Sunday, November 17, 2013

Shakertown in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

Wednesday, November 6th, Brian Rust (a sculptor and fellow finalist from Augusta, GA) and I had some time to kill before our meeting at 1 p.m. in Lexington.  We decided to visit Shakertown which is about a 40 minute drive south of Lexington
Main Street...
 ... and turning around...the view in the other direction.  It was a beautiful fall day and we had the place to ourselves.
 This is the largest building in the community.  It is made from hand-chiseled blocks of Kentucky River Marble.  The stone is 'flinty' hard and the corners of the building are still sharp after 150 years.
 The interior has that incredibly elegant simplicity; the hallmark of the Shaker aesthetic.
 They were also innovative craftsmen - way ahead of their time.  This efficient stove is an example of their beautiful solutions for meeting basic needs.
 Of course, my eye goes toward stone things.  This catch basin is carved from KY River Marble (and I would be hard pressed to duplicate it, especially if I had to use the tools that they had).
 On the back streets of Shakertown.
 This is a view inside the Meeting House (where all the spinning and shaking took place).  The girls came in through a separate door and sat on that side.  The boys came through their door and sat on this side....and well...this separation of the sexes isn't good for long term survival of a community.
 Brian and I made a couple stops down by the Kentucky River.  What follows is an amended description that was given to me by Walter Laughlin (Kentucky Covered Bridge Author / Historian) from a comment that he posted below. "This is Kentucky's first highway tunnel, built in the 1920's to remove a severe curve in the road".  It used to lead to an old iron truss bridge that was built in 1869.  The only thing left of the old bridge are the hewn stone abutments.  Thank you Walter Laughlin for correcting my first post - I remembered seeing a black and white picture of a covered bridge and thought that it was this site.
This is a view of the "Palisades" that line both sides of the Kentucky River (a great area to explore).


Unknown said...

Just FYI: The bridge at Brooklyn was never a covered bridge. The original plans from, I believe, 1869, did call for it to be a covered bridge but this was changed sometime during the planning stage. The iron truss that was built there was replaced in the mid-1950s after a delivery van collapsed one of the spans. The tunnel, the first highway tunnel in Kentucky was built in the 1920s to remove a severe curve in the road.

Walter Laughlin
Kentucky Covered Bridge Author/Historian

don lawler said...

Excellent - very excellent! I will make the changes. I saw an old black and white picture of a long span covered bridge years ago, and I was under the impression that it was at that site. Now, of course, I wonder what I was looking at?