Saturday, January 21, 2006

Some Native Stone Buildings in Hopkinsville, KY

Built from local limestone

Along North Main Street in Hopkinsville, you can see some of our native stone used in houses. The house in the photo above was done with a grayish-white limestone, and several others along North Main were done with the same type of stone.

A stone quarry is nearby, and the stone for the house above may have been come from there. The Rogers Group has three quarries for white limestone in Hopkinsville that I know of; two are active, including the quarry on North Main, and another is inactive. An old quarry along the Pennyrile Parkway on the north side of Hopkinsville is owned by the Hopkinsville water department and is full of water.

The two homes in the photos above are faced with some of the darker stone that is found in this area. These colorations of stone are common in old chimneys, foundations, porch pillars, and walls left from pioneer days. I think the early builders may have cut it from rock outcroppings. The brown coloration may be from iron oxide impurities.

Here are the reasons why I think these darker colored stones are local variants of limestone:
1) I remember a factoid that I read somewhere -- 50% of all surface rock in Kentucky is limestone.
2) Limestone contains fossils, and I've seen fossils in local rocks that look like the stone on these houses.
3) I think I've seen some of the local sandstone, and it's not a very hard rock. I don't think they'd use sandstone if limestone was available.
4)The University of Kentucky says there are several types of limestone in Christian County.
5) I am just guessing!

I have always admired the house with the red pointy roof. (Scroll up to second photo.) In its chimney, the builders embedded a big brown stone shaped like the state of Kentucky and attached the word "Kentucky" to it.

Here is another example of the types of native stone found around Hopkinsville. This is on the side of an old block store downtown. Unfortunately the building has deteriorated to the point that it should be demolished.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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