Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ben Franklin Store

Remember the Ben Franklin stores?  What a wonderful store to have in your hometown.  Everything you needed or wanted could just about be purchased in these store.  When I got married in the 60's, this is where my wedding dinnerware was purchased and also my silverware.  My dinnerware was white with gold trim and the pattern was fall leaves.  It is beautiful.

Joe Jones opened the Ben Franklin store in Marion on March 8, 1928.  At that time it was located on Carlisle Street.  In 1932 it moved to it's popular location on Marion Street next to the City Drug Store. 

In 1971, Everett Jones, nephew of Joe Jones, and his wife Alberta, moved to Marion and joined his Uncle as a partner in the store.  Later Everett and Alberta were the owners of the store.

In 1978 the Ben Franklin store closed.  Mrs. Jones, said the closing was not brought about by a lack of business, but since her husband had died last year, she had found it was to hard to try and keep it going by herself.  Marion was sad to know that it's Ben Franklin store was closing.  It was hoped someone would purchase it and reopen it, but that dream didn't happen.

The building today is the home of Paula's China Shoppe.  She is a world-known China painter, and people come from all over the world to be taught to paint by her.

Friday, March 26, 2010

J. Frank Loyd Tombstone

In February the announcement is in the Crittenden Press that a splendid  new monument has been erected on the lot of J. F. Loyd in the New Cemetery, which is Mapleview.  It is a double monument for both Mr. Loyd and his wife.  This is one of the large monuments in the cemetery and is a beautiful one.  It was made from the rough stone at the works of Henry and Henry.

Nannie Ellen Loyd, was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Bradley.  She married J. Frank Loyd on in January 1887.  Mrs. Loyd died March 25, 1921 of diabetes.

J. Frank Loyd was a well liked and respected citizen of Marion for many years.  He was City Marshall of Marion in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  He died a little over a year after his wife, on June 26, 1922.

This picture of J. Frank Loyd and his wife, Nannie, is on the back side of their tombstone.  An excellent photo after all these years.  Mr. Loyd is in his City Marshall's uniform.  Picture made March 26, 2010.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Piney Fork in the Snow

Waiting for springtime always makes me think back to previous years and when the weather turned to sunny warmer days.  March can be a fickle month, with warm days, and also snow.

Looking through some archived photos of mine I came across these pictures I had made in the Piney Fork area of our county.  The date was March 20, 1996.  It looks like it had been one of those heavy wet March snows that we get from time to time.

In this picture sits the little county store building that was once owned and operated by Mr. V. W. Alexander.  He ran the store from 1927 until 1970.   The smaller building on the left was built about 1919 and the larger building was built in 1937. 

Earlier owners of this store were: Carl Boucher, Mr. Hearin, J. S. Crayne and Huley James.  The little store and the Piney Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church are  landmarks for the Piney Fork area.

The little store looks much the same today as it did in this picture, and it is a nice sight to see.  Very few of these little rural store buildings are even left standing today.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Marion's First Telephone

Marion and Crittenden County's first telephone service was completed in Jan. 1899.  The telephone office would be located on the second floor of the Carnahan block(West Bellville St. across from the court house).    The first telephone exchange began on Feb. 23, 1899 and there were eighty phones in Marion.  Phone lines ran from Shady Grove, to Marion and then from Marion on to Sheridan, Irma and Crittenden Springs.  The other communities would be connected up in the near future as poles and lines became available.

It was an exciting day for Marion, as you can see in the picture at the right, men gathered all around the new telephone office building and even climbed the pole and several posed on it for a picture on this historic day.

This historic building was a beauty in it's time, with fine architectural details, built in the 1800s.  It served the community well as many different businesses were housed here through the years.  Many people remember the building as the Red Front Food Store in the 1930s and 40s, the grocery was on the ground flour, and dentist and other business offices were on the second floor.

The last business to be located in this building was the Western Auto Store.  It was great to have a Western Auto Store in Marion.  It carried most anything anyone would need in the appliance, tool and toy lines. I'm not sure when or why the Western Auto Store closed for business, it must have been in the 1960's.  The building set empty for several years and as anything building does when not in use it detoriates very fast.


A few people tried to save the building but the usual was said, "it would take more to restore it than to tear it down" so in November 1998, Marion lost another part of it's history as this historic building was torn down.  It was located on the corner of South Main St. and West Bellville St.  This is the way the building looked the week they tore it down.

In the near future the 2 buildings to the left of this site will also be torn down and Marion plans to build a new fire station on this location.  

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Paddys Bluff

Located in the southern most part of our county lies the river town of Dycusburg.  Once, one of the most thriving of our river towns, the river was one of the most used means of transportation and transporting of goods and people to and from this section of our county.  The Cumberland River provided the waterway for this town.  Here, history tells us, some of our first mined fluorspar was shipped from this port.  Packet boats carried people and supplies to and from Paducah daily.  Many pioneers is search of new lands arrived in Crittenden by means of river transportation to Dycusburg.

Located just up the river a short distance is the rocky hillside bluff that is known as Patty's Bluff.  

Two stories are common regarding the legend of Paddy's Bluff.  This first one  was printed in The Crittenden Press in 2003, by editor, Chris Evans.

Paddy was an Irishman who settled on the high limestone-laden peak that overlooks the Cumberland on its eastern shore.  Old-timers tells that Paddy and some pioneer buddies were partaking in a dose of home-made spirits one afternoon when the bluff's namesake offered up a wager.  He bet the others that he could ride one of his farm animals, a domesticated buffalo, off the cliff and into the river unscathed.  He planned to ride the bison back up the hill and continue the party.

The water was high at the time and it may have seemed plausible that this gruff, old Irishman could pull off the feat.  However, legend had it that he was never seen again, sucked up by the swirling current.

