Saturday, January 30, 2021

Jane Coomes

Historic postcard of first schoolhouse in Kentucky
Personal collection


The replica at Old Ford Harrod State Park is of the first schoolhouse in Kentucky looks “as though Mrs. Jane Coomes might appear any moment to summon the fort children to their lessons.” Jane Coomes came to Kentucky with her husband William in 1775 as members of a group of Catholics from Maryland. 

In 1776 Mrs. Coomes became the first school teacher in Kentucky and the first woman at Fort Harrod to boil spring water and produce salt. In her teaching of the fort children, Mrs. Coomes used the primitive version of the Old English Horn Book. These “books” were of clapboard and paddle-shape, the handle whittled to fit the little fingers, and the alphabet or Lord’s Prayer crudely drawn with berry juices or charcoal. 
Harrodsburg Post Office
Mural of the first school teacher and schoolhouse

Jane Coomes taught her lessons to the young pioneers during her ten years at Fort Harrod, bringing education to the frontier and hope for the future of Kentucky, until she resettled in Nelson County.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Bohon Company

Photo from Images of America: Harrodsburg

This 1886 Sanborn Insurance map shows the George T. Bohon Carriage Factory on the corner of Main and East Office Streets, suggesting the manufacturing of “Bluegrass Buggies” was begun there.  George Bohon had varied business interests before starting as a dealer in buggies, wagons, and agricultural implements.  A description of the business on a sale flyer said:  “The most reliable house in Central Kentucky for any kind of farming implements is that of George Bohon.  If you want a farm wagon, buggy, carriage, engine, sawmill, or thresher, he can supply you with the best make.  Too many goods – they must go!  Hemp and manila twine for everybody!”  The business closed in the early 1920s and the building was demolished to build the Harrodsburg Christian Church.

Photo from Newspapers+

Monday, January 18, 2021

Frank's Cash Store

Photo from Images of America: Harrodsburg

Frank’s Cash Store was a typical general store of its day.  Everything from produce to farm supplies was available.  In the top photograph, Mr. Page Bailey is standing in the front of the store he manages while his son Paul is operating the awning.  The business was located on the corner of Lexington and Chiles Streets, across from the Ingram Buick Garage.  

Monday, January 11, 2021

Grain Elevator

Photo from Images of America: Harrodsburg

The presence of the railroad tracks and depot in the Marimon Avenue and Office Street area has attracted businesses such as coal and brickyards, flour mills, and grain elevators, all benefiting from the close proximity to shipping.  In the late 1800s, J. D. Marimon had a flour mill there.  By 1908 it was known as the City Roller Mill and by 1914, it was Adams and Langford, as shown in the photograph above.  In the early 1920s, the Sandusky brothers took over its operation.  

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Harrodsburg's First Service Station

Photo from Image of America: Harrodsburg

Another fixture at the corner of Broadway and Main Streets was a uniquely styled building which was Harrodsburg’s first service station.  A Harrodsburg Herald article dated November 16, 1920 read “The wayfarer need not lack for gasoline as the city gets its first service station in addition to the established garages.  The building is new and erected by the company of Consumers Service Stations, Inc. Rock Island, Illinois and is a bungalow type.  Mr. Charles Davis, a Mercer County man who was a local farmer, was in charge of the station.”  

George Rogers Clark Powder Run

This is a long post, but after the George Rogers Clark Powder Run at Old Fort Harrod State Park I thought an explanation of the original po...