Sunday, September 30, 2007

African Cemetary No.2

Burials occurred in African Cemetery No. 2 as early as the 1820's, initially the land was purchased and chartered as a burial ground by The Colored Peoples Union Benevolent Society No. 2 in 1869.

The cemetery is approximately 8 acres in size and contains over 5,000 graves of which only 1,200 are identified and fewer than 600 contain identifiable markers. There have been no burials since 1974.

The Cemetery is the final resting place for forty-eight United States Colored Troops, eleven Buffalo Soldiers, seventeen who fought in World War I, and four World War II veterans.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Poem by Belle Brezing

Sitting to night in my chamber, a school girl figure
and lonely, I kiss the end of my finger, that and that only.

Reveries rises from the smokey mouth.

Memories linger surround me.

Boys that are married or single.

Gather around me.

School boys in pantalets roumping,

Boys that now are growing to be young lands,

Boys that kiked to be Kissed; and like to give kisses.

Kisses. I remember them: Those in the corner were fleetest:

Sweet were those won the Sly in the Dark were the sweetest.

Girls are tender and gentle. To woo was allmost to win them.

They lips are good as ripe peaches, and cream for finger.

Girls are sometimes flirts, and coquettish;

Now catch and Kiss if you can sin:

could I catch both - ah, wasent I a happy Girl.

Boys is pretty and blooming sweetly,

yea sweetness over their rest!

Them I loved dearly and truely. Last and the best.

Writing by Belle Brezing, Lexington Ky

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lexington's Most Notable "Madam"

The most notable Madam in Lexington's history is Belle Breezing. She was born June 16, 1860 to Sarah Anne Cox. Belle had a very traumatic childhood due to the drunkenness and violent behavior of her parents.

She started out working for a madam in Mary Todd's childhood home on Main Street. With money from a wealthy client, she built a three story brick, 27 room mansion.

In 1938 Belle was diagnosed with uterine cancer; she died at 4:30 am, Sunday, Aug. 11, 1940. She is buried in the Calvary Cemetery on West Main Street.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Mary Todd House Tour

The tour you receive at the Mary Todd House in Lexington is Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in Mary Todd, or the history of the house.

The tour guides are are very pleasant to be around and they walk you through each room of the house giving you the history that surrounds the room. They are very, very, very informative tour guides. Before they move to the next room on the list they always ask for any question you might have.

I believe the fee for the tour is seven dollars for an adult. The tour last for around an hour.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Worst Flood in Lexington's History

The worst flood in Lexington's history occurred on 2 Aug 1932. On that day water from the Town Branch rosed and covered Main Street with over three feet of water. The water flooded basements, and did considerable damage to the stores, hotels, banks, and other businesses that lined Main Street. The damage from the flood was estimated at over 1 million dollars.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The First Millionaire West of the Allegheny Mountains

The first millionaire west of the Allegheny Mountains was John Wesley Hunt. He moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 1795. Hunt was a very successful business man. Hunt was a merchant, horse breeder, hemp manufacturer, and banker-just to give you an ideal of his success.

In 1799 President John Adams named Hunt as postmaster of Lexington Kentucky. As postmaster, Mr. Hunt established a mail route from Lexington to Washington, D.C. And in 1814, Hunt built a two-story brick mansion known as "Hopemont" in Gratz Park.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

How Lexington Got it's Name

In 1775 a group of surveyors were camped at a spring a couple of miles from present-day downtown Lexington Kentucky when word reached them of a battle between the British and the colonists at Lexington, Massachusetts. To commemorate that battle, they named their campsite "Lexington."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The first newspaper ever published in Lexington

The first newspaper ever published west of the Alleghany mountains was established in Lexington, in 1787, by John Bradford. It was then called the Kentucke Gazette.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mentelle Boarding School

One of the more prestigious schools in early Lexington, Kentucky was Mentelle's Boarding School. The school was operated by Madame Mentelle and her husband Augustus Mentelle, who had fled Paris, French in 1792, during the French Revolution.

The Mentelle's were very cultured and well educated. They moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 1798, and opened a French school at Transylvania Seminary. Shortly after that, a tract of land was donated to them. The land was located across the road from the estate of U.S. Senator Henry Clay.

The Mentelle's opened an all girl boarding school at that location. One of the most notable students that attended the school was Mary Todd Lincoln. The school closed in 1860 when Madame Mentelle passed away.

Thoroughbred Park

Thoroughbred Park is located at the edge of downtown Lexington, Kentucky. The park takes up 2.5 acres. The park is a tribute to the Thoroughbred racehorse and the jockeys who rode them.

The park contains life-size bronze figures of the seven greatest thoroughbreds along with the seven greatest jockeys: Randy Romero, Pat Day, Bill Shoemaker, Jerry Bailey, Don Brumfield, Chris McCarron and Craig Perret streaking toward the finish line. The park also contains sculptures of brood mares and fouls scattered throughout the park.

For more information call 859-288-2900

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Amazing Blue Hole

The Blue Hole is definitely my favorite spot in McConnell Springs. There is a boardwalk that passes several feet to the right of the Blue Hole. From there, you can see the dirt bank of the Blue Hole and the green vegetation that surrounds it.

Around the perimeter of the Blue Hole the water is clear. Several inches from the outer perimeter, the water starts to develop a greenish-blue tint - which is really an amazing site to see. The Blue Hole has a depth of 15 feet, but you can only see a depth of about a foot or two if you look through the clear water of the outer perimeter.

