From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Courthouse and Old Jail in Bowling Green, KY

Historic buildings in Warren County, Kentucky



Isaac and I were in Bowling Green, KY, a few weeks ago, hunting down the old Warren County jail building. Cleverly, I forgot to bring the street address with me. I'm not at all familiar with Bowling Green's geography, either. After driving around downtown for a while, we finally spotted the public library. There, it was a quick job to get the jail's address from a book about Bowling Green's historic buildings.

Armed with the address, we found the jail easily enough. We hadn't seen it because it stands just a few feet from the back door of the Warren County courthouse, hidden by trees and partially obscured by another building. Between the tree trunks at left of the courthouse in the photo above, you can barely glimpse the gold and gray of the old jail's wall.

The back side of the old jail is plainly visible from another street, but it's not nearly as spectacular as the front side of the building. I'm sure that we drove by it, but having seen photos of the front side only, I didn't recognize it.

The jail was built in 1939 as a WPA project. The building is still used for Drug Taskforce offices and for the courthouse archives. It is an interesting structure because its architecture is Streamline Moderne.  To see a much better photo of it than I managed to take, visit the images at the Kentucky Digital Library.

The courthouse was built immediately after the Civil War. The city of Bowling Green was in a sorry state of repair after being occupied for a total of four years by Confederate and, later, Union forces. The splendid new courthouse was a symbol of hope for the war-weary residents.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.