Friday, December 28, 2012

December 2012 Blizzard

Marion and Crittenden County was hit with a blizzard during the night on Dec. 25th and early the morning of the 26th.  Snow and the strong winds made for hazzard driving.  By Thursday morning and afternoon most of the main highway and streets were clear.  Snow fall was anywhere from 4-8 inches depending on where you lived and how the wind blew.

It did make for some pretty and peaceful looking scenes on some of historical homes located around the post office on Carlisle Street and College Street.

The Barbara and Rip Wheeler home looked like a post card with the snow on their lawn and shrubs.

Just around the corner on College Street the Victorian home of Pat and Naomi Jamison brought back memories of the old Christmas Cards with the  Christmas decorations and the snow on everything.

The Jamison's garden was also a lovely sight with the snow.  It is beautiful in any season.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Cards of Old

The story of Christmas is nowhere more charmingly illustrated than in the quaint and colorful Yule greeting exchanged in this country during the last century.

These antique cards tell a fascinating, frequently nostalgic tale of the customs and traditions associated with the Christmas season of our grandparent's day.

 Here are two such cards.  The little cards are shown with their matching envelopes with the delicate tissue paper exposed inside the envelope.  They are postmarked 1929 and 1930 to a well-known lady that once lived in Marion.
Not what we think of as a typical Christmas colored card, but still charming.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Strong Winds, Dec. 20, 2012

Our area today is experiencing  some really strong winds plus gusts up to 40 mph.  It's almost dangerous to be outside. 

On a normal day the Cave-In-Rock Ferry is busy as it carries traffic from Kentucky to Illinois and Illinois to the Kentucky side. 

Today the Ferry sits tied up on her home port on the Illinois side.  She is closed due to the high winds.

Here the waves beat against the Kentucky side.

You can see the waves as they beat on the shore line. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Old Buildings

Another one of Marion Main Street's older buildings is where Cochran's Hardware Store used to be located. This building was rebuilt after Marion's terrible  fire of 1905. It had been a part of Marion's downtown for more than 90 years when the familiar store closed its doors in 1986.   A sad day when it had to close. 

 Cochran's specialized in hardware, but also sold things from buggies to bridles to china and lamps and all kinds of hardware and paint.  There was a time when you were talking about hardware, that Cochran's was the name and Marion was the place to buy it.

Frank Lawson was the last owner and he operated the store for 16 years after buying out Georgia Cochran who had run the store with her late husband, Thomas  Cochran.  

After Mr. Lawson sold the store and all the items that went with the business, the building was purchased and ran as "Quilting Tomorrow's Heirlooms."  It only stayed in business for a few years and now the wonderful old historical building sits empty, hoping for a new owner and a new lease on life, and once again being a business on Marion's Main Street.  (the picture was made in Dec 2010 when the quilting store was still there.)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Old Stores

Three familiar store buildings, but now different establishments inside.

Hunts Department Store, City Drug Store and next to that the Ben Franklin Store.  All stores that had been on the corner of North Main and West Bellville Street for many many years.

This picture was made in the mid 1950's.  The stores were probably getting ready for the Christmas Parade and the old fashioned lights are strung up a cross the street.  All stores were favorite places to shop.

Today the buildings are the same, with some touch ups to the brick work, but the familiar names on the stores are gone as the businesses inside are also different.

In the Hunts Department Store is now the Marion Cafe, but not like the Marion Cafe that we grew up with farther on down the street.  It is a table and chair kind of restaurant with vintage decorations on the walls and on display around the floor.  Very picturesque.

A favorite place of old is the City Drug, when it was first sold several years ago, the new owners restored it to it's glory days and re-opened it with the old the fixtures ,and a small kitchen in back for soups and sandwiches, plus the famous ice cream fountain and counter.  It was wonderful to be able to go inside once again.  Even though it seemed to be going good the owners shut it down and it wasn't used very much when they opened the next door Marion Cafe.  They now are calling the old drug store a "Tea Room" and it is available by reservations only for special Tea Time parties.   No one ask it, but for my opinion, the old Drug Store atmosphere was more suited to the taste of local citizens and visitors.

