Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dycusburg United Methodist Church

Here is a nice informative article that first appeared in The Crittenden Press on June 13, 1996.  These interesting articles are a good way to learn history about different things in the county.

On June 30, 1996, members of the Dycusburg United Methodist church celebrated a homecoming at the present church site, which traces its roots back to Oct. 21, 1855.

On page 876 of Deed Book B at the Lyon County Courthouse, it is recorded that on Oct. 21, 1855, Issac Shelby of Livingston County deeded to the church south lot 17 for the sun of $200.00. R. M. Collum, G. B. Dycus and George M. Marshall were named as trustees.  The lot 17 mentioned was located at the corner of Commerce and Spring Streets in Dycusburg.  This was the same Isaac Shelby who became governor of Kentucky.

In 1904, the old church was torn down and during this time services were held in a near-by school.   V. P. Thomas and Robert Johnson served as pastors for the next two years.

Mrs. F. B. Dycus Sr., owned the lot which the present church now stands on and traded it for the original lot 17.  Construction was started on a new building in the spring of 1906.  The builders were Robert "Bob" Cooksey and Bud Vosier.  Dedication ceremonies were held in the fall of that year.  This building was used until the fall of 1945.

'The present building was under construction for three years and dedication services were held on June 27, 1948.  According to Geneva Dycus, "It was a beautiful day and the church was crowded to overfowing."

Some of the people who were active at this time in the church were:  Bennett Ramage, Supt. of Sunday School: Stewards: Ray Owen, Guy Patton, Mollie Lee Graves, Bonnie Ramage and Mrs. Fred Joyce;  Teachers: Geneva Dycus, Reba Henry, Shellie Decker,  Mable Dycus and Neoval Decker.  The pastor was C. G. Oliver.

The picture of the church above was made Nov. 3, 2010

Friday, March 25, 2011

Trail of Tears Leads to Mantle Rock

Took a scenic hike this past week.  Although the location wasn't in Crittenden County, it has history ties to here because part of the Trail of Tears went through Crittenden County.  To me this period in our country's history is a dark and sad one. 

The day I made the hike around the area where the Mantle Rock is located, it was a beautiful, warm, spring day, hard to imagine what it was like for the Indians in the harsh winter of 1838-39 as they made their way across the area, and camped in the area waiting for the Ohio River to thaw enough for them to cross and continue their journey to present-day Oklahoma.

This is a picture of the Mantle Rock.  Some of the Indian's were said to have camped for shelter under the rock.

The creek still running swiftly from the recent rains we've had was a beautiful sight in the deeper areas where it was a clear green color.

Although a sad place to visit for the circumstances that has made it a Native American Historical Landmark, Mantle Rock serves as an emblem of resistance, survival and spirituality.

Perhaps you can visit it one day, walk the trail that the Cherokee's walked and feel the sadness in the shade of the Mantle Rock.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ohio River Overflow

A normal occasion every spring is the flooding of the Ohio River.  You can usually always count on it happening about this time every year as the winter snows from up North melt and join the streams and rivers and gather more water from spring rains as it flows on down to Kentucky.  

The Ferry has been closed for a week now as the Ohio is too swollen for the ferryboat to run.  People from Illinois and also the Kentucky side miss this means of transportation across the river.   Many people from Cave-In-Rock are regular visitors to Marion for groceries, hardware, and the variety of restaurants they have to chose from to eat.  They are also regular visitors to the Amish stores.  

The picture above is in some of the low lying fields that flood water from Hurricane Creek overflow into.  Several county roads are impassable now because they are covered with flood water.

This picture is made from the Hebron Church Road.  The river is flooded into the bottoms lands of the local farms.  The tree line in the middle of the water is where the edge of river usual is.

If you have never seen this event, it's hard to visualize how the river can overflow and cover the surrounding areas as it does.  It's quite a sight to see.

If things go as normal, the river will soon recede back into it's banks, the land will return to normal and it will once again be a memory of the spring flood for this year.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pilot Knob Cemetery

One of our more well known rural cemeteries is Pilot's Knob.  This cemetery has been the result of numerous acts of vandalism over many years.  It seemed to be one of the favorite places for teenagers to meet for a while and stones would be turned over and some of the markers would be broken or moved from their location.   More adult surveillance and  a watch group has seemed to help with this, and hopefully the cemetery will not be damaged again.

The cemetery, in the early days was referred to as the Stephen Fowler Cemetery.  The land the cemetery was located on was owned by pioneer settler, Stephenson Fowler.  Sometime during the time it was used, the name of Pilot Knob's was given to it and it's been called that every since.

In 1918 a new monument was being erected at the cemetery.  Here's what the Crittenden Press noted about the new stone.

