Saturday, July 28, 2012

Crittenden County's No Bottom Spring

One of Crittenden County's legends is the story of the No Bottom Spring that is located about 5 miles from Marion on Highway 91 North.  

If you do not know the Spring is there you would drive right by it and not even see it, for it is located at the bottom of a bluff and very near the highway, but a highway rail almost hides it from view. 

The legend was told that years ago a team of oxen and wagon stopping by the spring for water slid off into the opening and the wagon and team sunk in the spring and vanished with nothing ever again seen of  either. 

The water has many appearances as it changes with the weather.  In the photo above it is at its most beautiful and  is a blue/green color and peaceful looking and does look like it might not have a bottom. 

After hard rains it will appear muddy and even can be bubbling and churning, as the picture above.
 The spring is fed from the many underground springs in the area, which runs though underground caves, and empties into this opening in the rocks.

At one time one of the many spar mines in the area was flooded and the owner thought if they emptied the No Bottom Spring that it was prevent further flooding of the mine tunnels.  Large pumps were brought in to try and drain the spring, during this operation the spring was at it's lowest and the men working saw that the spring was actually shaped like a cone with the large opening and then getting smaller as it went deeper down in the earth.  The pumping was to no avail, for the opening kept filling back up faster than the water could be pumped out.  

The oxen and wagon story may be only a legend, but in truth the No Bottom Spring really doesn't have a bottom, as it connect with the underground caves in the area for miles around.  It is always in motion and it continues to be one of Crittenden County's wonders.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tolu, Kentucky

The whole section of the county around Tolu was known as Hurricane in the beginning.  There was a general store, Weldon and Beard and a post office at the mouth of Hurricane Creek on the Ohio.

When the post office washed down the river in the flood of 1884, the governement set up a new post office in th elittle settlement about one-half mile from the river, where was located the general store of Weldon and Beard, a grist mill and blacksmith shop.

The general store was selling a very popular patent medicine made from the South American Tolu tree.  This medicine was good for man and beast alike.  Especially for man as a whiskey base it was very pleasing to man's taste.  It was suggested the new post office be named Tolu, so it was, and that it how Tolu got its name.

There were steamers, the Joe Fowler and the John Hopkins, which unloaded mail, freight and passengers, on their way to Paducah.  Late in the afternoon the packet would land again on its way to Evansville.  Farmers sent their corn, hay and cattle to Evansville markets.  There were the beautiful packets going to Cincinnati, Ohio, and their bluetopped pilot house, the white collar on the smoke stacks and the gleaming beauty of the boat.  Big tows, and the Showboats, with their calliope, bands that would come up through town and at night the show on the boat.

Tragedy struck the town in the early 1900 in the form of a fire and complete business district burned.  Tolu never recovered from that night's fire.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Some History About The Town Of Dycusburg

In 1961 Crittenden County was having a  Frontier Festival.  A little booklet was published to celebrate the event and many interesting articles were included in the booklet.  Here is one on the town of Dycusburg.

In about the year of 1835 a Mr. Shelby opened the first ferry at Dycusburg on the Cumberland River.  

Then came Mr. Berry Dycus who built a warehouse.  From then on Dycusburg was the shipping point for the surrounding area.  The town began to grow.

There were three large tobacco warehouses handling three to four million pounds per year.  The large steamboats, three and four at a time, were landed here for shipment to New Orleans and other shipping ports. 

In the heydey of Dycusburg there were three hotels:  The Dycusburg Hotel operated by E. J. Brown and his mother; The Clifton House was operated by J. H. Clifton, including a general store'; and The Yancy Houe was operated by Yancy Bros, and it also included a general store.  The hotels were ufually filled with traveling salemmsmen or drummers as they were called at that time.  

Other business here were S. H. Cassidy & Com.. They operated the tobacco warehouses and a general store.  The picture above is when Dycusburg was a busy riverport town.

Other businesses were Will Hill & Son, grocery; G. A. D ecker & Sons, grocery; Grave & MCKee , hardware; Ayers Hard, drugstore; Bennett Bros. operated a distillery and made "Cooksey Spring" whiskey.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Antique Malls and Memories

I'm not one that goes to Antique Malls or shops for antiques, but recently I have found they may be a source of exciting finds and most assuredly "memories" of your childhood days.

I've learned that there are usually boxes with old photos and old post cards in them, that people have sold to the antique dealers, or even pictures and personal items that the store owners have bought at estate sales and auctions.  I believe many people will purchase the old photos and post cards, as decorations to display even if they do not know the people in the old vintage photos.  

Thanks from a tip from some friends who regularly check for such finds told me about some old photos that they had found in the Antique Mall at Sturgis, Kentucky.  Perhaps 2 old photos of my Travis family.  We went to the store last week and sure enough in a box of old cards and pictures was a wonderful photo of my grandfather, Ewell Jeffrey Travis, made when he was very young, and also a picture of my Great-grandfather and his family, W. C. M. Travis.  They lived at Bells Mines in the 1880's.  

This is the wonderful old photo that was found in the box at Sturgis Antique Mall.  I had never seen this picture before.  So I was thrilled to have it.  There was no name or identification on it, only someone that had seen a similar photo would have recognized it.

Memories came flooding back as I continued to look through the booths of 'old' items.  Things that I grew up with,  old toys that we played with, comic books that we would spend hours reading, household items and even kitchen furniture that was in our home, the colorful chrome kitchen and chair sets, wall decorations and so many other items - that are now antiques.  But they sure brought back many memories.  I'm sure I'll be making another trip to the Antique Mall in Sturgis, if nothing else but for the memories.

Steve and Darlene Eskew, my friends that found the old pictures for me.

Recognize the old Coke ice-drink box that used to be in all the old general stores everywhere.  Remember reaching in the ice/water and getting out a cold coke and opening it with the opener at the front?    Memories and Antiques - go together.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Marion Named for Revolutionary War General

Although Crittenden County was formed from Livingston County in 1842, the city of Marion wasn't incorporated until 1851.  Marion received it's name from Francis Marion, known as the Swamp Fox, who was an American general in the Revolutionary War.  He led his troops against the British by darting out of the South Carolina marshes and vanishing before the Redcoats could retaliate.  His effective tactics won him the name of the Swamp Fox.

In April 1999 the idea for Marion to have it's own flag to fly was born.  Students of the 5th grade class at Crittenden County Elementary School was responsible for the idea of creating a symbol for a city flag and then having it made.  

Th new flag was was presented to the public in July of that same year.  It has flown proudly ever since.