What was once the Ben Franklin Store is now Paula's China Shop.  The lady that owns the establishment is a world famous china painter and she has painting lessons in her shop.  People from various places over the world come in for these sessions.  Her display windows have her beautiful work displayed there.  (Picture made in Dec. 2011)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Alexander Dean Home Place and Cemetery

The picture to the right was located on the Fords Ferry Road about 5 miles from Marion.  It was a landmark and a beautiful old home.  The picture was made sometime before July 1983.  (Wish I had a color photo of it.  All I have is this one from the local paper.)

According to Dean family history the house was built about 1826 by Alexander Dean.  He was the first Dean in Crittenden County, and he moved to the Fords' Ferry area from Centerville in what was then Livingston County.  Alexander was the son of Job Dean who came to Kentucky from North Carolina.

The house in later years was known as the Joe Dean Place.   It passed down to through the family until it was owned by a niece.  She then sold to Gilbert Cloyd and he still owns the property today. The old home was stupidly destroyed by fire in July of 1983.  Arson was suspected as the cause, but I don't know if it was ever proved or not.  The house was empty at the time, but had furniture and other items of value stored in it.  

Only the chimneys were left after the fire was finally put out.  Nothing was saved.

The lot where the house once sat is empty today with only some foundation and rocks to show a house had once been there.

In the field behind where the old home once sat is a large Pecan tree and to the right of the picture where the Cedar Trees are is the Alexander Dean Cemetery.

Those buried there are: Alexander Dean, Nancy Dean, Patrick Henry Dean, Jane Ann Dean, Alfred Dean, Nannie Dean, Joseph M. Dean (for who the place was last known by) and and Infant daugher of J. E and G. Dean


        The old stone of Alexander Dean.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hotel Crittenden - Known for it's Good Food

The old Crittenden Hotel that used to be located on East Carlisle Street was known for it's delicious meals that it served.  This tradition went on for many years.

  A Menu published in The Crittenden Press tells of it's Special Sunday Dinner for August 19th, 1906.
  • Soup - Cream Tomato
  • Roasts -Beef with Brown Gravy
  • Suckling Pig with Apple Sauce
  • Fried Chicken
  •  Vegetables include: Mashed Potatoes, Escalloped Corn, French Peas on Toast, Butter Beans
  • Relishes
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Pickled Tongue
  • Stuffed Olives
  • Bread - Corn Bread or Hot Rolls
  • Desserts - Blanc Mange, Currant Jelly
  • Lemon Pie
  • Neapolitan Brick Cream and Snow Cake
  • Tea, Coffee, Ice Tea Milk
With a Menu like this it was no wonder the dinning room was well known through out the area. The picture above was made in the early 1900's.  Names written on the photo are left to right:  Virgil Moore, Wilbur Haynes, Arthur Watkins, Mr. Pollard, Unknown, Trice Bennett and Sylvan Price.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Old Jim Mines

 In the early 1900's the Old Jim Mines was the celebrated carbonate mine of the nation.  From the files of the Crittenden Press, dated July 10, 1902, comes this information about the zinc mines.

Two great veins of carbonate of zine sixty-eight feet in width made up the old Jim mine.

This great body of carbonate extends somewhat below the water level where zinc blends, or "jack" meets it, and continues downward.

Millions of pounds more are in sight in a large open cut, somewhat like a  great stone quarry.  Indeed it is quarried in great masses like the building  stones for a skyscraper.

The "Old Jim," is the very latest sensation in the underground world.  It is unique. 

In the picture is the horse Old Jim, for who the mines was named after.  The owners are in the buggy - Clem S. Nunn on the left and John W. Blue on the right.

