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Saturday, November 9, 2013

19th CENTURY SLAVE QUARTER -- KENTUCKY




Slave House

PBS has been featuring a video series titled, The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross. I started watching it about a week ago and found it well researched and of great interest. It reminded me of the pieces of black culture that I bumped into when I lived in Kentucky, a former slave state up until the Civil War. 

I went through my photos and notes and came up with several black cultural subjects. This slave house was of particular interest I thought. Not much is known about it except that it has always been known as a slave house. What particular function it had is lost in history. 




Built to last forever - a chiseled limestone
cooking fireplace about five feet tall. 

The brick house legacy is that it is one of three slave houses that were clustered near the big house of the slave owners during the early 19th century. This is the only remaining one of the original three. It consists of one fairly large room with a huge cooking fireplace. The place is located in Madison County, Kentucky.





Interior wall layers worn away over time

A while after I took these photos the historical society took over the care of the place. They began rehabbing it in a character that was not congruent with its architectural history -- it was to be part of a tourist place and with that the feeling of its original structure was dressed in finery known only during this century.




22 comments:

  1. You took us back to another time today.Quite a historical look at the place.

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    1. Birdman -- A piece of history that we know little about -- thanks -- barbara

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  2. Glad you got the pictures before they started rehabbing it.These pictures make me think of - If Walls Could Talk what would they say?

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    1. Janet -- LIke your thoughts -- "if walls could talk," -- this really applies to this place -- thanks Barbara

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  3. I find it so frustrating when rehab is done but not in line with the original ... too much tourist, and not enough character ... Very interesting post.

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    1. Teresa -- Yes, rehabbing instead of restore actually does take the character away -- I have observed this time and again -- thanks -- barbara

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  4. Yes, you got pictures at the right time. This business of making history in some other image is tragic. It happens around me every day, in the Cuyahoga Valley. Artists in Omaha draw on their own imagination to picture history of the valley as they envision it. A canal lock where none existed. A covered bridge rising again, set in a scene fifty years after the bridge is gone. Then labeling it "history" for a quarter million people a year to look at and believe. We can't fight it; it's the federal government.

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    1. Joanne -- history has become quite a business across the country and like you spell out with your Cuyahoga experience -- the interpretators of past history have no connection to the real history. This is puzzling to me as well as you. -- thanks -- barbara

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  5. Love this post. I see it happening more often lately...good people trying to rehab, but the true history and/or character of the place is lost. It's sad and frustrating. I guess it's better than the total loss...sigh...

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    1. turquoisemoon -- Like you I find it very frustrating. Some places that have been restored (?) are so updated with new products that it is difficult to tell where the old meets the new. thanks -- barbara

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  6. Refinement of a not-so-fine past id sadly nothing new. We humans have a very selective memory. and sometimes it is aided in its selection ...

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    1. RuneE -- I know past history is difficult to be precise about. But sometimes I feel that a bit more research would define the subject better. Yes I agree, interpretation of history has always been selective -- thanks -- barbara

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  7. Thanks for reminding us of the way history is distorted -- usually for commercial ends. Even the mildly disturbing is often whitewashed, spruced up, distorted to give the impression we wish to have of our ancestors, our society, "the way it used to be." Many truths will simply disappear and are likely to be disbelieved if some future historian tries to tell us the facts.

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    1. Today revisionist historians are attempting to rectify those past distortions of history. I think they have accomplished quite a bit bringing what really happened to the forefront. Many tourist interpretations seem to be lagging behind in their knowledge. But like RuneE points out above -- we have selective memory -- thanks -- barbara

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  8. Too bad that the historical group began rehabbing in a fashion not true to its form. Usually, is it quite the opposite with those groups.

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    1. Michelle -- history is not a fixed subject. Hopefully you are right about the historical groups. -- thanks -- barbara

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  9. This is happening everywhere: turning historical places into museums or mausoleums. The fancy people-architects, important local families, get money and prestige for these revampings and hope to attract tourists.
    Doing this is not all bad, but it isn't that great either.

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    1. Hattie -- It has been happenings for decades yet some places have taken great care to present the place with its contextual importance. Perhaps if we visit a place we should keep in mind that perhaps not all is right with the interpretation. I agree, money and prestige can play a large part in how a property is presented, thanks Hattie -- barbara

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  10. Glad we have your picture -- what a shame to cover up authenticity.

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    1. Vicki -- Often this is the case at properties -- interpretation through a jaundiced eye. thanks -- barbara

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  11. Too bad they didn't stay with authentic. We saw the slave quarters at the home of both Pres. Jefferson and Jackson.

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    1. troutbirder -- Have not visited the Jackson home. I did visit Monticello probably twenty years ago with my daughter. I thought, at the time, that they had done a great restoration of the place. Perhaps you thought the same. thanks -- barbara

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