Monday, September 17, 2018

Crittenden County Historic Items from 1951

You never know what you will find while looking through old discarded magazines from years ago.  

Some interested facts about Marion that were found in an old Kentucky Treasurer Trails Guide - 1951.     These homes were written about in the magazine.  

Old Buildings - (most gone now for many years)

The Dean Home, located on Old Ford's Ferry Road was constructed in 1826 by Alexander Dean.  (This beautiful old home burnt to the ground in 1981)

The Flanary Home - 317 W. Bellville St.  Constructed in 1877 by John W. blue, Sr.  A fine example of Victorian architecture featuring lavish gingerbread trim and a steamboat Gothic front porch.  (This one of a kind home has been gone now for several years and a new home sits on this location.)

 Known as the Kykendall Home in 1951, located at 217 W. Bellville St.  Constructed in 1868.  (Today this home is well cared for and is the office of our County Attorney, Rebecca Johnson.  This picture made in 1988, some changed have been made to the front entrance.)

The Tucker Home, located at 117 W. Bellville St.  Constructed 1870 by Judge Thomas J. Nunn.  (Today this home if well cared for and is the home of Tommy and Mary Tabor.)

Senator Ollie M. James House, 204 East Depot St.  Was the home of the former u. S. Kentucky Senator Ollie M. James.  (This home is well cared for today by Robert M. Jenkins.)

The Nichols Home, located on Moore Street.  Constructed by Ed Dowell, county sheriff at one time in the early days of Marion.   Mr. Dowell made the brick used to build the home in the back lot.  (This beautiful old  home  has been gone for many years.  Today Crittenden County's Nursing Home sits of the lot where this home once sat.  For many years during the 50's and 60's, Curry Nichols lived here.  He was a well known photographer and he made all the Senior picture for the Crittenden County High School, plus baby and family photos also.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Remembering The History of Shady Grove

I have written several posts about the community of Shady Grove and what a busy town it was many years ago.  You never know when something new will surface that tells more history of this little community.  Recently a former Shady Grove resident, Mona Ricks Ferrell, shared some of her pictures.  One I found really fascinating was the following photo of Isaac Zachary's Photography Studio. 

In 1915 Zachary's Photo Studio was located on the left side of the road, across from the cemetery.  Located next to the photography shop was Tom Land's Barbara Shop.

Mr. Zachary was a single man, and lived in Shady Grove area until his death Sept. 29, 1942.  He died in Providence, Ky., was brought back and according to his Death Certificate was buried in the Hood Cemetery.  The sad ending is that he has no tombstone to mark his grave, and without this knowledge he isn't even listed in our Cemetery Book, Volume II.  

But through his wonderful pictures, several historical groups and locations are  preserved by these pictures.  How many other of our communities can boast that it once had it's own Photography Studio at this early time.?  

One of Mr. Zachary's historical photographs was on the Shady Grove Concert Band.

Mrs. Nadine Sigler Horning, a Shady Grove Resident, and who is now 95 years old, shared this wonderful picture with me.  Made in the early 1900's.

She even has identified the band members.  How wonderful.

L to R:  Front row: Spaulding Ringo, Davis Hollowell, Garett Towery, Clarence Sipes, and Will Sigler (Nadine's father).
Back row: Mr. Travis, first name not known,  band instructor, Richard McDowell, Ira McDowell, J. Brown, Ross Fox and Sheck Birchfield. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Forest Grove School, Only Memories Remain

A building was built for Forest Grove School in 1893.  It was located near the Cave-In-Rock Road, or today State Rd. 91.  The new building was built on an acre lot and was funded by the state with the help of the patrons.

After the building was completed, Tom Akers furnished the maple saplings and a very beautiful yard was built around the school house.  The Aker family lived in the Forest Grove community.

The schoolhouse was also used for Sunday School through the summer months, and there would be preaching occasionally.  

There was also a Literary Society that met in the school building every other Friday night.

The patrons of this Forest Grove School were the families of Bracey, Williams, Heaths, Shuberts, Akers, Paris, Milligans, Terry's Robinson's, Fritts and many other.

The first teachers of the new school were, Edgar Bozeman, Sid Moore, Karl Flanary, Emma Terry, George Conditt and Maude Gill.  The last one to teach was George Wofford.

Textbooks were McGuffy's reader and speller, Rays arithmetic, geography and physiology.