By 1912 the Old Jim mines had petered out. The vein was never struck again though thousands of dollars were spent looking for it.   But the Old Jim Mines is still remembered when the history of zinc carbonate is talked about.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marion Day's November 1931

To promote locally owned businesses during the Christmas Season on 1931, the merchants of Marion put together a list of their stores to be advertized in the Press.  Marion was once a growing town with a variety of stores to shop from.  Here are just a few that were listed in the advertizement.

Pugh's Store - C. W. Pugh, established this variety store and he has two others being located in Sturgis and Clay.  The store carries a complete line of novelties, kitchen ware, dishes and toys as well as an assortment of hats and ladies and children's clothing.  It is a cash store and they have built up a good patronage.

Mayes and Son Show Courtesy To Their Customers - Courtesy to their customers is the keynot to the success of J. H. Mayes and Son, Main Street dry goods merchants, who have been in business since 1911.  They carry a selected line of dry goods, shoes and men's clothing.

The Owl Makes Tasty Sandwiches - The Owl Sandwich Shop is "sandwich headquarters" of Marion and vicinity.  This place, owned and operated by Emmett Koltinsky with the assistance of his wife, makes a specialty of  various kinds of sandwiches, chile, etc. 

Conoco Gas At Service Station - For the past few months the Super Service Station, on Main Street has been under the management of M. W. Thomason, former ice dealer.  Mr. Thomason's station sells Conoco gasoline and oil.  In addition to this service the Super Service Station specializes in greasing and alimenting

Moore and Pickens - An attractive line of ladies' ready-to-wear and millinery is on display at all times in the store of Moore and Pickens on Carlisle Street.

This store was stared a number of years ago by Miss Mildred Moore and Miss Elvah Pickens, now Mrs. Weems Croft and Mrs. Frank Bennett.  Moore and Pickens store is neatly and attractively arranged at all times.

Stewart's Store - The Stewart Dry Goods Company, one of Marion's few cash stores, is always busy.  

Charles H. Stewart, owner of the store has been operating his business under the present name for several years.  

 With their cash policy, which permits them to sell high grade merchandise at "depression" prices.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembering Our Veterans

Thank you Veterans

Let us join in Salute with those, who in years gone by, have given of their best freely that all which Our Flag represents might be kept true and inviolate.

The War Memorial at Mapleview Cemetery.

Monday, November 5, 2012

G. Berry Ritch Hanging

Berry Ritch lived on a farm about 9 miles northeast of Marion, near the community of Mattoon.  Early on the morning of October 1st, 1894, he and his family were awakened from their sleep by a call from the front door.  The men at the front door told Ritch that they were in a hurry and wanted him to go with them to the cross lanes to meet Bill Goode, who wanted to see him.(note: tombstone says death was 1895, but the incident was recorded in the local paper in October 1894.)

 Ritch stepped out to go and several men came from around the house, and  Berry Ritch went to the public road with them never to return alive.

A lawless element that plagued the county during the late 1800's were groups of men that were called "White Capps or Regulators."   They took it upon themselves to be the judge and jury if someone in the county was doing wrong or what they considered wrong.  The crime might have been for stealing chickens, or even that a person was lazy and wasn't taking good care of their family  Women were also included in their judgements and punishments, for if they thought a woman had too many men on the string or simply living the wrong kind of life, they would be hunted down and punished.  The punishment was usually getting some licks with a pole or whip. 

In the case of Green Berry Ritch, his only known crime was the association with a man named Bill Goode, The mob believe that he knew where Goode was hiding and they wanted him to tell them where he was.  Goode was thought to be behind several barn burnings and stealing of hay and livestock in the area.  The mob's anger got out of control and Ritch was hung by the road.  

