Friday, June 16, 2006

Historic Hopkinsville

Life in Christian County, Kentucky... History and Old Stuff...

Law office

This old building on Main Street in Hopkinsville has seen some restoration and repair by local lawyer, Lester Guier, whose offices are in it. If only the building below had been so fortunate. It's a three-story building, with stained glass in one of its most ornate windows. It sits just two doors down from the Guier building and it's another of the 120-year-old buildings on historic Main Street. Unfortunately, this building's facade is badly deteriorated and only getting worse. Notice how the bricks are falling away at upper right, allowing rain to seep into the walls of the building. I'm afraid it's gotten so bad that it won't ever be restored now.

Top of old building

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KennethF said...

Hey Gene:

These photos were worth the second look on enlargment. Most of our older buildings get some tennent recycling treatment also. Thanks for posting comments and I like your new 'hat photo'.

By now, I've looked at 100's of blogs and yours remains way out in front.

How do you do... it? ~(:-_))-kfh

Genevieve said...

Kenneth, I can't tell you how many times your comments have given me a smile and a lift of spirits. Thanks for reading, and I mean that most sincerely. I appreciate you and all my loyal blog readers very much!

Many people have been curious about my hat in the current profile photo. It's a crop of the photo of me in medieval garb at the Tennessee Rennaisance Festival.

A proper married lady has her head covered, you know. I made this simple hood from a linen placemat.

RunAwayImagination said...

As you know, I too have roots in Gordon, Nebraska, where my dad was born in 1914. His mother was Mae Mary O'Rourke, whose brother Frank O'Rourke founded the RuJoDen ranch south of Chadron. The ranch is now owned by Jim & Lora O'Rourke who are active in the Society for Range Management. Here's their website:

Jim & Lora have a collection of old sheep wagons that are available for rent, and Jim also has an enormous collection of old horse-drawn farm machinery.

My dad left Gordon in 1937 for Washington DC, so I grew up far from my midwestern roots, and due to the long distance my visits there are few and far between.

I did have a rather surreal visit to RuJoDen in 1999 while on tour with a country-rock band (another long story). We left Harvey's Wagon Wheel Casino in Central City, CO about 3:00 a.m. after our last show in a 2-week stay there. We were enroute to the Fort Randall Casino in southeast South Dakota on the Yankton Sioux reservation. About 10:30 a.m. we pulled into RuJoDen, and Jim & Lora had a terrific country breakfast waiting for us. Following a relaxing walk around the ranch, we entertained them with them a little acoustic seranade before resuming our journey.

Uncle Frank wrote a book called "Retracing Old Trails" about his youthful experiences working on the Spade Ranch and in 1969 founded the Tri-State Old Time Cowboy Museum in Gordon.

Genevieve said...

That's very interesting, Runaway. I think my parents would probably have known your family, at least by name, because the Sandhills and its people are really just a large, extended community.

Your father left Gordon during some hard, bad times -- the Dust Bowl and the Depression. In 1937, some of the worst dust storms occurred.

A great-uncle in my mother's family left Gordon later in the 1930's. They decided to settle east of Springfield, MO, because it rained there while they were driving along.

When I get back to Gordon one of these years, I will visit the museum your uncle founded.

RunAwayImagination said...

The First National Bank of Gordon maintains a page for the museum:

Although the page says the museum is open every afternoon from June through September, I advise you to call first (308-282-0887), because the small town (about 1,800 people) isn't exactly flooded with tourists.

This page: contains a brief history of Gordon.

My dad's father, Bill Reed served a term or two as the mayor of Gordon in the 1950s. So I'm sure your folks would have known him. He was a lifelong railroad man and also active in the Oddfellows. He passed away in 1977 (on my birthday, Feb. 14 - the same day my dad died in 1971).

Genevieve said...

My Aunt Becky very likely remembers your grandfather. She was in the Daughters of Rebekah when she was young as well as being a resident of the Gordon area until about 1967 or 68.

The name O'Rourke seems familiar as a Sandhill name, even to me, but I would never have been able to associate any particular ranch or town with it. I would probably have guessed Cherry County (Valentine.)

Genevieve said...


I read your comment on the post about the Tenn-Renn Festival. You might be interested in the remarks about Mari Sandoz in another post. Old Jules was well-known in Sheridan County, but not well-loved by the ranchers and cattlemen of the day.

I looked up your Uncle Frank's book on Abebooks but I don't think I'll be buying it. The $95 to $150 per book range is a little steep for my library budget. :D

The University of Nebraska press offers several books of memoirs by old ranchers and cowboys. It would be nice if they'd republish your uncle's book.

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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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