Monday, June 29, 2020

Beaumont College Graduates

The history of Beaumont Inn runs deep in the fabric of Harrodsburg. Originally started in 1807 as Greenville Springs, it has a long and changing lineage.
Greenville Springs, it has a long and changing lineage.
1807 - Greenville Springs established through word-of-mouth of the Rev. Jesse Head, pastor who married Abraham Lincoln's parents.

1814 - Greenville Springs now encompasses 220 acres.
1830 - Dr. Christopher C. Graham buys Greenville Springs, but is not used as a spa. Instead, he deeds the land to Rev. Jones who started the Greenville Female Seminary.
1834 - Rev. William Jones sold the property to James Harlan.
1841 – Harlan moved to Frankfort and leased property to Prof. Samuel Mullins for the Greenville Institute for Young Ladies.
1849 - Mullins bought the Institute outright.
1851 – Fire raged through the Greenville Institute for Young Ladies and burned the main building to the ground.
1856 – A new brick building was built at Greenville and Prof. John Augustus Williams and his father, Dr. C. E. Williams established and ran Daughters College which drew students from many states until 1893.
1893 – Greenville Springs College was run by Dr. J. M. Dalton and Miss Ovie Smedley.
1894 – Greenville bought by Col. And Mrs. Thomas Smith and ran as Beaumont College for 23 years, until 1917.
After 1917, the property became the current Beaumont Inn compound.
These two photos are graduating classes from Beaumont College, so they were taken between 1894-1917.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Asylum Pond

ISO: Any information on the man-made lake that was once part of historic Graham Springs. This lake was where the current Chestnut Street Apartments is located. Was known locally as Asylum Pond.
Also, any information on the reservoir - the only thing I can find on this is from the map of Harrodsburg Springs. From the map, the reservoir was much larger than the lake and looks to be in the area of Young’s Park between the fairgrounds.
I’m especially looking for any photos of the lake or the surrounding area.

Dry Branch School

The old Dry Branch School in Mercer County.
Photo courtesy of
Larry Gene Sanders

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Mansion Museum

The Mansion Museum was built in 1813 with an addition in 1836.The oldest part of the home is believed to have been built by Mr. Felix Matheny, a local potter, for the family of Major James Taylor. Residents of early Harrodsburg claim to have found pieces of old pottery on the grounds when excavating to reconstruct the fort. The bricks were made on the premises and laid in Flemish bond where every alternate brick is put in endwise; these walls tend to endure forever.
The handsome interior of the Mansion Museum is finished in old colonial style and is in keeping with the tradition of one of Mercer's oldest and best families. James Taylor was for many years, a leading lawyer and spirited public citizen of Harrodsburg. His father was Samuel Taylor, prominent in the early history of the county, who in 1790 built, near Pleasant Hill, a stone house which is one of the most historic homes of Mercer County.
The house remained in the family for 95 years until one family member, Irene Moore, sold it to the Pioneer Memorial Association in 1925. Moore also sold the association the land that currently holds the fort replica. The Mansion Museum was dedicated on November 27, 1931, by Governor Flem D. Sampson to the Pioneer Memorial Association of Harrodsburg in tribute for their great service in creating the park for the preservation of Kentucky history.
The Mansion Museum contains pioneer books, documents, musical instruments, and tools. Some of the many interest things in the miscellaneous portion are briefly outlines because there is an impression among those who have not seen this acquisition that it consists exclusively of guns and other implements of war.
Through the years minor changes in the location of some of the articles in the Mansion Museum have been made to improve the exhibits and the old house had undergone several major renovations since 1948, but all the changes have involved preservation of the structure and improved presentation of the exhibits.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Old Mud Meeting House

Old Mud stands three miles southwest of Harrodsburg and was the first Dutch Reformed Church built west of the Alleghenies. It was established by 50 families who came to Mercer County from New Amsterdam to New Jersey to Pennsylvania in 1781. Organized in 1796, the church was built on land purchased in 1800. In the church cemetery is the grave of Dominie Thomas Kyle, the first pastor of the Old Mud Meeting House.

