Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Peace Park in Hopkinsville

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

Peace ParkPeace Park in Hopkinsville, KY

Peace Park looked inviting in the sunshine today. It lays right across the train tracks from the railroad station on East 9th Street. At one time, a tobacco warehouse stood here and many pounds of tobacco were loaded through its doors onto the passing trains. Here's the text of the Peace Park historic marker (visible at center in the photo above):

Bequest to city of Hopkinsville with funds for beautification and maintenance by John C. Latham of New York, a native of Hopkinsville. A generous and forgiving gift. Mr. Latham was owner of a large tobacco warehouse on this site that was destroyed, when burned by Night Riders, disgruntled tobacco growers, Dec. 8, 1907. The next year death came to Mr. Latham.

John Latham gave the city another large lot nearby to be made into a park in memory of his mother. It became Virginia Park and it has a nice little stone bandstand and a similar stone wall around it. Hopkinsville Nostalgia has two vintage postcards of Virginia Park: a 1920's image with the bandstand and another undated image.

Around the Swope Park area of Kansas City, MO, there are many stone walls that were built in the early 1900's, my husband tells me. Nearer to home, the Jefferson Davis Historic Site at Fairview, Kentucky, is surrounded by a stone wall. Construction of the tower was completed in 1924, and presumably the stone wall was built around that time as well.

Stone walls were popular in public landscaping in those days, and the wisdom of the investment is seen in the fact that the walls are still in good condition and lovely to behold, many years later. I wonder if today's popular vinyl fencing will be holding up this well after a century or so of exposure to the elements!

Jefferson Davis State Historic SiteJefferson Davis State Historic Site

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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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