We were delayed in leaving Hartselle, Alabama because a small bird refused to fly off our hitch.
We have previously visited Bowling Green for the Corvette Museum. See Day 793.
The first Europeans reached what is now Bowling Green in 1775. By 1778 settlers established McFadden’s Station on the north bank of the Barren River. The Barren River is a 135-mile-long river in western Kentucky. It is the largest tributary of the Green River, which drains more of Kentucky than any other river. The Barren River was the historic route for westward traveling pioneers. They would travel down the River to a trading post at present-day Bowling Green, where their journey would proceed by land. The Barren River was named by early pioneers for its treeless fields. The open fields were actually created by the Cherokee Indians, who burned sections of woodland forming grasslands to attract grazing buffalo.
TIDBIT OF INFORMATION: There are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Kentucky today. Most of them were forced to leave Kentucky during the Indian Removals of the 1800’s.
The centerpiece of Bowling Green is Fountain Square. On this site in 1797 a log courthouse was erected. After the Civil war, county citizens made demands for a new courthouse. It is unclear why it was not erected on this site, but the city purchased a lot not far from here and traded that property for the old square. A consensus was reached to create a park out of the old square. In April 1872 a fountain was placed in the park, and on April 23 the water was turned on. The city’s trustees officially christen the area “Fountain Park”.
Within less than ten years, the fountain had deteriorated to the point that it had to be replace. In May, 1881 the city trustees purchased this 6,000 pound precast fountain.
The statues surrounding the fountain represent the mythological figures of Ceres (goddess of grain), Pomona (goddess of fruit), Melpomene (goddess of tragedy) and Flora (goddess of flowers.)
The fountain had Lilly pads, but alas, no frogs.
At the north and south entrances to the park are two arched memorial entries of Bowling Green limestone. The park is filled with lush greenery.
I took time out to be a pointer for George Lundeen. It is nice to know I am still employable.
Many of the original buildings are still standing around the Square,
for example the Princess Theatre, Bowling Greens’s movie house, built in 1914, was the first structure built in Kentucky for the expressed purpose of showing motion pictures.
Constructed in 1893, this building got it’s current name from Dentist Edward T. Barr, who occupied the upper story in the 1930’s.
On July 18, 1921, Standard Oil of Kentucky built Residential filling Station No. 1. It was the first filling Station in the area. The station continued to operate until 1956.
If you remember free air at a gas station, you are really old.
It is hard to believe that an attendant would pump your gas for you, clean your windshield, and ask to check your oil.
Four bridges have spanned the Barren River at this site.
The center pylon dates from the first bridge, built in 1838.
The Confederate army burned that wooden bridge when evacuating Bowling Green in 1862. This current bridge was built in 1915.
While we were here, the President of the United States dropped in.
I said, “Joe, you can’t just drop in. I’m a busy man. You have to call first.”
Hartselle, Alabama to Bowling Green, Kentucky: 192.2 miles