For more information call 859-225-4073

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Old Episcopal Burying Ground

The Old Episcopal Burying Ground is Lexington’s oldest surviving cemetery, dating back to 1832. This is the oldest cemetery still in existence in Lexington, and it has long been known as Lexington’s Westminster Abbey because of the prominence of those buried there.

The Old Episcopal Burying Ground cemetery is most remembered for the 1833 cholera epidemic, during which Christ Church lost approximately one third of its congregation. It was in this cemetery that William "King" Solomon laid to rest dozens of bodies when no one else would. The burial ground also contains a small chapel that was built around 1867.

The Old Episcopal Burying Ground is located at 251 East Third St. The cemetery is not regularly open to the public but private tours can be given by appointment.

The Hunt Morgan House

The Hunt-Morgan House is historically known as "Hopemont". It is a Federal style residence built by John Wesley Hunt in Lexington, Kentucky in 1814. Morgan was the first millionaire west of the Alleghenies. He earned his fortune from the mercantile business shortly after Lexington was established. The house, located in the Gratz Park Historic District also houses the Alexander T. Hunt Civil War Museum on the second floor of the house. The Museum contains many Civil War artifacts and is a great resource for Civil War researchers and enthusiasts.

Other notable people that resided at "Hopemont" include John Wesley Hunt's grandson, General John Hunt Morgan, a general in the Confederate Army. Thomas Hunt Morgan, the only Kentuckian to have won the Nobel Prize, was born in the house in 1866.

The House has many beautiful architectural features, including the Palladian window with fan and sidelights that grace its front fa├žade, as well as a large spiral staircase in the front entranceway. In 1955 the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation was formed to save the home from impending demolition. The organization restored the home to its Federal appearance.

The Hunt-Morgan House is located in the Gratz Park Historic District at 201 N. Mill St. The house and Alexander T. Hunt Civil War Museum are open to the public, with a small admission fee, from the first of March through mid-December. Tours are offered Wednesday through Friday and Sunday from 1:00-4:00 pm on the hour. The house is open for tours on Saturday from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm with tours starting on the hour.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Walk Across Kentucky

The Walk Across America is a two-mile paved trail that is located at the Arboretum, on the University of Kentucky's campus. The trail showcases a diverse and unique Kentucky plant collection that captures the spirit of Kentucky's landscape. The seven geographical regions that you will walk through are: The Bluegrass, The Knob, The Pennyrile, The Appalachian Plateau, The Cumberland Mountain, The Shawnee Hills, and The Mississippi Embayment.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Man o' War "The Horse of the Century"

Man o' War was born on March 29, 1917, at Nursery Stud, near Lexington, Kentucky. His sire (father) was Fair Play and his dam (mother) was Mahubah, the daughter of Rock Sand, the 1903 winner of Britain's version of the Triple Crown.

His debut was at Belmont in a five-furlough maiden race. His most remembered race (because it is the only one he would ever lose) was at Sanford Stakes at Saratoga on August ,13, 1919. His last race was against Sir Barton.

Man o' War died November 1, 1947, in Lexington, Kentucky at the age of 30 of a heart attack. Alot of people believed that he died of a broken heart, because his groom and pal Will Harbut, had died several weeks before.

Man o' War is buried beneath a larger than life bronze statute of himself at the Kentucky horse Park, surrounded by the graves of several of his 379 children. He was the first horse to be embalmed and he was the first horse to be buried in a casket lined with his racing colors, which were black and Gold. Over two thousand people attended his funeral.

Henry Clay's Burial Site

When you approach Lexington's Cemetery, there is no way of missing the monument of Henry Clay towering high above the cemetery lot. You literally have to gaze up into the sky to take in how majestic this limestone monument truly is.

The monument sits upon a hill. When you approach the monument from the front, you will notice a double door that is centered at the base of the monument. The doors are chained together to keep you from entering the vault, but you can still look into the front section of the vault and view the marble containers for the coffins.

In the center of the front room of the vault lays the stone container for Henry Clay and to your right aligned against the sidewall lays the stone container for his wife Lucretia. Above the vault, there rises a 120 foot tall Corinthian column surmounted by a statute of Henry Clay.

The monument resulted from the efforts of his friends to build a national Monument to honor Henry Clay's life and work. The proposed cost of building the monument was $43,920, but the final cost was closer to $58,000. The cornerstone for the monument was laid on July 4, 1857, but it was not completed until July 4, 1861.

Henry Clay served as a United States Senator and representative from Kentucky during the period of the War of 1812 up to the decade preceding the Civil War. Henry Clay was best known for his attempts to secure a compromise between the states on the issue of slavery.

The Lexington Cemetery is located at 833 West Main St. The cemetery is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. year round with self-guided tours.

The Historic Mary-Todd House

The Mary Todd House is located in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. The house is located adjacent to Rupp Arena. the 14 room two-story brick, late Georgian house was built c. 1803-1806 as an inn and was called "The Sign of the Green Tree" before it was purchased by the Todd family. Mr. Todd moved his family to this newly renovated house in 1832 when Mary was 14 years old.

Mary Todd left Lexington Kentucky to live with her sister in Illinois. There she married Abraham Lincoln. In 1847, while on their way to Washington, Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln brought their two young sons to visit Mary’s home place. During that visit Mr. Lincoln spent hours enjoying Robert Todd’s extensive library.The Mary Todd Lincoln house has the distinction of being the first historic site restored in honor of a First Lady. The house contains period furniture, family portraits and furnishings. A recently added enclosed garden contain trees, plants, herbs and shrubs.

The Mary Todd Lincoln House is located at 578 West Main St. It is open Monday-Saturday from March 15-November 30; guided tours are available from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., there is a fee for admission.