Ritch was a poor farmer and he and his family had only a small cabin for their home, and few necessities of life.  He has a very nice tombstone at Mt. Zion Cemetery, and I've often wondered how such a nice stone was provided for him.  Not that he didn't deserve the stone, but how such a stone was purchased.  He left a wife and 4 small children.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween Memories

How about some Halloween fun from over a hundred years ago. Marion in the early 1900’s was a festive place, and it seems Halloween was a favorite time for having fun parties

The young people knew how to throw an entertaining party, with good food, exciting imaginary games, and good friends. Their parties seemed to not get started until very late in the evenings and would continue until the morning hours.
  Delightful Halloween Reception. (October 31, 1904)
Mesdames J. W. Blue and J. H. Orme gave the first of the season Halloween entertainments at the residence of Mayor J. W. Blue, on the corner of College St., and Wilson Avenue.
Among those who attended were noted the following: Mesdames Ollie M. James, Henry H. Sayre, C. Maxwell, Thomas H. Cochran, Sidney M. Jenkins, Wm. J. Deboe, I. H. Clement, Chas. Evans, Avery H. Reed, George M. Crider, John J. Clark, Harry A. Haynes, Robert F. Haynes, Frank Walker, Thos. Clifton, E. J. Hayward, George C. Gray, Perry D. Maxwell, Henry K. Woods, Clem S. Nunn and James R. McFee.
Guests were first ushered into the reception hall and then all invited to the Halloween room where beautiful decorations of pumpkin vines, apples and oranges; sketches of witches riding broom sticks, skulls and cross bones, bats and skeletons were galore. Candies of different kinds and colors gave a soft glow to the jack- o’-lanterns.
Several contests were indulged in such as bean and candle, guessing the number of candies, witches, etc. After this a “nose contest” which was the most enjoyable of all.
Guests were then invited into the dining room where they feasted on cider, pumpkin pie, ginger bread and other good things of the Halloween season.
Souvenirs were presented to each guest and a most enjoyable time was had, and the season’s reception was opened auspiciously. 
Another party going in town that same night was being hosted by Mrs. Jim Henry, assisted by Mrs. Charley Moore. They very delightfully entertained a crowd of young people in her home on West Belleville Street. Games and contests were engaged in.
Henry Haynes won the prizes given for the “Advertisement Contest.” Miss Daisy Towery, also, won a prize. It being Halloween, of course, fortune telling was popular, each one drawing his or her fate from a pumpkin.
At another popular household in town a Phantom Party was being held. As the young people arrived, the young ladies were ushered into one room and the young gentlemen into another, there each guest was robed in white from head to foot, all the robes being precisely alike.
All then assembled and for more than an hour these grave specters wandered about and it was impossible to recognize any one.
At nine o’clock the phantoms paired off and then each mask was lowered and instead of the death like countenance of the ghost was seen the happy face of some young lady or gentleman.
Refreshments were served and at 11 o’clock the young people dispersed, all agreeing they had a delightful time.
I remember the Halloween parties that we would have when I was growing up in the 1950's.  It would usually be in someone's basement.  It would be decorated with simple home make decorations of cardboard witches and bats, and also the streamers of creme paper, which would be black and orange braided together to make chains that would be drapes around everything. Some of the "refreshments" would be given out with everyone's blindfolded, as to imagine that grapes were eye-balls, spaghetti as brains, and what ever the host family could dream up that would be scary feeling.   The real refreshments were usually home-made popcorn balls, caramel apples and home-made fudge.  What fun and care-free times.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

John A. Myers

The Crittenden Press, Sept. 13, 1917.  Another Monument At Cooksyville.

A beautiful memorial has just been placed at the grave for John A. Myers in the Cooksyville Cemetery.

This is the first monument to be erected in this cemetery for several years.  It was made by Henry & Henry at Marion, Ky.
The old Cooksyville Cemetery is known today as the Sulphur Springs Cemetery.  It is located in the SE section of the county on the Sulphur Springs Rd.  off of Hwy. 641.

John A. Myers was the son of William and Sarah Elizabeth Tabor Myers.  He was married to Sarah G. Pollard

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Going Spring School

Going Spring School was located in a wooded area in the vicinity of Winlow Park near U. S. 60 north about 3 miles from Marion.  Land for the school came from property deeded by J. G. Flanary and wife to M. W. Terry and wife in February 1871.  In later years the farm was owned by A. M. Going.  That is how the school became known as Going Spring School. 

