Thursday, June 28, 2012

Maple Sink Lake

 I guess with the heat and drought that we are experiencing, the thought of cool wet water has me remembering some special areas in the county that were known for their water.

Maple Sink Lake, once a popular local and tourist area, is now just a large lake. It is one of two naturally formed lakes that I know of in Crittenden County, and it covers about 400 acres.  It is located between Caldwell Springs Road and Main Lake Road in the Frances area of Crittenden County.  The picture above was made in 2008 from the Main Lake Road side of the lake.

The history of the large lake is that it was formed around 1887 as a result of a large sinkhole filling up and failing to permit drainage of the several hundred acres of farm land surrounding it.  The sinkhole, it was thought, led to an underground stream which carried the water to the Cumberland River.

The hole was filled, after a nearby barn burned and its remains were dumped into it.  Because of the number of Maple thickets in the area, the barn rubbish and now clogged with leaves, until finally  drainage of the farm land ceased.  Following a rainy season, Maple Sink Lake was created covering a large area.  

The picture above was made from the Caldwell Springs Road side of the lake.

During the 1950's a fishing resort/camp sprang up in the area with a pretty active tourist business.  People from surrounding states would come with the camping trailers and stay for days at a time, camping, fishing and just enjoying the beautiful lake and quite countryside.  A woman at one time that everyone called "Ma Davis" ran the fishing camp, where you could buy fishing supplies and rent your area to camp.  

The old homeplace of Ma Davis is gone now, torn down, and the lake is just a thing that's there. Although the lake has grown and changed through the years since its beginning, folks don't seem to talk much about it anymore,  It used to be a special place that people drove for miles around to see and enjoy, and sense the mystery of how such a large lake could be formed from the clogging up of an old sinkhole.    One of Crittenden County's hidden treasurers.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pickens Spring

Crittenden County has many natural springs located around the area.  At one time in our history these springs were popular and many used as gathering places for picnics and camp sites.

An article written in The Crittenden Press, dated  March 1929 tells about one of the springs and how important it was to the people of the area.

Since long before the dawn of civilization on this continent the Pickens Spring, from a beautiful wooded hillside of limestone, has continuously poured forth its clear cold crystal water.  

The noble red men of the forest, the savage beast of the caves, the fleet footed animals of the hills and valleys and the beautiful and strange birds of the wild wood, in ages of the past, have come to it and imbibed of its treasure and gone away, contented, their burning thirst relieved.

In the day of the slow plodding ox, in teams of two, four or six, they would pass this way, dad after day.  In the hot summertime you would see them increase their gait as they heard the flowing water.  Now they could drink, drink and drink until you would think they would never cease drinking.  

Later came the wonderful automobile of a swiftness that would have been unbelievable in former times.  However, this marvelous machine, also, was often glad to each this refreshing water and cool its throbbing engine.

This place was formerly called "Asher Spring" and is six miles east of Marion.  It was (and is) located just a little ways north at the crossroads of Hwy. 120 and S.R. 654 N.   This road in the early days of the county was the Flynn's Ferry Rd.  the main route for pioneers going North and I'm sure a much looked forward to location for resting and enjoying the cool spring water before they continued their journey.

The picture above was made in June 1995.  As you can see hundreds of years later the picture remained as the article described, pouring forth the cool crystal water from a natural limestone hillside.  I hope the scene is still the same today. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tom Clifton - W. O. W. Unveiling

 Woodmen Of The World Unveiling Ceremony for Tom Clifton, June 8, 1922

The ceremonies advertised to take place at the cemetery Sunday  afternoon were all carried out in full.  Hon. D. H. Kincheloe of Madisonville delivered the address, Miss Addie Maynard recited in splendid style the poem "Why should the spirit of mortals be proud."  Mrs. Kinchloe sang a solo.

The monument erected to the memory of sovereign Tom Clifton by his wife and the W. O. W. Camp was unveiled with fitting ceremonies. 

The Sturgis Band furnished the music and played many stirring airs during the march and at the cemetery.  Large delegations of sovereigns were here from neighboring camps.

Crittenden Press, May 26, 1910
Death claims Tom Clifton.  Passes away peacefully at his home on Main Street Friday.  He was surrounded by his loving wife and little ones, his dear mother, brothers and sisters and innumerable friends in accordance to God's will.

For several years he had been one of the most popular and valued salesmen of the great Hamilton-Brown Shoe Company, of St. Louis.  He leaves a wife and three sisters to mourn his death.  Mrs. Frank Newcomb, Mrs. Chas. Burke, of Blackford, Ky., Mrs. Cora Charles, of Brazel, Tenn., Miss Nellie Clifton, Louis and Will Clifton, all of Marion.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Some Went West

Ancestors of several Crittenden Countains went west for the Gold Rush in 1849.  Not much history about it is known in our area.  

One early morning in August 1849, 100 wagons drawn by oxen and driven by brave and adventurous men, having formed a wagon train, near Joy, Ky in Livingston County, crossed the Ohio River at Golconda, Ill, on their journey to California.  They were in search of their fortune in gold, traveling to St. Louis then to Independence. Mo.  

There were two routes leading out of Independence, they chose the upper route, on the Mormon Trail to Salt Lake City, then traveling on to California on the Salt Lake travel.  The rate of travel was from two to three and one-half miles an hour, and the distance varied according to the nearness of water holes.

There was many problems and hardships the men had to encounter.  One man suffered from blindness due to the sun reflecting on the sand.  He was confined to his tent for three days.  Another less fortunate soul, one of the Barnes men, was stricken with a disease.  He was buried in a grave somewhere out on the prairie.

Some of the men that traveled to the west were: Tom Robinson, George Boaz, George Adams, William Barnes, Jim Barnes and William H. Franklin.  We do not know if all the men that returned to Crittenden and Livingston counties struck it rich in the gold fields or not, but they were considered to be men of influence in the business world at their deaths. 

William H. Franklin, upon returning to his home in the county, invested his earnings in wise enterprises of the following:  a saw mill, a grist mill, cattle and land.  He lived in Levias, Ky., (a little community about 5 miles West of Marion).  At one time he was considered a wealthy man. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dr. A. J. Driskill Home

In the early 1900 to mid 1920's,  Dr. A. J. Driskill was one of Marion's popular physicians.  In 1926 his office was located in one of the two-story buildings on East Carlisle Street.

According to the old Crittenden Press, dated, June 29, 1905, Dr. Driskill was in the process of building a handsome residence in a new section of town that was being developed.  The house is located at the end of West Elm Street.

The home must have been like a mansion in it's time, for it is still a very impressive and beautiful home today.  Today it's rooms are rented out as apartments.  But it is still a beautiful house and now 107 years old this month.  The picture at right was made in 2010.

I don't know when Dr. Driskill and family left Marion, but his obituary appeared in The Crittenden Press, Aug. 8, 1947.  Word was received in Marion a few days ago of the funeral services for Dr. A. J. Driskill being held in Phoenix, Arizona, after his death which occurred on July 20, 1943.  Dr. Driskill was a former resident and physician of Marion for many years.  He was born in Livingston County on July 4, 1861, and was a graduate of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.   He was physician and surgeon for the I. C. Railroad and carried a lifetime membership for forty years service.