The second story was written by fellow Crittenden Countian, Marion F. Pogue.  It story says that a doughty Irishman landed his canoe at the foot of a bluff on the Cumberland River, long before the outbreak of the American Revolution.  He built a cabin, cleared some land and planted a peach orchard.  He lived in comparative quiet for a few years, and then he was attacked by Indians.

His trusty rifle spoke death until his ammunition was exhausted.  His cabin door was broken down by the savage blows.  The next comers to his cabin found his skull crushed by a tomahawk and a number of Indians that had been killed, pierced by his rifle balls.  His cabin was in ruins and his peach orchard beginning to bear fruit. Irishman Patty gave his life to civilization and his name to Paddy's Bluff.

What ever version of the legend you care to believe, it seems certain that Paddy's Bluff traces its name more than 200 years into history.  The picture above was made in 1996 from the rocky ledge of Paddy's Bluff looking down onto the beautiful Cumberland River.  It continues its journey as it did then taking with it the secrets and legends of hundreds of years.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Marion on Quilter's Trail

In January 2007 a regional project, sponsored by the Resource Conservation and Development Area and the National Resource Conservation Services, developed a project to help promote area quilting.  The idea originated in Adams County, Ohio when Donna Groves painted a quilt square on her barn to honor her mother's passion for quilting.  That one square then sparked the Clothesline of Quilts trail which runs through Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Iowa and Kentucky.

This idea targets the quilting fad that's embraced by millions across the globe.  The reason for the project was to help promote tourism and bring more customers to local mom and pop stores.  A quilt square, according to the Kentucky Quiltline, is designed on sections of wood which are then pieced together on a 8x8 frame.  

The patterns selected for each square are normally chosen by a committee or square sponsor.  Rosaline Hillis, owner of Marion Inn, selected the pattern of her quilt square out of a choice of four.  Rosaline's quilt square on the red barn above is located about 2 miles south of Marion of Hwy. 641.  You can't miss it as you drive by.  It's located at the entrance to her Bed and Breakfast, the Marion Inn.

The second quilt square in Marion was placed on top of the Crittenden Farm building located at 312 West Gum Street.  It was designed by Neil Decker, an employee of the Crittenden County Conservation District.  It is called the BLT, or barn , lot and trees.

This project helps us to remember a pastime that was popular with many generations and is carried over into today's craft world.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cave Spring Church

Cave Spring Church is nestled in the Pigeon Roost Valley, surrounded by Monument Ridge on the West, Bald Alley Knob on the East, Kelly Orr Hill on the North, and Pigeon Roost Creek is flowing near by.   The first church was located near a natural wonder spring, sometimes call the Blowing Spring or Cave Spring.  The spring was on a hillside facing the first church and thus its name of Cave Spring.  

This first wooden structure church was destroyed by fire in 1936, and when the present church was built it was located one-fourth mile from the first church and was known as the Cave Spring Community Church.  In 1949 the church was remodeled with the addition of Sunday School rooms and a vestibule.  It has a large congregation today and is a very active church.

Pigeon Roost Creek runs through the heart of the Cave-Spring community area.  It was so named because in early days the wild pigeons came to the forests surrounding the creek to roost at night.  They came because of the abundance of acorns in the forests on which they fed and there was always plenty of sparkling water in the creek.  They would roost on the different kinds of trees, clinging to each other until they would break many limbs off the trees. This is how it got its name of Pigeon Roost Creek.  This picture was made March 5th, 2010 and it was flowing peaceful and quite, when the heavy rains come in the spring, it will be a different picture as it will be much fuller and moving swiftly along through the forest and fields.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Resolutions of Respect

William H. Asher died April 5, 1910.  His Masonic Lodge paid their respects with the following article published in The Crittenden Press on April 21, 1910.

Resolutions of Respect, Bigham Lodge No. 256. F. & A. M.

The all devouring scythe of time has again invaded our lodge - Chapter and Council, at this place, and severed the thread of Mortal life of our brother and companion, William H. Asher.

On the evening of April 5, the Supreme Architect of the Universe, called from labor to eternal rest, our brother to enjoy the Sabbath of eternity where the adoration of the twelfth hour will be everlasting joy, and the noon-tide of bliss shall eternally shine.

His mortal remains were laid to rest in the Repton Cemetery, April the 6th, "to await that Great Day."

Bro. Asher was one of the oldest members of our lodge, and one who had been faithful and jealous in work and attendance until the last few years when from old age he could not attend regular

W. D. Cannon, F. W. Heath J. B. Kevil, Committee.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Marion General Baptist Church

One of Marion's many churches is the Marion General Baptist Church.  It is located on West Bellville St. about 3 blocks West of the Court House.

The Marion General Baptist Church was organized July 8, 1951, at the home of Mr. Lloyd Millikan by Rev. Carroll Yarbrough, Rev. W. M. Frisby, Rev. Dewey Winstead, Rev. David Windsors, and Rev. Ernest Hunt.  The members used a rented building until they constructed the block basement.  The Rev. Joe Ezell of Henderson was the first full-time pastor of the church until November, 1952 when he resigned.

On July 31, 1951, a lot was purchased on West Bellville Street and a concrete block basement was built, where services were conducted until the construction and opening of the new brick building.  Plans for the construction of the building on top of the basement were made and actual construction began February 23, 1954.

The church paid the pastor to supervise the major portion of construction work on the building.  The remainder of the labor was donated by members and people from outside the church.  The building is of brick veneer construction, approximately 40x90 feet.  On completion, the basement will be occupied by Sunday School rooms.

On Sunday, September 26, 1954, the first service in the new building was conducted with 82 persons present for the morning service and 103 for the evening.

The church is still active today and the pastor is Bro. Tony Perryman.