In the 1920's when young people wanted to become teachers they could receive that training at Going Springs Normal School.  An alternative to college Going Springs gave people without a high school degree the opportunity to receive a teaching certificate.

Throughout the school session students were taught many different subjects.  W. K. Powell, a well known eight grade teacher at that time, was asked to each the school in the summer of 1926.  His primary purpose was to prepare the students for the state teacher's examination.  Two students were there that year who were preparing to enter High School at Marion.

The students that attended Going Spring School in the summer of 1926.  Front row Clara Etta Stone, Hazel Farley.  Back row: Mamie Murray, Mattie Lee Conger, Pauline Clark, Grace Lemon and in the back, Mr. W. K. Powell, Teacher.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Joseph Fowler Cemetery

Several years ago as I was working on gathering information for the Crittenden County Cemetery Books,  I would hear that there was a Fowler Cemetery out somewhere off the old Fords Ferry Road, the only thing I could find about it was that at one time the Pilot Knob Cemetery was known as the Fowler Cemetery.  And this was true as the land that the Pilot Knob Cemetery was located on was once the farm land owned by pioneer settler, Stephenson Fowler.  So I let it rest.

BUT, some years later more information came into view from the descendants of the Joseph S. Fowler descendants.

 Yes, there was a Joseph Fowler Family Cemetery, which is located on the Carl Fowler Rd. off of Fords Ferry Rd. about 3-4 miles from Marion on the original Fowler homestead land. 

In the picture above, you can see some of the stones that had been removed, but will soon be replaced, and in the back ground the newly placed flags to mark the old grave sites.

Carl and Tom Fowler worked in concrete and stone work, and Tom removed the old stones from the cemetery, took them to his workshop, not too far from the cemetery, and his plans were to re-carve the names and dates on the stones and do some repair on them, then re-place them on their location in the cemetery.  He died before getting this done and the stones lay around the shop and piled against a tree for many years.

Recently, brothers, Rudy (on left) and Lanny Fowler have become interested in re-locating the cemetery plot, and getting the stones reset, and also designating the original area once again as a cemetery.

With the help of grave dowsing rods we have located the grave sites in the old cemetery and they have marked them with flags, this way the area of the original cemetery can be marked.  There are not stones for all the located grave sites, but at least they know where the were once.  Lanny said he was going to reset the stones as best he could as to where they set originally.  There are several bases, he hopes to fit the stones to these bases.

Joseph S. Fowler was the oldest stone in the cemetery.  He died Jan. 17, 1840, age 63 years, so he would have been born 1797.  On his stone is the Weeping Willow, the symbol of sorrow and human sadness.

Preserving and caring for these old family cemeteries is wonderful.  So many have been destroyed and lost forever.  I'm grateful to Rudy and Lanny for their wanting to preserve their family heritage for future generations.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Goodbye to the old Dunn Springs Church

The small one-room white frame church buildings that once were a familiar sight scattered about our county have all but disappeared.  Gone are the days of these small communities houses of worship that served so many our farm families of years ago.  Either they have closed completely, or they are struggling to keep going by the few members that attend regularly.  Such is the case of the Dunn Springs Baptist Church. 

The old one-room church had stood on it's holy ground by the side of the Dam 50 (Ky. 387), since 1881.  

The first church was made of logs in 1844, near the spring for which the church was named.  During one of the Ohio River floods the river back up in Crooked Creek and washed this building away.  The second church built in 1881 was built farther up on the hill from the creek.

The church building went through some renovations during it's life and the picture above was made in May 1956 after the new entrance and concrete steps were added.

During the last several years, the old building was beginning to get in bad condition as the church foundation, which was build on a pier foundation, which meant that it was raised off the ground and sat on a foundation of large flat stones, had become unsafe.  

