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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Whistlestop Flasher

Efficient advertising




On the east side of the train tracks in Hopkinsville, when you're waiting for a train to go by at night, you can see the Whistlestop Donuts sign between the cars as they pass. As the train picks up speed, the bright yellow sign flashes at an increasingly urgent rate: "Whistlestop Donuts! Donuts! Donuts!" This phenomenon is not quite a subliminal message (it's not below the threshold of conscious thought), but it does very effectively lure the mind into sugary, deep-fried fantasies.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Bittersweet Holiday

     
Mama with Dennis and Steve, about 1955.
Dennis (left) is the youngest of six children.

Mama Netz, about 1975, in a church kitchen.
It has not been a good December, dear friends of the blog. My husband's mother died on December 6. She would have been 95 in January.

Mama Netz had a long, full life, and she went to an eternal home with her Heavenly Father. Knowing those things, we still mourn the loss of our mother. I call her "our" mother, because she adopted me into her family about 33 years ago, and she was my only mother for 14 years after my own mother died.

Having family responsibilities, Dennis went to Kansas City in his own car, and I drove up with the kids. After the funeral, we stayed a night with my sister in southern Missouri. The next day, we drove a nostalgic route through the Ozarks on our way home -- a route we drove many times on our trips to visit the grandparents in years past.


Taurus, Keely, and Isaac at a high spot
near Alley Spring, Missouri
where I've photographed my children
many times over the years.
When I went back to work after my absence, I jumped into the last frenzied weeks of the Christmas retail season. The endless hours of serving (and cleaning up after) the shoppers seemed a pointless trial. When I wasn't at my job, I pushed myself through the motions of creating a traditional holiday for my family. Between work and home, I became quite exhausted and even caught a cold.

On Christmas Eve (after my co-workers and I finally got out of the store), I attended a service in a church I've never visited before. I thought that singing Christmas carols might lift my spirits, but oddly enough, the congregation sang only one song in the whole service -- "It Came Upon The Midnight Clear." Still, it had a verse that seemed written especially for me:

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
      Who toil along the climbing way
      With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing.
      O rest beside the weary road,
      And hear the angels sing!

The view from our hotel window
in Independence, Missouri
Yesterday, Isaac, Keely, Taurus, and one of their friends spent the day here at the house with us. We ate too much and enjoyed a long session of gift-opening. We survived the opening of a final Christmas package from Mama Netz -- one last gift of needlework for everyone. Keely addressed my Christmas cards for me, and I'm hoping that I will finish and mail them sometime this week or next.

Late in the evening on this second day of Christmas, resting here by the road and listening to the angels sing, I feel less sorry for myself. This has been one of life's valleys, but I am climbing out of it. I must encourage my husband to climb out, too -- carry him out, if I have to!

I do assure you that the blog will soon resume. Meanwhile, I send all my best wishes to you and yours for the the remaining days of Christmas and for the New Year.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Sale of a Large Sandhill Ranch

Circle Cross Ranch at Valentine, Nebraska


The 40,000 acre Circle Cross Ranch near Valentine, Nebraska, sold at auction on Dec. 2, 2011, for $11.75 million. A seven-brother partnership, represented by Danny Weinreis of Minatare, Nebraska, and Gene Weinreis of Golva, North Dakota, placed the winning bid.

You can read more of the details in "Ranch sells for $11.75 million" on the Norfolk Daily News website. There's also a video tour on You-Tube. What a beautiful place! It includes 7 miles of Niobrara River frontage. I'm pleased to read that the Weinreis Brothers will continue operating it as a cattle ranch.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Lists for the Season

In case you're listless...


A lost list
Photo by Jem Yoshioka
I enjoy finding a shopping list that someone has lost or left behind. Yes, I'm snoopy, but I prefer to say that I'm curious because it sounds a little better.  Here are some lists I've found over the past few months.

