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Stones at Trabue Russell House used to form a garden

By Vonnie Kolbenschlag

The large stones surrounding a flower garden at the Trabue-Russell house have had an important role in early Columbia history. Once as part of a "springhouse" they protected a gushing spring that furnished water to animals, travelers and early settlers.

The "Public Spring" was a very valuable resource for a new town. Even before Columbia existed, there is evidence that animals gathered around the spring and the salt licks near-by - remnants from the inland sea that once covered the area known as Kentucky.



Early settlers depended on this water source and built a "springhouse" to protect it. This is way before cement blocks were invented. Large heavy stones were fit together with a few log beams to form the springhouse.

Hauling the heavy stones and fitting them together was intense labor and shows how people valued that source of water!

The very cool spring water in the springhouse also provided a place to keep perishable foods.

For 200 years the springhouse stayed on Lot 85 of the original plot of the city. This is now behind Lynn's Service Station, Jamestown Street. In 2005 the springhouse stones were removed and taken to the Trabue-Russell House.

They now are part of a flower garden.

If stones could be happy, I think the "Springhouse" ones would be glad to now be part of a flower garden, still having an important role in the history of Columbia.


This story was posted on 2020-07-08 08:13:30
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History in the stones at this flower garden



2020-07-08 - Columbia, KY - Photo by CM staff.
The large stones surrounding this flower garden at the back of the Trabue Russell house in Columbia have had an important role in early history. Once as part of a "springhouse" they protected a gushing spring that furnished water to animals, travelers and early settlers. If stones could be happy, I think the "Springhouse" ones would be glad to now be part of a flower garden, still having an important role in the history of Columbia. - Vonnie Kolbenschlag

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