The picture above was made in June 2012 as they were getting ready to tear the old church down.  It was buried at the very location on which it sat.

The present day members, which only average around 12-14 people, could not afford to have the church restored.  They have a small metal building just to the right of the old location that they hold  Sunday services in.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Forgotten Business of Years Past

Marion used to be such a busy growing town, I can truthfully say there was a gas station on about ever corner in Marion.  We now have three that serve the community.  

There is Ideal on the North side of town, Five Star in the center of town and Liberty Fuels on the South side of town. 

The Sinclair station building, now not a gas station, but is still being used today, it is the home of the Myers NAPA store.

This picture of the station was made in 1969.

South Side Gulf was across the street from Sinclair.  Later Randell and Glenda Chandler ran this station for many years.  

They had to close the station when they were going to have to replace the old gas tanks. The building is still there, but it is empty now.
Picture made in 1969

This funny looking little building was Runyan's Chevrolet office before their new modern car dealership building was built just a short distance from this one.  This picture was made in 1955.  It was located where the 5-Star Mini Mart is located today on North Main Street.  

The new display and office building was where Johnson's Furniture Store is today.  They still use the building as their floor display and office.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Remembering Jim Roberts

Mr. Jim Robert, recently brutally murdered in his own home here in Marion, was a descent kind man, and did not deserve such a fate.  This post is in memory of him.

In Oct. of 2003, Mr. Roberts helped me with a history story about his beautiful family farm in the Cave Springs section of the county, located on the Cave Springs Road.  Jim said his family came to the area in the 1850's and settled this farm.  Jim was the 3rd generation to live on the farm and his grandfather, Thomas Roberts told him a lot of early history about the area.

One summer about 1873 a family of Negro's came through the area.  They were stonemasons and made their living by stoning up wells and also did other labor for people for them staying on the land for a while.

While staying with the Roberts family, they made a stone well.  The well in (2003) was in excellent condition as was the perfect fitting cover with two pieces that joined, as you can see in the picture. The stone inside of the well was still secure with the stones tightly fitted together.  ( I saw the inside, it was in perfect condition, being well over 130 years old.)
In the picture Jim is explaining the well construction to me. It was called walling up a well. "They walled up the well at the farm, it was 10 feet deep, and they walled it up in a shape of a jug."

In front of Jim's home were 5 maple trees. He told me his father had planted one for each of their children. 

A few years after this article was done, Jim had to sell his farm and move to Marion, as he wasn't able to take care of it anymore and there was no one else in the family, as his only son had died.

His wife, Mary, died in 2002 and he never got over losing her.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dam 50 Sign - Home again

When visitors visit River Side Park in Crittenden County, to camp, fish on the Ohio, have picnics or just sight seeing, many do not realize that it once was a U. S. Army Corps of Engineers dam location.  

When the dam was destroyed in Oct. 1980, everything pertaining to it's location was also removed, including the signs.  

One of the original signs that was located on Ky. 91 marking the location of the dam was stolen but later turned up.  Evidently someone that stole the sign decided it wasn't a good thing to have it for the sign was found sometime later in a nearby creek.  

The sign was then donated to the  Crittenden County Historical Society.  The society wanting this important part of our past history to be preserved and remembered helped in having the sign reset at the dam site close to where the lock house use to set. 

The red arrow on the sign now points to the spot on the Ohio River where the dam used to be located.

We truly lost some of our old history when Lock and Dam 50 was destroyed to make way for the new more modern and functional dam located at Smithland, Ky. 

Although the now Riverside Park is a little out of the way to get to, it is really a beautiful and scenic place to spend a Sunday afternoon having a picnic with family or friends with the mighty Ohio River as a background.

Pictures made Sept. 16th, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rosedale School

One of our county schools that very little history has been written about is the Rosedale School. 

It must have been located in the Tolu-Irma area of the county, judging by the family names of students that attended there in the early 1900's.

The picture was made in the school year 1922-23.  It must have made by Miss Geneva Wilcox, who was the teacher during this time.  