This list was written on a pink notebook page with a butterfly at the top. Uh oh -- looks like someone has one of the bugs that are going around.
Kleenex
milk
bread
Tylenol
Vicks
Nyquil
Zyrtec
tea
cereal

Here's a well-organized list written by an energetic person. (I know the writer is energetic because everything you buy at a paint store requires energy.) Every word in this list is capitalized.
1. Meds
2. Aldis
        - Yoghurt
        - Pineapple
        - Milk
        - Chicken Salad
        - T/P
        - Clementines
3. K-Mart
4. Sherwin Williams
5. Electric Bill

This list was written on a long narrow sheet of paper with this quotation at the top: "The path to happiness is paved with kind words and loving deed... DON'T FORGET..."
Bread
OJ
lemonade
balogna
cookies
ice cream
chips
fruit
sausage
feta
hummus
cheddar block
triscuits
swiss cheese
cigarettes

* put check in bank

The following list is written in pencil on a scrap of white paper. The writing is very small. Maybe that's so the list will fit into the available space. Maybe the list-maker had some coupons to use for these name-brand products. And I am sure that he or she knew what was needed at WalMart, even if I don't.
Libman short dish brush
Dreamfield lasagna
Colgate toothbrush
Coke Zero
celery
bacon bits
arugula
pine nuts
lemons
prosciutto
cauliflower
______________
Lowes--white plugs
WMart--ret pots

Image from The Graphics Fairy
Usually, the act of writing down what I need helps me remember, even if I forget to take the list with me. I hope that's true for the person who lost this Christmas shopping list. I wouldn't want anyone to be forgotten.
Christmas cards
wooden spoons for April
head set for Harvey
socks for Brian
tricycle
kitchen towels Jason
white towels April
camera case April
heating pad Jason
MP3 Harvey
socks & underwear Brian
Gift cards Brad, Lilly, Ellen, Randy, Janeen

I hope you are getting your shopping done so you can enjoy the season!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Winner of the "Most Colorful Ancestor" Award

Robert Henry Vining (1848-1888)


Robert Henry Vining was my great-great grand-uncle on my dad's side of the family -- a  younger brother of my great-great grandmother Martha Alameda (Vining) Mapes. Henry's parents moved from Pennsylvania to Henry County, Illinois, in the 1840s, and Henry was born there in 1848. He spent his boyhood years on the family farm on the Illinois prairie.

Kennesaw's Bombardment '64
Sketch by war correspondent Alfred Waud
In 1864, at the age of 16, Henry enlisted as a Union soldier (Company H, Illinois 112th Infantry Regiment). He lost a leg in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain near Marietta, Georgia, and was discharged in 1865.

Henry Vining came to Republic County, Kansas, in 1868, and settled in the Elk Creek valley along with Ashbel Mapes (Ashbel was Henry's brother-in-law and my great-great grandfather), three Willoughby brothers, and William Oliver. All of these men were relatives or connected by marriage. They and their families were among the first white settlers of the Elk Creek area.

Henry was a member of the Salt Creek Militia that was formed in 1868 to protect Republic County settlers from the Indians. He also served as the Republic County sheriff that year.  On January 1, 1869, he married Martha Oliver -- the first marriage in Republic County, Kansas.

Henry's missing leg didn't slow him down too much. He was proud that he had given a leg in the service of his country. People called him Peggy, because he had a peg leg.  He served as a marshal in the little communities of Clyde and Concordia, Kansas, during the 1870s. Later, he was the manager of the Western Detective Agency of Clyde (a bounty hunter?), and he also ran a saloon in Clyde which was destroyed in a business district fire on January 25, 1881. (See Belleville Telescope p. 3, Feb. 3, 1881)

In June of 1881, Henry got into a bad fight. Apparently he and the schoolmaster in Clyde had already disagreed about something. Then, the schoolmaster slapped Henry's son on the ear for fighting with another boy. Henry found the schoolmaster in a store and, after an exchange of words, gave him a punch that knocked him to the floor. The schoolmaster knocked or kicked Henry down, and they scuffled.

The schoolmaster might have won the fight, being wiry and more agile with his two legs, but Henry pulled a gun. It misfired the first time, and the second shot went into a trunk. The schoolmaster abandoned the fight and rode to the county seat to file a complaint with the marshal. Henry was arrested and charged with "assault with intent to kill". I don't know what happened after that, but I'm very curious.

