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Mike Watson: The Beginning of the Avenue of Champions

2014-07-06 - Campbellsville Street at Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo CM Staff Photo.

The Winfrey Hotel - Collins Drug - Corner of the Public Square . . .

By Mike Watson, Adair County Historian

The beginning of an Avenue of Champions - This is the corner of Campbellsville Street - originally called Market Street, and the Public Square . . .

In 1816 Nathan Montgomery, owner of the corner lot, sold it to Elijah Creel and by 1818 Creel and his brother, Elzey--who were the originators of Creelsboro, Russell County--were operating a store on the corner, from a newly constructed brick building. This same building still stands. It is the oldest structure now on the Columbia Public Square. Many businesses have been operated from these wall, including stores, a tavern and a bank.

Josiah Harris operated a tavern, or hotel and eating establishment, on this corner. Israel C. Winfrey operated the Hotel on this site and it was here the devastating cholera epidemic of 1873 took hold and reduced Columbia population considerably. At the turn of the last century the Citizens Bank held out for a few short years in this building.


It was up Campbellsville Street to the Square that the first war dead of World War II were brought home. - MIKE WATSON

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