After the school districts were consolidated and school wasn't held here anymore, the Forest Grove School house was used for family reunions, and church gatherings.

The last year for the Forest Grove School was 1958.  The building was torn down in 1985 by Duke Hodge who then owned the property.  

In those days before it was closed and torn down, it was a nice place to stop and rest if you were coming from Illinois and going to Marion.  Many people used it for a picnic area as it was a nice cool place to stop with all the shape trees and nice yard. 

That's all gone now, it just an over-grown lot that usually has hay stored on it or is grown up with weeds and grass.  A part of our forgotten passages of time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A Vist to Marion's past through Post Cards

Picture postcards from long ago, in their own special way,  have helped preserve our past history. 

Here are a just a few that tell of some of Marion's past history.
One of the older ones shows a picture of South Main Street.  The house on the left is the Wm. Barnett home built in 1911.   It is still there today, but the color is now gray. Today on the left of it would be Belt's auction realty and then Tabor's service repair station.

County Court Day in Marion was always a big day in the early 1900's.   Not just the monthly court meeting day, but a day of shopping and making a visit to Jockey lot, where mules and other farm animals were on hand for trading or buying, also many other farm and food items.  It was a big day for the merchants of Marion also, as with the large number of people in town, their stores would be busy all day. 
 This old post card gives us a glimpse of all the people that would be in town on County Court Day.  This picture would have been made on West Bellville St.  The building the men are on the porch and in the windows was the old Western Auto Store.   

Always heard of the big loads of lead and zinc that was located in the mines around Marion?  Especially in the Crittenden Springs area, as the Columbia Mines.  This picture made in 1902 shows a large number of loaded wagons being brought into Marion to be taken to the depot for unloading.  Such a wonderful post card as you can see the Farmers Bank on the left, and the Court House and Clerk's building a little farther down.  
Marion was as it's finest during these times.  Soon in a few years, 1905, the store on the right would all be burnt down in the great fire. 

This post card says "A Fourth of July Scene in Marion, KY."  It appears that the "blimp" may be what is popularly called an "exaggeration postcard" at the turn of the century.  The scene originally was a Fourth of July celebration that was turned into a more exciting event by an enterprising postcard publisher who superimposed "exaggerated" details for added interest and sales.

Some of the building on the right look somewhat familiar from other old pictures, but I haven't placed it for sure if this was is Marion, just exactly where it was made. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Early Churches

This interesting article about some of Marion's early churches was published in a special edition of The Crittenden Press on April 24, 1958.  

Churches came into Crittenden County as fast as the settlers came, many times a church was organized in a home of a devout Christian  and continued to meet there until the membership was able to have their own building.

In 1797 Rev. Terah Templin helped to organize the First Presbyterian Church in Old Centerville.  This church lived only so long as the town existed.

In the year 1803 the Rev. Wm. Dickey organized the Bethany Presbyterian Church, which was more commonly called "The Old Log Cabin Church" on Crooked Creek at Cross Keys, and it is back to this church that the First Presbyterian Church of Marion traces its history.

When the County Seat was moved to Marion, this church with all of its membership also moved.  

Their first building was erected in what is now known as the Old Cemetery on the South side of town.  In 1854 this church organized the first Sunday School in the county. 

 The location of the church has changed several times since, but in 1881 it was moved to its present location on the corner of Bellville and College Street in Marion.

Possible the oldest Baptist Church in the county with a continuous record in the Union Baptist, which is a branch of the "Old Salem" Church and met in the Fulkerson home until they could build in 1810, and in 1812 Union Church joined the Little River Association of  United Baptist.

Another Baptist church was established at Deer Creek in 1823.  Since that date the Baptists have grown rapidly in membership.

The earliest Methodist records take us back to the 1830's when a Circuit was formed with Caldwell and Livingston Counties, included: Princeton, Hurricane, Salem and Tolu forming the circuit.

In 1853 there were 47 names listed as being members of the Marion Methodist Church.  In 1873 their first building was erected in Marion on Salem St., which is now West Bellville.  This was a frame building and was destroyed by a storm in 1890 but was soon replaced with a brick structure which is still standing and at present is being used by the Christian Church.

In 1910 the Methodists purchased a lot on the corner of College and Carlisle Streets and built a new church, which is still in use and in 1954 an Education Building was added.

Monday, August 6, 2018

July 1953 - New Drive-In Theatre To Open In Marion.