The editor of the Clyde Democrat, who also happened to be the schoolmaster's friend and roommate, wrote a sensational newspaper account of the above event (See "A Murderous Assault," Belleville Telescope, p. 2, June 16, 1881) .  He stated that Henry Vining was a drunkard, which may or may not have been true. The report is clearly slanted in favor of the schoolmaster -- perhaps rightfully so.

Henry Vining seems to have been well-liked by most people and was well-known in the area, so I suspect that the charges were eventually dropped, or that he was not convicted, or that if he was convicted, the sentence was light. That's just my hunch, not a proven fact. I'm still researching -- I'd love to know the rest of the story!

The Clyde Democrat ceased publication in mid-1882. I think the editor probably left Clyde at that time, and probably his friend, the schoolmaster, left too.

Henry Vining died unexpectedly in 1888 at the young age of 40. He had an agreement with his long-time friend and fellow veteran Jacob Sohlinger that, if one of them died, the other would see that he was laid to rest, wrapped in the flag. Jacob Sohlinger kept his promise, and Henry Vining went to his grave embraced by the flag and declaring his patriotism to the end.

US Flag with 38 stars.
In use 4 July 1877–3 July 1890.

This article was written by Genevieve L. Netz and originally published as a blog post at http://prairiebluestem.blogspot.com/2011/11/winner-of-most-colorful-ancestor-award.html . Copyright 2012 Genevieve L. Netz. All rights reserved. Permission is granted for attaching this article to Vining family trees as long as this entire notice is included. Any other use requires written permission. gnetz51@gmail.com .

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Order Amish Tractor and Wagon

Family transportation



I suppose I've posted a dozen photographs of Mennonite buggies on this blog, but this is my very first photo of a New Order Amish tractor and wagon. We see these rigs around Guthrie and Crofton, Kentucky, where we have thriving New Order Amish communities.

I saw the tractor and wagon above at a restaurant in Hopkinsville. The owners probably drove in from Crofton to pick up farm supplies and to shop at WalMart (which is just a short distance from this restaurant.)

The man of the family drives the tractor, and the passengers ride in the wagon along with any freight. The wagon is always made from the back-end of an old pickup truck.

Around Guthrie and Elkton in Todd County, I've occasionally seen tractors with a man and woman riding together in the cab. I've even seen a woman driving a tractor down the road, with a couple of small children in the cab. However, I've never seen a woman driving a tractor that was pulling a wagon.

The use of the tractor, the use of normal tires on the tractor, and the use of the tractor on the road are some of the practices that distinguish New Order Amish from other Amish groups. The New Order Amish around this area have gone a step farther in permitting the use of the tractor to make short trips.

The basis for the various restrictions on tractor use is explained by Donald Kraybill and Marc Alan Olshan in The Amish Struggle with Modernity.  In The Riddle of Amish Culture, Donald Kraybill relates the history of the New Order split from the Old Order. Tractor use is just one of many differences between the major Amish groups, but with the New Order Amish, it's one of the most visible differences.

Related:
Cultural Change and Survival in Amish Society, a paper by Brian Lande for his class, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Don't forget

Bad grammar, great message



I'm really not looking forward to the time change, but the extra hour of sleep will be nice.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Autumn Images

Seen in Christian County, KY



There's plenty of time to take a picture, when following a buggy uphill. They are extremely slow, but I never pass them on a hill, even if I'm in a terrible hurry. I figure that it's better to be a few minutes late than to risk a collision. However, I often see impatient drivers who pass without a clue of what's coming in the other lane.


Tobacco is curing in the barns of Christian County, KY. This old barn, built right beside a back road, is always closed tight, with a "No Trespassing" sign on the doors. When I drove by last week, I was surprised to see its doors opened wide.


This clump of trees in the middle of a Christian County field probably marks an old family graveyard. It's sad that so many old cemeteries receive no care at all, but when the families are unavailable, unable, or uninterested, the burden of upkeep falls on the landowner. Most farmers adopt an attitude of benign neglect, and nature takes its course.


Autumn color in Hopkinsville (KY). Some people around the county have reported heavy frost, but we haven't had a killing frost at our house yet. I still have impatiens blooming, though their days are surely numbered.


