Monday, September 28, 2009

Tobacco in Crittenden County

The picture at the right is during the time Crittenden County grew tobacco for a cash crop. It was a busy day at the tobacco factory as this line of wagon loads of tobacco and men came into town to unload their crops.

From the files of The Crittenden Record-Press, Sept 1906, tobacco farmer, A. H . Cardin wrote the following letter to the Record.
Editor Record. I ask a small space this week to speak to the tobacco growers, as I am anxious for them to house and cure this crop of tobacco in good shape.

From all I have seen this is the best crop we have had for fifteen years and it will not do to handle it carelessly. If you expect to get a good price you must get it in the barn in good shape and fire it well, let it yellow well, then start your fires slow, say for 24 hours, then increase them for one day and night, then fire slowly for about ten days, just enough to keep the leaf dry.

If it comes in order a little at night dry it out during the day until it is thoroughly cured. The best color is a cherry red, the next best color is a rich brown or a solid dark.

This year you will need more barn room and more sticks, and you are liable to put too much on the stick and crowd it in the barn. You will have to guard against this or you will have house burnt tobacco. House burnt tobacco is almost worthless as well as sun burnt tobacco. You can make or ruin a crop of tobacco from the knife on.

Since the Trust has got control of the tobacco business they are very particular as to how the tobacco is classed, and if you are curing your tobacco by bad management, get mixed colors, it is hard to class, which will cut the price fully $1.00 on the 100 pounds. If you do not want mixed colors let your tobacco yellow well and fire slow in the start and fire until your tobacco is well cured.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Crittenden Springs Hotel - The Ending

Crittenden Springs Hotel Beginning and End

I've written a couple of articles about the old Crittenden Springs Hotel and how grand and beautiful it was. Looking at the early pictures of it, when it was in it's prime, we realize what a great treasure that we have lost. What a shame it couldn't have been preserved and we could have had it today for a bed and breakfast or a Hotel.

One might wonder what ever happened to the grand mineral spring resort and if the spring is still running today. Here's the rest of the story.

The Crittenden Springs resort flourished until about 1910 when people began to doubt the medicinal purposes of the sulphur water and the final end came when the near by underground mining operations caused the water to disappear from the springs.

In 1915, Mr. R. W. Wilson, business man from Marion, was the owner of the now unused Hotel. He dismantled the top part of the building and build himself and his family a bungalow from the lumber. I'm not sure where he built this house.

The ground floor was made smaller and used as a single family dwelling for many years. Forrest Shewmaker family was the last to live in the house.

The Gazebo over the mineral spring at the base of the hill has long been gone, no one seems to know just when it was taken down or what happened to the materials it was made from. The flourishing mineral spring that bubbled up under the gazebo floor has dried up and only the rock formation of the opening of the spring is visible. No medicinal waters now flow from this spring. There is a small opening in the hill side that the sulphur water still flows from.

The bottom picture is all this is left of the house. Picture was made in October 2006.

A sad ending to a beautiful memorial time in our past history.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Marion's First Permanent Residence

Picture on the right is of the home known as the Wilsonia.

This house was build in 1846, by Harvey W. Bigham. It was Marion's first permanent family residence. It was located on the Centerville Road (now South Main St.) and fronting a lane or tract line (now East Depot St.)

It was sold to R. W. Wilson in 1890. In 1916, the home was remodeled and many improvements were made, converting it into the Park-Wilsonia Hotel. The building, already equipped with steam heating and water works including bath and commode, has a lavatory on each floor, and is lighted throughout with electricity. Spacious west and north colonial verandas, office, parlor and dining room have been provided.

At this point in time the location of the Wilsonia was located in a park. A park of grand old Oaks and stately Maples with the tall and graceful Lombardys interspersed with the other trees. It was named the Wilsonia, by R. W. Wilson's daughter in honor of her father.

After Mr. Wilson's death it was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Marshall Jenkins and family. Mrs. Jenkins was a daughter of R. W. Wilson.

In August 1926, the Wilsonia, a historic landmark, was razed to make room for two new bungalow style homes to be built by Mr. J. N. Boston. One was to be his new home and the other for his son, Mr. Thomas Cochran, which would face East Depot Street.

These two homes are still standing today. Gordon Dicky is the owner of the J. N. Boston home facing South Main Street. The Thomas Cochran home sold last year to someone from out of town.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Amish Country

A trip through Amish county is always a rewarding sight, that is, if you love the peaceful sittings and beautiful county side views that you will see along the way. Take your time as you drive through the area, so that you can take in all that there is to see. The pictures at the right were made on Mt. Zion Cemetery Road, off of S. R. 654 N.