The Dutch migrants built Old Mud on a limestone foundation with exposed vertical timbers. It measures 46’4” x 34’4” and has 16 roof trusses riding on collar beams, and 4 tie beams linking alternate pairs of wall posts. The church’s featured hand-hewn heavy timber framework, mortise-and-tenon joinery, and wattle-and-daub walls. This building technique was used in dozens of Mercer County residences of the time, especially in the houses of Dutch settlers who worshiped at Old Mud.
This is one of the old landmarks of the historic town of Harrodsburg. It was completed in 1818 and was well constructed, but has long since become antiquated. The timbers for the windows and doors and joists were hewn out by R. K. Fallis.
In 1849 church members affixed clapboards to the exterior, plastered the interior walls, and cut taller window openings. They also changed the entry by sealing off its south-side door and cutting a new pair of doors on the east gable side. Thus Old Mud became indistinguishable from the two-door churches typical of the antebellum architecture of the Bluegrass.

It was added to the National Register in 1973.
Remodeling efforts have been in progress at the Old Mud Meeting House site.
Aerial view of restoration of Old Mud Meeting House.
Cemetery at the site of the Old Mud Meeting House.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Lincoln Marriage Temple

Building and dedication of the brick Temple built around the Lincoln Marriage Cabin at Old Fort Harrod State Park (then still Pioneer Memorial State Park) in 1931.
The Lincoln Marriage Temple houses the historic little log cabin, built in 1782, in which the parents of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, were married. This wedding took place June 12, 1806 in the log cabin of Richard Berry in the small community of Beechland near Springfield in Washington County, Kentucky.
In 1911, W. A. Clements, the owner of the logs that composed the structure in which this historic event took place, presented then as a gift to the Harrodsburg Historical Society. Under James Isenberg’s leadership, the society moved the cabin’s logs to Harrodsburg and reconstituted this rustic structure near the historic Pioneer Cemetery at a cost of $261.27.
In 1931, Mrs. Edmund B. Hall of Muncie, Indiana, donated the money needed to build a temple to enclose the cabin and protect it from the elements. The cabin was disassembled again and moved to its current location. The brick Temple was patterned after the Lulbegrud Church, founded in 1799, near Mt. Sterling. The architect was Frederick L. Morgan of Louisville.
On June 12, 1931, Isenberg used the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the wedding of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks to celebrate the opening of the Lincoln Marriage Temple.

Monday, June 15, 2020

High Bridge

High Bridge is a railroad bridge crossing the Kentucky River Palisades, that rises approximately 275 feet from the river below and connects Jessamine and Mercer counties in Kentucky. Formally dedicated in 1879, it is the first cantilever bridge constructed in the United States. It has a three-span continuous under-deck truss used by Norfolk Southern Railway to carry trains between Lexington and Danville. It has been designated as a National Civil Engineering Landmark.
Photos by

Old National Guard Armory

The Harrodsburg Town Creek and the WPA building of the Old National Guard Armory in 1941.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Clay Hill

This is a gorgeous shot of Clay Hill on Beaumont Ave with the Ingram House in the background. A drive or sidewalk cutting across the front makes this an unusual shot. (Photo provided by Jerry L. Sampson)

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Main Street Harrodsburg

What a stunning building that was on the corner of Main St & Poplar. That building with all the windows in Conover's office and was once the Mercer Bank. Wish they hadn't "spruced" up that one. Beside it is the Currey & Morgan Drug Store. Note the KILLER porcelain Telephone Office sign. Those were the days when Main Street was booming.