And who's that crowding into the picture with the impatiens? Why, it's Sophie, of course, doing her best to be the center of attention. I'm in the process of building an elaborate doghouse for her. It has two rooms, and it's better insulated than our house is! I am not a very fast carpenter, so it's still going to require a couple more days of work. And it's so heavy that I'm thinking we might put it in the truck and drive it to the carport, instead of trying to carry it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Whistle Stop

And the old freight depot



Whistle Stop Donuts in Hopkinsville (KY) now has two buildings, near each other and (of course) near the train tracks. (In this photo, you can't see the original little Whistle Stop that's right next to the tracks, but it's marked by the yellow sign.). I don't know if they're going to move everything to the building on the left which has a larger parking lot, or if they're going to keep both locations.

On the other side of the train that's whizzing through town, you can see some scaffolding on the old freight depot. The exterior of the building is being restored to its original appearance. Jim Coursey, a local architect and historian, recently wrote in  the Kentucky New Era that the depot is still structurally sound -- in fact, as solid as when it was first built. The metal roof on the building dates back to its construction in 1905, and it still doesn't leak. The Hopkinsville water department owns the property.

Chrysanthenum with Leaf



Onomatopoeic Words

Words that imitate sounds


This evening, I was sorting through some old papers, and I came across some notes dated October 23. I left out the year when I wrote the date, but I think it was 1984. About that time, I took a class called "History of the English Language", and I must have saved only this little stack of pages from my notebook for that class.

On the long-ago October 23 when I made those notes, Dr. Eschlimann was wearing plaid pants. I know this to be a fact because Dr. E. always wore plaid pants. His lecture was about the ways that words enter the English language. My notes cover 17 different sources of words, with a list of examples for each one.

The list of onomatopoeic words (words that echo or imitate sounds) is kind of fun. Glancing through the list is like reading the "sound effects" of a comic strip. And it is dated October 23, so I decided to post it.

hiss
clatter
pop
sizzle
buzz
hum
bump
squeak
crash
snort
sob
howl
throb
jerk
knock
blab
flick
flip
gush
whistle
bleat
snicker
snore
snort
roar
purr
plunk
boom
bark
twitter
jabber
flash
blip
fuss
dump
crack
pat
squelch
blurt
lull
gag
gulp
and one of my all-time favorite words...
murmur (I just like the sound of that word.)

Such vivid words! I hope you enjoyed them!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thursday Thirteen: Old-time Riddles

Conundrums from the early 1900s


1. If a chicken said anything, why would it be likely to swear?
Because it could only use fowl language.

2.What is the best thing to do if you split your sides with laughter?
Run until you get a stitch in them.

3. Why is a dirty boy like a piece of cheap flannel?
Because they both shrink from washing.

4. Why is the number 9 like a peacock?
Because it would be nothing without its tail.

5. Which is quicker, heat or cold?
Heat is, because you can catch cold.

6. Why were the Middle Ages called dark ages?
Because there were so many (k)nights.

7. Why did the fly fly?
Because the spider spied her.

8. Why do you always find a lost object in the very last place where you look?
Because when you find it, you stop looking for it.

9. Why is a straw hat like a kiss over the telephone?
Because it is not felt.

10. Why is a watch like a river?
Because it will not run long without winding.

11. Why is the letter D like a squalling baby?
Because it makes Ma mad ("ma"-d).

12. Why is there no such thing as a perfect day?
Because every day begins by breaking.

13. Why is a fishmonger ungenerous?
Because his job makes him sell fish (selfish).

From Party Games For All Occasions by Bernard Stanley. Published in Philadelphia by J. B. Lippincott Company, copyright date unknown.

Find more Thursday Thirteen posts here.

"Peacock and Peahen" by Maruyama Ōkyo (1747 - 1821)
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, October 17, 2011

Overheard

Time flies.


At the store, I overheard this confused conversation between a 50-ish woman and her 30-ish daughter.

Mom: It's been at least a century since I bought new towels.

Daughter: No, it has not been a century, Mom! You got new towels when you redid the bathroom. That was seven years ago.

Mom: Well, I guess you're right. It seems like it's been over a century, though.
I have noticed that entire months slip by very quickly. Does that relate? I'm not sure.

