From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Founders Square

Mural in historic downtown Hopkinsville, KY



Founders Square mural in historic downtown Hopkinsville, KY

Hopkinsville has several murals on the sides of buildings, but this one is my favorite. It honors some of our local history. Each block represents a name that was well-known in its day.

Hotel Latham (at right in mural) was built around 1900 and burned to the ground in 1940. (At the Nostalgiaville site for Hopkinsville, you can see a photo of the historic marker that marks the site of the hotel.) The phrase, "Do or Die for Attucks High," refers to the fine basketball teams that came out of Attucks High School, attended by black kids during segregation. Edgar Cayce (just right of flag) was a famous psychic and healer who made "Quality Photographs" at his Hopkinsville studio. The tobacco plant in bloom at the upper center of the mural symbolizes the importance of tobacco farming in the county's economy.

This little area is called Founder's Square. It's located at the heart of old Hopkinsille -- the corner of Main Street and Highway 68/80. A decrepit old store building was torn down several years ago, exposing the wall where the mural is now. The city's Christmas tree is erected here and various public events are held in this area. I worked in a booth at last year's Little River Days right at this spot.

Another event held here that comes to mind was a remembrance on September 11, 2002. I attended that ceremony during my lunch hour because my daughter's school choir sang several songs. The parking lot was filled with folding chairs, and the fire department was there with their extension ladder truck. (I don't know the correct name for it.) They solemnly raised the American flag to the maximum height in honor of the firemen who died in New York City's Twin Towers. The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) guys marched in formation. An old fellow who frequently came into the office where I worked was carrying the flag. I thought of him in a different way after that.

Update: Over the winter of 2006-2007, an open-air Farmers Market was constructed on the southwest corner of Founders Square. It opened for business in early summer, 2007.

Related post: Signs of Days Goneby

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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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