Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Seen at Fairview, Kentucky

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

The Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Site is located at Fairview, Kentucky, a few miles from where we live.

Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America, and he was born in Fairview, just a few hundred feet from the monument. A Baptist church stands on the site where the cabin in which he was born once stood.

The building of the monument started shortly before World War I. Funds for the construction were raised by the Orphans Brigade (Kentuckians who fought for the Confederacy) and by the Daughters of the Confederacy. The Kentucky State Legislature provided financial assistance to finally finish the construction in 1924.

I think most local white folks would say this is not a monument to slavery or racism but rather to history and heritage. I think many local black folks would see it differently. To me, the place is a reminder that I don't hold and will never fully understand the deep personal feelings some people still cherish about the Civil War.

Gate to Park

Stone pillars mark a gateway to the park for walkers. A low stone wall surrounds much of the park. Deep shade, spacious picnic pavilions, and plentiful playground equipment make the grounds a popular site for summer family reunions.

Jeff Davis MonumentMonument with sun behind

Tower closeup
Though the tower can be seen for miles, one doesn't fully realize its size until it's seen at close range.

Northward viewNortheast view

Westward view
An elevator runs to the top of the tower, and for $4.00 per person, visitors can ride to the top, enjoy the view, and visit the museum in the visitor center. The photos above were taken from the observation windows at the top of the monument.


These metal plates at the base of the tower give a little information about its construction (left) and some advice from Jefferson Davis about the future (right.)

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Produce Market
This photo is unrelated to the Jefferson Davis Monument. This is the Fairview Produce Market just outside the little village of Fairview. Many Mennonite and Amish farmers bring fresh garden fruits and vegetables here to sell in bulk to stores and peddlers. The green wagons behind the tractor are full of sweet corn, and watermelons can be seen in the horse-drawn trailers. During the summer, auctions are held five or six days a week.

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My brother left this morning. I've got a lot of errands to run and chores to do, but I'll get back to normal blogging sooner or later.

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Anonymous said...

When I was flying in that part of the world the monument was a wonderful visual cue. I always meant to visit the monument but it always stayed on my 'to do' list. Maybe next time. :)

Genevieve said...

The inside of the monument is not too interesting, but the view is spectacular on a clear day. The elevator moves upward in amazingly slow motion. The tour guide recited a long monologue about Jefferson Davis' life and took questions as we rode to the top.

It didn't make me queasy to look outside across the countryside, but when I looked down the shaft behind the elevator and saw the little staircase running down the side of the monument to the bottom, my stomach did a flip-flop.

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