Over a century ago
(Flickr image by peagreengirl)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Missing Confederate Graves at Hopkinsville's Riverside Cemetery

A chance to set the record straight


I've written several times in the past about Camp Alcorn in Hopkinsville, KY, where about 300 Confederate soldiers died of disease and exposure during the Civil War. If this topic interests you, you'll enjoy the well-researched article at the link below:


This link leads to a Rootsweb military page about the Camp Alcorn burials in a potters field in Riverside Cemetery, and the later re-burial of  "unknown" Confederate soldiers.

The author of this paper is William Meacham, Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Asian Studies at the University of Hong Kong. He lives in Hong Kong, as you might imagine, but he has family ties to Christian County, KY.  Mr. Meacham's research indicates that 72 or more Confederate soldiers are still lying in unmarked graves in Riverside Cemetery.

I am a "damyankee" transplanted in Christian County about 20 years ago, and most (though not all!) of my ancestors fought on the Union side of the Civil War. But, despite my own leanings, I think that we in Christian County should locate and mark the graves of these Confederate soldiers if we can. It is the decent thing to do, especially considering the mishandling of important records and the mistakes made with the Camp Alcorn graves in the past.




Historic marker about grave of unknown Confederate soldiers Monument to unknown Confederate soldiers, Riverside Cemetery, Hopkinsville, KY

Friday, October 14, 2011

Early Fall in Christian County, KY

Seen around the county during the last month


A nearly-dry stream bed in late September.
Now, the water is probably full of fallen leaves.

A full barn of tobacco, curing
in the fresh country air.

Dad and kids, headed home
from the produce auction

The northern part of Christian County has dozens
(or hundreds?) of small fields like this one, where the
ground is flat enough to farm between hills and streams.
This is corn, drying in the field before harvest.

The shorter flowers are members of the aster family,
and the taller ones are ironweed, as I recall.

Last spring, these were wheatfields.
Now, they're beanfields (soybeans). 

This complex west of Hopkinsville
has about a dozen tobacco barns in it.
The smoke can get heavy when
the barns are being fired.

A horseless carriage, so to speak

Late afternoon sunshine on a 
field of ripening soybeans

The sun is setting much earlier now. 
I saw this gorgeous sunset on my
way home from work one night.

Keely and I went to an interesting moving 
sale at this house in Hopkinsville. 
The seller had lots of cool, collectible stuff.

At the Farmers Market in 
downtown Hopkinsville

Sunday, October 09, 2011

For What It's Worth

Fifteen minutes of fame, sort of



Wikipedia has at least three links to Prairie Bluestem articles:

All it proves is that those topics are so obscure, they couldn't find much other information online. Nonetheless, it entertains me. And, with those links and $5, I could probably get a Frappuccino®.

L&N Passenger Depot at Hopkinsville, KY

The depot's floor plan



I found the following description of the L&N passenger depot in Hopkinsville, KY, in Buildings and Structures of American Railroads by Warren Gilman Berg. It was published in 1893, just one year after the Hopkinsville depot was built. Many details mentioned by Berg can still be observed today, but the stucco on the building's exterior seems to have been added since then.

I believe the floor plan of the depot was accidentally reversed in the book, so I changed it (image appears below) to what I think the building is in real life. Readers from Hopkinsville, please correct me if I'm wrong. Also, I altered some of the original punctuation of this passage, and I divided some of the paragraphs to make them easier to read on a screen.  

Tower at the corner of
the ladies waiting room
The passenger depot of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad at Hopkinsville, Ky. is a single-story frame building, roofed with slate.

The main feature of the exterior is the tower at the corner of the ladies' waiting-room and the large circular bay-window projection of the agent's office at the centre of the building, which, combined with the cupola on the corner tower, the ridge-cresting and ornamental gable fronts, together with the general finish of the building, causes it to present a very handsome appearance.

The "circular bay-window projection"
of the agent's office next to tracks


The ground-floor is divided into:
  • a ladies' waiting-room, 17 ft. X 20 ft., with an octagonal alcove inside the tower at the corner of the room;
  • a ladies' toilet-room, 5 ft. X 8 ft. 6 in.;
  • an agent's office, 14 ft. X 17 ft., with ticket-windows leading into the ladies' waiting-room, the general waiting-room, and the colored waiting-room;
  • a colored waiting-room, 14 ft. X 14 ft.; 
  • a general waiting-room, 20 ft. X 24 ft.; and 
  • a baggage-room, 16 ft. X 18 ft. 

