionists - 1912

MADISONVILLE, KY (6/18/13) - In the above photo, the downtown Madisonville streets are blockaded by prohibitionists demonstrating. A child in the crowd holds up a sign that reads, "Vote For Me." Note the old street lights and unique architecture featured on several of the buildings in the background. Many of the participants are wearing prohibition ribbons. There are drugstores on both sides of the street as well. The card is dated January 24, 1912 and includes the following caption: STREETS BLOCKADED BY PROHIBITIONIST FIGHTING THE OPEN SALOON. WINNING VICTORY BY THE BIG MAJORITY. MADISONVILLE KY JAN. 24 - 1912.

The included photo/postcard and historical information is courtesy of the Historical Society of Hopkins County (HSHC).

Additional historic photos and postcards, as well as county-wide historical information, can be found in Arcardia Publishing’s book, Postcard History Series: Hopkins County, which was compiled by the HSHC, local author Lisa D. Piper, and several area contributors.

To learn more about the HSHC, click here.

Sugg Street Post
Information/photo provided by the Historical Society of Hopkins County

 

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Marching Out of Time

MADISONVILLE, KY (6/17/13) - A parade of men and women marches down Main Street between Broadway and Sugg Streets in Madisonville. Their cause is unknown, and the card is not dated. Although there are several buggies in the photograph, a building on the left reads, "Barnes Auto Company. Ford and Buick Motor Cars." The top of what was the Cumberland Presbyterian Church can be seen towering above the buildings on the right. 

The included photo/postcard and historical information is courtesy of the Historical Society of Hopkins County (HSHC) and community member, Jan Dixon. 

Additional historic photos and postcards, as well as county-wide historical information, can be found in Arcardia Publishing’s book, Postcard History Series: Hopkins County, which was compiled by the HSHC, local author Lisa D. Piper, and several area contributors.

To learn more about the HSHC, click here.

Sugg Street Post
Information/photo provided by the Historical Society of Hopkins County

 

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