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History Monday: Did You Know?

By Mike Watson

There are so many things I still learn about our history and our people. Searching is what I tend to do best. There was once a semi-regular column in the Adair County News, in the early 1900s, with the title, Do You Remember?

Here are a handful of my 'Did You Know?' items to ponder on a cold, dreary Monday:


Moonshine Still Raided: Deputy United States Marshall John A. Burton and posse made a raid in Adair County in November 1898. They captured and destroyed a still about two miles from Milltown. It was in operation, but the distillers made their escape. There were, besides the still, about 100 gallons of singlings, which were destroyed.

The 'Old Union' Church, near Gradyville, Adair County, was sold at public auction in 1899, after a new building had been constructed. The old one only brought $45 at auction.

Fair postponed due to small-pox: The Adair County fair of 1899 was advertised to begin on Tuesday, August 22nd, but was postponed until the first week in October on account of small-pox in the upper part of the county and in neighboring Casey County.

Wed in a Cave: A wedding was solemnized in Mammoth Cave yesterday, October 2, 1901. W.C. Yates and Miss Carrie Caldwell, of Adair County, stood at the "bridal alter" and made their vows.


The procession to the altar was headed by John D. Quinn, of Louisville, carrying a huge cave torch. The cave orchestra played "She was Bred in Old Kentucky." There were sixty people present, all wearing cave suits, and carrying flickering lanterns.

New Chamber of Commerce: Early in the year 1925 a group of business people of Columbia came together and organized an organization to be known as the Chamber of Commerce to promote Columbia and Adair County.

Tree Planting during the Great Depression: In the Spring of 1935, ten men were employed to plant 1,668 maple trees in Adair County on the Burkesville road, from Columbia and as far south as they stretched. In addition 642 trumpet vines, 710 honey-suckle vines and 370 wild roses were also planted. This project was under the supervision of the State Highway Department.

The White Way: Light for the Public Square was on the way as of May 1945. N.P. Bray, manager of the Community Public Service Company, the local electrical producer, announced that twelve lights would be placed on the Square at no expense to the city.

Come Hear Happy: Candidate for Governor, Albert B. "Happy" Chandler, drew a crowd of about 1,500 people to the Adair County Courthouse in July 1955.

Live Music from Nashville: The Columbia Jaycees and the Adair County High School Senior Class jointly sponsored an 'Old Fashioned Picking and Singing' in September 1959. Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs with the Foggy Mountain Boys, of Grand Ole Opry fame, were the headliners at the high school gym.


This story was posted on 2021-01-18 07:55:41
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