The season's are changing and so are the sights along the way. Corn is being picked and the stalks are put in fodder as only the Amish can do. Horse drawn equipment is being used to cut the hay and get the land ready for winter.

Hundreds of beautiful colorful fall flowers are on display at several of the nurseries and pumpkins and gourds are for sale also.

The Amish started their settlement in Crittenden County in 1977 with thirteen families. Over the years they have grown and many more families are located here today. Many of the homes along the way will have signs out telling the passersby the items that have some sale. Homemade goods and furniture are a few of the items you will see for sale.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Visit to the new Dam 50 area

Genealogy Group Field Trip to old Dam Site.

Picture left to right: Don Foster, Don Taylor, Fay Carol Crider, Me, Doyle Polk and Dot Kunnecke. A fine group we were and a good time we had. We had a picnic lunch at one of the new sheds and then a hike down to the river's edge.

The Crittenden County Genealogy Group went on a field trip this past Saturday to the newly restored Dam 50 site. It has a new name now, being called River Side Park. But to those of us that grew up here and visited this area and went to the park for church and family picnics, it will always be Dam 50.

The Lock and Dam 50 site was built by the United States Government and the project was completed in 1928. At this time in history the area was known as Clementsburg, named for the man who created the town, John Clement. Another town just down from Clementsburg was Fords Ferry, and up the river a short distance was the river port town of Weston.

The old wicket-time dam had become obsolete by 1980 and it was destroyed in the fall of 1980. Soon gone were the nice homes of the families that worked there and the power house. The area was misused and vandalized over the years and people didn't use it as it was suppose to be used. Now, almost 30 years later the area is finally a clean, safe and beautiful area for families and organizations to enjoy once again.

The park area has 3 new sheds with metal picnic tables and grills, concrete pads for campers and there is a grassy playground area for the kids and even some rope and plank swings hanging from the large limbs of the beautiful Maple trees that are there. These trees are the only things left from the original Dam 50 park, and the beautiful Ohio River as if continues it's journey down south.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Busy Bee Street

The Busy Bee Street

Picture on the right is of the new city block that had just been rebuilt after the disastrous fire of March 1905. Buildings include at the far left the new Marion Bank, next the Jenkins building, then Haynes and Taylor Drug Store and then the new Marion Post Office. All buildings were completed by the fall of 1905.

What we know as Carlisle Street today was, at that time in history, known as Bank Street. The new nickname for this street and its new buildings was the "Busy Bee Block." The reason being of all the hustle and bustle around this street and all the new offices opening for business.

There were twelve new offices on the second floor of the Jenkins building. This building was adjoining the new Marion Bank, some included: Dr. Frederick Nunn, dentist, Z. A. Bennett and J. B. Kevil owners of Bennett and Kevil Insurance Company, Joe B. and James W. Champion Attorneys-at-law, McConnell's Parlor Barber Shop, and the Crittenden Record Press also had offices in this building. The barber shop were open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday night they were open until 12:00 p.m.

The new Marion Post Office building was completed at this time and was ready for business. Above the Post Office were more business suites to be rented out. (This is the Coaches Cleaners building today.

Marion was a busy place and this street was one of the busiest at that time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Off Schedule

Just to let you know.
If I have any readers that check the Forgotten Passages Blog regularly, I have had a killer virus on my computer and have been unable to post anything this week. I will have some more history items to post shortly. Thank you for checking my Blog.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lewis Walker Funeral Ceremonies

Monument of Lewis Walker, located at Sisco Chapel Cemetery, Crittenden County. He was in Co. A 48th Ky Vol. Mounted Infantry.

Crittenden Press March 27, 1896

At a meeting of Crittenden Post, G. A. R. held at its hall in Marion, August 4th, 1896, it was decided to hold the funeral service in memory of comrade Lewis Walker, deceased, at the grave of said deceased comrade, at Sisco's Chapel, on Friday September 4, 1896.

This service is held in consequence of the fact that on the day on Comrade Walker's funeral the rain prevented the members of the Post from meeting and performing the service.

A large attendance of the surrounding county is expected. As it will be impossible to get through with the services in either the forenoon or afternoon, it will be necessary to have dinner on the ground. All are requested to bring the dinner baskets.

After the funeral services there will be a decoration of the graves of all soldiers at that and a neighboring cemetery. Everyone that can will please bring contributions of flowers, and as flowers will be scare, it will be necessary to use evergreens to a great extent, all who can please bring evergreens.
Isaac Sisco donated the land for use as a cemetery.