Yes, Marion and Crittenden County was to have their own drive-in theatre.  It would be a great convenience to everyone that before had to drive to Princeton, Morganfield or Paducah to see a drive-in movie.  It was to be located on U. S. 60 West about 1/4 from the city limits of Marion.  It would be built to accommodate 300 cars.

The owners and managers of the new drive-in theatre were Dr. J. J. Rosentihal, B. G. Moore and Tom Simmons.  

The Drive-In would also operate a Snack Bar for the pleasure and convenience of its patrons.  Popcorn, hot dogs, soft drinks, ice cream, candy, cigarettes and various other items and confections would be featured and sold there.

The picture billed as the opening attraction would be "Bronco Buster."  This technicolor picture would be shown on Thursday and Friday nights.

I don't know the date that Mr. Harry Gass and his wife Frankie purchased the Drive-in.  But they, with their son, Trent, operated the Drive-In-Theater for several years.    During this time, the Kentucky theater would close for the summer months and they would open the Drive-in for the summer.  

I'm not exactly sure of the date when the Gass family closed the Marion Drive-in, but the last advertisement for the drive-in was in the October 9, 1986 Crittenden Press.  The movie Back To School, starring Rodney Dangerfiled was to play Oct. 10, 11, and 12.  

In April of 1988, a young man, Scott Zimmerman, 21, from Denver Colorado, moved to Marion just so he could purchased the abandoned Drive-In and re-open it.  Owning and running a drive-in was a life-long dream of his.

But by August of that same year,Scott reported that his dream of owning a drive-in was turning into a nightmare.  People just wouldn't come to the movies, night after night only a few cars would be there.  He tried everything he knew to get people interested in coming back for the nightly movies.  Single feature, double feature, nothing he tried worked to bring in the people.

Like so many things that were once popular, people had just lost interest in going to a drive-in movie.  By 1992 it was closed and some years later the once popular huge outdoor screen,  was becoming dilapidated and would soon be torn down.

Another part of our past history was now to be in the forgotten passages of time.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Crittenden County Treasure Trails - 1951

Some interesting facts published about our Crittenden County in 1951, taken from "Kentucky Treasure Trails."  Although some facts have changed, it's still interesting to read the way we were in 1951.

In the early 1840's Marion was a booming town with a strong economy based on the largest metallurgical fluorspar mine and plant in the United States.   

The community of Ford's Ferry is across the Ohio River from the well-known robber's den, "Cave-In-Rock," on the Illinois shore.  In the early nineteenth century this cave was the headquarters of a vicious band of river pirates who terrorized flatboat travelers as they passed this great bend in the river.

Today, (1951), two important factors contribute to the success of Crittenden County:  first, the millions of tons of high grade sandstone and limestone in the area, and secondly, the Ohio, Cumberland, and Tradewater Rivers on the county's boundaries.

Old Buildings:

  • The Cruce Home - Marion, Princeton Rd. US-641 S.  Built in the early 1800's, by Presley Cruce.  The 3 front rooms are of logs.   (Still standing today, a family residence.)
  • The Dean Home - Old Ford's Ferry Rd.  Constructed in 1826 by Alexander Dean.  (This old 2-story home burnt in 1981)
  •  Shewmaker Home, Old Ford's Ferry Rd.  Constructed in 1888 by Peter Shewmaker.  (Still standing and owned by Shewmaker descendants today.)
  • The Flanary Home - 317 W. Bellville St.  Constructed in 1877 by John W. Blue, Sr.  A fine example of Victorian architecture featuring lavish gingerbread trim and a steamboat Gothic front porch.  (This beautiful home has since been torn down and a new modern home built in it's place by Virgil and Linda Cook.)
  • Kykendall Home, 217 W. Bellville St. Constructed in 1868.  (Still standing today.)
  • Tucker Homer, 117 W. Bellville St.  Constructed in 1879 by Judge Thomas J. Nunn. ( Still a beautiful home today, owned and lived in by Tommy and Mary Tabor.)
  • Senator Ollie M. James House, 204 E. Depot St.  Constructed in early 1800.  Was the home of the former U. S. Kentucky Senator Ollie M. James.  (Still standing in good condition thanks to it's present owner, Robert Marshall Jenkins.)
  • Dycus Home, Dycusburg, overlooking the Cumberland River.  Constructed in 1857 by Thephis Cooksey.  (Still standing today, a beautiful old home)