A large monument has just been erected at the burying ground of Wm. Hughes and family.  The monument is made from the famous Belaching Stone, nicely carved and is beautiful.  The individual graves on the lot are marked with a nice grave marker.

W. U. Hughes, of this county, and his brothers purchased this work from Henry & Henry.

This stone is one of the larger ones in the cemetery.  If you visit the cemetery in the early spring before the leaves are on the trees, you can see for miles around at the beautiful countryside, as is visible in the background of the picture above.

Pictures made March 12, 2011.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Crittenden County Genealogy Society

Times sure flies by, even when you think the weather is cold, wet and miserable,and spring will never get here,  the days still hurry by.  It was time for our March Genealogy Society meeting this past Saturday the 12th.  We had a good meeting with a  interesting program, and lots of sharing of stories and experiences with our early genealogy research days.

Sitting at the table in front are Doyle Polk and Betty Croft.
Standing. Lto R: Rita Oldham, Fay Carol Crider, Martha Bynum, Anna Rae Porter, Steve Eskew, Rita Travis, Brenda Underdown and Connie Gould.

Rita Rogers Oldham is holding the newly published " The History Of The Fredonia Valley."  She and her sister Nita Rogers Thompson donated this copy to our Genealogy Society.  We really appreciated them doing this for the society.  Martha Bynum and Rita live at Fredonia, but both have many family ancestors that lived in Crittenden County.

Steve Eskew also has his second obituary book ready for sale.  It is "Crittenden County, Kentucky Obituaries and Death notices Volume II 1900-1905."  A great addition for your genealogy research besides just being  entertaining and interesting to read. To find out more about this book visit Steve's website at http://www.steveeskew.com/books

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Marion's CCC Camp

An important part of Marion and Crittenden' County past history is that of the Civilian Conservation Corps that was located here in Marion.  The camp was built, the men did their work, the camp dismantled and the area went back to it's owner.  There is nothing left to show where the large work site was located and few people even remember anything about it.

The Civilian Conservation Corps or CCCs was started by then Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It was an effort to help the nation find an end to the rampant unemployment and economic crisis that gripped the county.  He planned a fight again soil erosion and declining timber resources utilizing the employment of our young men.

The camp located at Marion, was here for 2 years in 1933-1935.  While here they planted 120,000 black locusts tress and 63 bushels of black walnut seedlings.    

They did projects in the county to help the farmers with field erosion, planting trees and building rock walls to help hold the soil in place.  Built small dams along gullies to help stop the drifting of the soil.  Gullies were leveled by shovel, plowing or scraping and seedlings were planted to farther help with the shifting of the soil.

On the little lane leading to the Crooked Creek Church is a rock wall that is to believed to  have been built by these workers.  It's still in good shape today.  The owners of the farm that this is located on is Barry and Patty Gilbert.  They are proud to have this rock wall still on their land.

Perhaps one of the workers left a mystery message for future generations to find and wonder about, for on one the end rocks engraved in the stone are the words Crows Foot.

I wonder if there are other such marking scattered about the county and we are yet to find them.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sugar Grove Chruch

A drive out S. R. Highway 120 always calls for a scenic side trip to the Sugar Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church. 

The present Sugar Grove church building is the 4th building.  The first was a log structure about 3/4 from the present location. 

The second church was build on higher ground and in the location of the the present church.  In 1954 this building was done away with to make room for the third building, a larger brick one, but still on the same location.. This third building was destroyed by fire in 1980.

The fourth building was built in 1981 and the picture above is the present Sugar Grove Church.   The picture at the left is the engraved stone placed on the front of the building.  Such plaques as these are a wonderful way to help preserve the history of the church for future generations.  At a quick look the history of the buildings are there to see.

Located in front of the church is the Sugar Grove Cemetery.  A large well-cared for cemetery that is the resting place of many of the families that lived in this area.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lookout Towers Stand Vigil

A thing of the past, the old fire lookout towers that were strategically placed around our county side. 

From these towers, the person on duty could be on the alert for suspicious-looking clouds of smoke.  Reaching skyward on the highest hill in the vicinity, the glass enclosed lookout tower provided a place to observe the surrounding country side.  Wisps of smoke seen rising in the distance could easily be seen from this height.  

The towers had telephones installed in each of them, when the first sign of a suspicious looking smoke starting to rise you could call for the additional help if needed to extinguish the fire.

In 1955 Crittenden had two of these towers, the Tribune Tower, set 5 miles east of Marion on what is appropriately named today, the Tribune Tower Road.  Mrs. Mina Walker was the supervisor. The second was located near Oak Hall School, on the Forest Grove School Road, J. W. Duvall was the supervisor.

I believe they were taken down in the 1980's.  With the aid of helicopters  for spotting smoke and better communication available they were thought to not be needed any more.

The picture above was made right before they were taken down.