Note: The platform and train tracks were on the east side of the building.
"Colored" people had to walk around the bulding to reach the boarding area.


The exterior of the building is sheathed with horizontal and upright ornamental boarding, in panels, ornamental shingles and square panelling frieze-work and gable fronts. The doors leading into the ladies' waiting-room and the general waiting-room are double doors, 5 ft. X 7 ft. 6 in., with transom overhead. The lower sash of the windows have one large pane of glass, while the upper sash are surrounded with a border of small stained-glass lights.

Double doors with transom
in the baggage room
Ticket office window seen from
ladies' waiting room
These photographs have appeared on Prairie Bluestem previously. See related posts:
Seen at Hopkinsville's L&N Depot
Hopkinsville's Railroad

Sunday, October 02, 2011

How I Entertain Myself

Country fun



I bought a firewood-rack kit at Lowes on clearance last spring. It looked really easy. The only tool needed was a screwdriver to put in four screws. The finished rack looked sort of like a shelf with attached bookends, quite similar to the rack at this link. The kit had the end pieces and screws in it, and the buyer had to supply two 2x4s. The directions said it would take about 15 minutes to assemble.

Today, I decided to put the kit together. I got a couple of used-but-sturdy 2x4s out of the shed and tried to "slip" the end pieces onto them, per the instructions. Ha ha. It took me an hour and a half. I had to rasp off the high spots for four inches back on each end of each 2x4. Then I beat the pieces on with a sledge hammer.  (Maybe I should buy a little wood plane? Maybe I should have used new 2x4s. Maybe I should have let Dennis do it!)

I still haven't completed the assembly. I quit and came inside when I got the last piece beaten on. Tomorrow, I'll put in the screws that hold the pieces in place, whether they're necessary or not.  I think it will take about, oh, maybe 15 minutes.

Just think of all the entertainment I've had already, and I haven't even stacked the firewood on the rack yet. That kit was definitely a bargain.


Image by Muffet
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Salubria Springs

History of a Christian County health spa



Like most roads with interesting names, Salubria Springs Road (just west of Pembroke, Kentucky) has a story.

Salubria was once a small settlement in Christian County, located near a natural spring (or springs.)  In the early 1800s, one of Christian County's first churches was built at Salubria. William Henry Perrin included Salubria in a list of minor settlements in his 1884 history of Christian County, stressing that all of them were much smaller than Pembroke.

The spa envisioned



The name "Salubria Springs" referred to the healthful (salubrious) effects of the spring water. It had a significant sulfur content. (Mineral water of this flavor isn't valued nearly as much today as it once was!)

In the day of horse-drawn transportation, city dwellers who could afford it spent summers in the country. Cities smelled bad in the heat, partly because of all the horse manure. Hotels at mineral springs were popular vacation spots. Cerulean Springs (about 15 miles northwest of Hopkinsville) had a successful hotel by the mid-1800s, and Dawson Springs (about 25 miles north of Hopkinsville) drilled a mineral-water well and entered the health-spa scene around 1900.

Perhaps inspired by the success of Dawson Springs, turn-of-the-century entrepreneur Doug Lander saw potential in the sulfur water of Salubria Springs. He and two other investors from Pembroke purchased the site and implemented an optimistic plan. Wells were drilled to supplement the spring water, and in 1907, the Forbes Manufacturing Company (a well-respected and prolific local builder) was given the contract to build a large hotel.

The Salubria Springs hotel was a long (170 foot), two-story building. For promenading in the fresh, country air, it had a full-length porch on the ground floor and a full-length balcony on the second floor. There were 40 rooms, including two dining rooms, and an enclosed stairwell at each end. The larger dining room doubled as a ballroom. Two outhouses were located behind the hotel.

The hotel years



Salubria Springs Hotel opened in the summer of 1908. A grid of streets was laid out, and lots around the hotel were offered for sale. But business was slow, and profits did not meet the expectations of the investors. By 1910, the hotel had a new owner and new management.

