Sunday, October 31, 2010

Preservation of Livingston County Court House

Copyright by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
May not copy without written consent

The Livingston County Historical and Genealogical Society and its Preservation Committee hosted "Haunting Tales From Our Past" on 29 October 2010 at the Livingston County, Kentucky court house in Smithland. Attendees were greeted by musicians as they entered the lawn of the 165-year-old building. Upstairs  the beautiful old court room was festive in seasonal decorations.  Almost every seat was filled as storytellers related the colorful history of the area.

Court room showing judge's bench

Court room showing murals on back walls

Justice Bill Cunningham of the Kentucky Supreme Court - Henry Bennett and the Night Riders
Brenda Joyce Jerome, C.G. - Murder of Lewis Sanders and Murder in the Gower House
Stuart Peek, local attorney - Smithland's role in the Civil War
Carroll Walker, Livingston County Clerk - local ghost stories
Faye Teitloff, local historian -  Jefferson's nephews and murders on the bluff
Linda Defew, writer - murder at Little Heaven

The event was to inform  the public of the movement to preserve the old courthouse and the adjoining county clerks' offices. Donations to the Livingston County Historical and Genealogical Society [Preservation Committee], PO Box 138, Smithland, Kentucky 42081 are being accepted and will be appreciated.

Court room showing jurors' chairs and spectators' benches

I feel a personal attachment to this court house as my ancestors settled here very early. This building is where they obtained their marriage licenses, registered their deeds and had their wills probated. This beautiful structure has seen many floods and wars. Throughout each event, it was a beacon of hope when the world did not always seem normal or even sane.

No visit to Smithland is complete without a drive through Smithland Cemetery. I've photographed the cemetery in the morning and early afternoon in every season. This was the first time I had photographed it in late afternoon, shortly before dusk.

Smithland Cemetery shortly before dusk 29 October 2010

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