Photo provided by Jerry L. Sampson

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

New Graham Springs Resort

The New Graham Springs Resort - also known as Cassell Mansion, the New Graham Springs Hotel, or Allin’s Graham Springs.
This residence/hotel was located where the current James B. Haggin Hospital is. The old Graham Springs was sold to the US Military in 1856 (227 acres).
In 1887, Jonathan Cassell bought the property and built and lived in the private home until 1910 when plans were made to re-establish Graham Springs Resort.
Judge Ben C. Allin bought the property and in 1911 turned the mansion into a hotel. Over the next 10 years, several new wells/springs were dug on the property and the man-made lake was drained. The New Graham Springs Resort was an extremely popular meeting place until September 1932 when Mrs. Glave Goddard bought the property as an annex to Beaumont Inn. However, less than 3 years after purchasing the property, Goddard sold it to Mineral Springs Products Company.
This is as far as I got on researching the deeds before the lockdown happened, so there will be more information to follow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

March 15, 1929

Interesting article from the Advocate Messenger, March 15, 1929:
Early Tuesday morning in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, a young man was found huddling outside the gates of the replica of Old Fort Harrod. The hostess brought him inside and after accepting food and drink, he told his story. He was a freshman at the University of Kentucky and was “pledging” a fraternity. His instructions were to make a drawing of the Fort and bring back a jug of water from old Graham Springs. After resting as a guest of the park, the weary young man started out on his long trek back to Lexington, carrying a jug of mineral water from Graham’s Old Saloon Springs and a map of the Fort.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Jack Bailey

(This was posted on the Harrodsburg Sestercentennial Facebook page by my good friend, Harrodsburg historian Jerry L. Sampson)
Was playing with a new scanner today and was making some test scans and scanned this photo. This is a photo of Jack Bailey. This buggy with a fringe on top, was some wild purchase, that Mary Chelf Jones had made. I don't know why or what happened to it, but it sat in the parking lot, just down from the Blue Ribbon Deli for several days. I took this picture as Mary had just forbade everyone in the deli from touching "her" buggy.
I just got to thinking that Jack would have been so thrilled over all this talk of history and the birthday coming up. Jack was so well known for his great books, Murder, Mystery.... and the I recall series. There will never be another Harrodsburg character like Jack. A great storyteller who studied, researched and remembered all the stories of the Burg. Not just the well known stories, real people stories. Jack didn't mince words, he called a spade a spade. What a dry, acidic sense of humor. I miss him very much.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The Academy

Historic photo of The Academy, located on the property of the United Presbyterian Church located on South Main Street.
In 1847, the church built the brick Greek revival building on the south side of the church to house its Harrodsburg Female College of which the pastor was the principal. In 1883, this building was sold to private individuals. It was operated as Hogsett Academy for boys, then the Harrodsburg Academy for boys and girls until the public high school was built. The church re-purchased the property in 1961 and operates it as apartments under the name of “The Academy”. Structurally, this building remains very true to its original condition.
The Academy after tornado damage on February 5, 2008.

The First Tavern

The first tavern in Kentucky was Harrodsburg’s Old Wingfield Tavern, which was followed by numerous other saloons. Legends as to why Harrodsburg’s current Main Street is on such a steep hill instead of the flat street Morgan Row occupies include the most believable one that says a discontented bartender from Morgan Row set up a grogshop (a saloon that sold cheaper liquor) at the foot of the big hill (now Main Street). The cheaper grade of whiskey soon attracted many waggoneers and draymen to refresh themselves and their horses before going up the long hill. To cater to this growing business, several stores were quickly built around the saloon. Refusing to sacrifice the quality of the liquor at its taverns, Morgan Row forfeited the title Main Street. The road used by the men wanting cheap whiskey became known as Main Street.
According to Blue-Grass Blade (Lexington, KY, January 3, 1891) - Harrodsburg had nine licensed saloons, two beer saloons, and one wholesale whisky store, from which $4,850 license is received each year. Yet with all this our jail is without prisoners, other than three trusties serving a short sentence.

Harrodsburg Opera House

  This is a photo we had never seen and Belinda S Kurtz shared this from another group. “Wasn’t Bob Martin that used to run the radio statio...