The Kentucky New Era described the Salubria Springs opening ball of 1910 in glowing terms:
The big hotel never before entertained such a crowd and never was there a more delightful event given under its hospitable roof. People came from every direction and from long distances. They came in automobiles, horseback, in buggies, wagons, surreys and every kind of vehicle, on the trains and some even walked. Hopkinsville and Pembroke turned out almost en masse, but Fairview, Elkton, Trenton, Guthrie, Clarksville, Madisonville, Princeton, Henderson, Evansville and many other towns sent large delegations. The crowd was even beyond expectations, but they were hospitably cared for by Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Petre, the lessees of the hotel.  (Source: "Opening Ball at Salubria," Kentucky New Era, June 24, 1910)

There was no train station at Salubria Springs, but apparently the train stopped somewhere in the area and let off the passengers who wanted to visit the hotel.

By 1912, the hotel had sold to Guy Dority. He produced a brochure that advertised a month's stay at the Salubria (including three meals a day) for just $40. A two week stay cost $24. And, the brochure claimed, a stay at the Salubria improved a body: "The waters have proven to be especially beneficial in diseases of stomach, liver and kidneys. Good for the tired feeling. The run-down go home wound-up and ready for a fresh start. The very best place to rest and build up." (As quoted from the brochure by Joe Dorris in "Watching the Parade,"  Kentucky New Era, April 1, 1989.)

Other uses of the building



1912 seems to have been the last season that the hotel was kept open. A well-to-do lady named Mrs. A. O. Daugherty owned the property later. I do not know if she was connected in any way to the Guy Dority who owned it in 1912, but their names certainly sound similar. Mrs. Daugherty lived at Salubria Springs in the summer and in California in the winter. She employed Mr. Browder Dossett and family as caretakers, and they lived in the hotel year-round. ("Watching the Parade," Kentucky New Era, Sept. 24, 1976.)

Dances and other occasional events were held at the ballroom during Mrs Daugherty's years of ownership, and bottled water from the springs was sold by mail-order. I'm not sure when her era at the hotel ended, but an advertisement in the Kentucky New Era on August 1, 1929 (image at left)  hints that an attempt was made that year to put the hotel back into operation.

In 1931, the property was purchased by Christian County. The old poor farm north of Hopkinsville was closed, and Salubria Springs Hotel became the new Christian County Benevolent Home. It was used for this purpose through the late 1950s. The county sold the property at auction in 1958.

The hotel then became the Salubria Springs Home for the Aged. As a nursing home, it had at least two different owners, before fire safety regulations finally forced it to close for good in 1970. Ironically, fire destroyed the building in December, 1976. In 1977, the Fiscal Court was petitioned by landowners to formally close eight avenues in the area.

Salubria Springs now



When I drove down Salubria Springs Road last week, I could detect no sign of the hotel. I crossed a bridge over a small creek that may be fed by the springs. I saw several large, modern tobacco barns in a field near the road, and I saw the industrial park nearby. The road circles an overgrown clump of trees, which may be the old hotel site. I didn't see anyone there to ask, so I am only guessing about that.


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See an image of the old hotel building in this 1965 advertisement for the sale of the Salubria Springs nursing home.

A photograph of Salubria Springs Hotel, taken in 1933, appears in William Turner and Ladonna Dixon Anderson's book, Cerulean Springs and The Springs of Western Kentucky.






Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Seen at the Grocery Store

Genealogy nuts 


So, dear family and friends, you think I've become a little obsessed lately with researching the family tree, hmmm?  Please note that this plate is on someone else's car, not mine.

And even though I was quite curious about who owned this plate, I did not go into the grocery store and ask likely-looking shoppers, "Are you the genealogy nut?"

However, if I had seen this person at the car, I would have asked what family names he/she was researching.

Keely's Been Knitting

Link, in yarn



Keely's always working on a craft project. She finished crocheting this little fellow recently. He's Link, a character from a video game, and he'll be a Christmas present to a friend. At far right, you can see part of a grayish-blue ball -- I think that's a body part of the knitted turtle that she was doing next.
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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)

Thanks for reading.