Her students at this time were, Ruby Gilland, Dimple Watson, Reba Herrell, Syble Kimsey, Fort Watson.

The little school closed in the 1930's with the students being sent to the Tolu School.  It's a shame not more history about the school was recorded all those years ago.  For now it's almost faded from our history.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Eshter Love's New Stone At PIney Fork

Esther Love, who's tombstone had been marking her grave site for 168 years, had gotten in a sad state.  It had been broken off at the base and lost part of it's inscription.  Such a remarkable stone and a fascinating history it has carried with it all these many years. 

 I can't help but wonder about the personality of Esther, for wanting this tragic event put on her tombstone.  A remarkable lady with a mind for the future and wanting this history to be remembered, I am thinking.  For when one reads the inscription, you can't help but want the "rest of the story."  Her old stone, though not fancy or intricately carved, is definitely one of a kind and deserves a special place in our history.

The picture above was made in 1991 and was still in good condition, although the bottom had been covered with dirt to try and help hold it up.  In the next few years the stone got knocked down and the bottom was broken off with the inscription about her husband.

Here is Esther's new stone.  I do think she would be very proud of this and that Crittenden County wanted to preserve her history.

The story behind the new stone is a kind generous person had offered to purchase her a new stone when he saw the condition that the old one was in.  When Henry and Henry Monuments, here in Marion, found out about the situation, they wanted to donate the new stone, with the installation  included.  

Henry and Henry Monuments is our locally family owned business here in Marion and they are so generous with helping the whole community with projects such as this one.  They have helped restore, reset, and design many stone historical monuments through out Marion and Crittenden County. 

Esther's old stone is still at the cemetery, but her new one marks her grave site, which is located close to her parents stones.  Piney Fork is such a historical cemetery and so important to our county.  It's care taker is the Piney Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church located next to the Cemetery.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Old County Clerk's Office

Crittenden County's Court House in 1960. 

This picture was marked as the last time the Court House and Clerk's office would be seen this way.

They would soon be torn down to make way for the new Court House.

The little building to the left of the Court House had been standing since about 1843, soon after the county was formed.  Although remodeled and changed in appearance it still had the same bones as the original building.  When it was torn down it was noted as the oldest building in Marion still in use.

Picture made around 1890 on Carlisle Street.  You can see the same building in this picture and the side of the Court House.  

Although the Court House was burnt twice the small County Clerk's office building was saved, so it's records were spared, still available for us to enjoy today.  We are so fortunate to have these records.  Caroline Byford, our County Clerk, does her best to preserve these records.  Many have been re-bound and put in archival sheet protectors, such as the earliest deeds beginning 1842 and the 1842 marriage records.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Businesses in Marion in 1935

In earlier years Marion was a very busy and growing town.  All of Main Street was full of all kind of stores for shopping.  You could find anything one would possibly need right here in our own downtown.

Here are two popular stores at the time and they continued until many years later.

1935 - T. H. Cochran and Company is the oldest hardware store in Crittenden County.  This business is well and favorably known thruout this entre trade territory, not only for the high grade of materials in which they deal but for the progressiveness and pubic spirited attitude of the owners, T. H. Cochran and L. E. Crider.  ( Mr. Cochran is leaning of the counter and next to him is Clara Nunn, Miley Hill is by Ms. Nunn.) 

Cochran's store occupies two floors of their building on South Main Street.  A large line of farming implements, stoves, kitchen ware, fencing, roofing and hardware staples is kept on hands at all time.  (This historic old store site, sits empty now, waiting for a new business to once again open it's doors and make it accessible to the public.  But times are hard and it's difficult to start a business that would be successful.)

The Red Front Food Store was located once where the new fire station is now located at the intersection of Main and W. Bellville St.

The popular store, the Red Front Cash and Carry Store opened Sat. Feb. 2, 1935. 

W. B. "Bill" Stout was placed in charge.  The store was the largest, most modern and best arranged of the entire group of 45 Red Front Stores over the state.   The refrigeration was the best obtainable and all other equipment was of the highest type.  The store was the leader of the group and the illumination and lighting is unsurpassed being the best west of Louisville. 

Many people remember the days when the Red Front Food Store and Cochran's Hardware were popular places to shop.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Marion's Forgotten Pioneer Negro Cemetery

Mr. Tom McKinney has worked for several years on the Black cemetery that is located in a corner of his property at the end of North Weldon Street.  This is the cemetery where Marion's pioneer Negro citizens would have been buried.

 Forgotten for many years, the cemetery has been there, unknown and unnoticed by most of the local people.  Only a few of the older Negro generation remembered anything about the cemetery.  Now they are gone.  Mr. McKinney gathered as much information from the few remaining ones that he could.

Wanting to preserve the little pioneer cemetery, Mr. McKinney in resent years has had it surveyed and now fenced as to protect it as best he can.  He has had a new wrought iron entrance installed this summer.  It says CA 1840 - Old Marion Negro Cemetery.  Picture above.

Also this year I went with him and did some grave dowsing and found many unmarked graves.  Many have sandstone rocsk as head stones, and many are just sunken places in the ground.  One very historic stone that is there, is for Edward D. Churchill, a Civil War Veteran.  He has a government stone.  Served in Co. I, 8th US Colored Heavy Artillery.  The only Negro Civil War stone in the county. 

Through research from the old Crittenden Presess, I have found many obituaries of Black people that were buried there, and also Death Certificates that tells of many unmarked burials.  We have compiled a list and Mr. McKinney, at his own expensive,  had Henry and Henry Monuments to  create a memorial stone.  It is now placed at the entrance of the grave yard. 

Front of the newly set stone, with names and dates of ones that we have documentation for being buried here, but has no stone.

The back of the stone has a very appropriate memorial for those buried here without a tombstone.  They are no less loved, but are known but to God.

Mr. McKinney is a kind and caring person to want to preserve this part of our history that has laid untouched  for many, many years.  He still has plans for more cleaning and clearing of the area.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Drought of 2012

Here we are once again making history with the weather.  This time it is the heat and the drought of 2012. 

Spring came in hot with the summertime heat and no rains for weeks and weeks.   Weeks of 90 and 100 degree weather with no rain.

 We have had droughts before but not with this excessive heat for 3 months now.  It has taken it's tole on the countryside.  The picture above is what was once a green yard, the grass now burnt to a crisp.  It crunches when you walk on it.   So are the pastures, burnt and dried up.

The farmer's have been hit hard, the corn was planted early this year and the land was dry and could be planted early, but with no rain, many corn crops look like the one on the left, burnt from heat and curled up from lack of moisture.  Although it looks like it is about ready to be harvested, it was only in the early stages of the ears of corn growing and filling out.  Now dried up on the stock.  

So we will write yet another chapter to our history making weather in Crittenden County.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Marion's Fire Stations

In January 1927 Marion City Council was excited about the completion of a modern new garage building on East Bellville Street.

 It would be the new home for the City Council, which is years past had to meet in other buildings each month for their meetings.  Now they would have their own building.

Also included in this new block building would be a 2-garage space for the Fire Department equipment. 

This picture shows the old city hall building, with entrance door on the right, and the fire department truck doors to the left. 

This building served as the City Hall until 2005 when the new Marion Commons building was completed.  The building continued to house the Fire Deparment truck and equipment until May 26, 2012, of this year, when the new Fire Station was completed. 

The new Fire Department in all it's glory was dedicated on May 26, 2012.  It was a proud day for Marion and the hard working volunteer crew that makes up the Fire Department. 

 Even after the construction was completed, the men spent many of hours getting everything in it's proper place and ready when needed.

On the day of the dedication, Brennan Cruce, a volunteer fire fighter, displays his families vintage 1958 fire truck.  This beauty belongs to the Cruce family and as you can see, is well cared for in it's retirement from duty.