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Picturing the Past 69: In search of courthouse stonesPosted Tuesday, July 13, 2010, at 7:20 AM
The bottom stones forming the columns at the Lane Parkway entrance to Willow Mount Cemetery were taken from Bedford County Courthouse after it was rebuilt following the December 1934 riot. (T-G Photos by David Melson)
Several persons, both in blog comments and in person, mentioned where several of the stones forming the old columns ended up. Others said they didn't realize stones they'd seen around over the years came from the pre-riot courthouse.
So, in the most photo-heavy Picturing the Past yet, welcome to The Tour of the Courthouse Stones, based on comments made by Jerry Cook and others about the stones' locations. The top photo is at the entrance to Willow Mount Cemetery on Lane Parkway. Only the large bottom stones on each column were taken from the courthouse.
These stones stand at the driveway of a home on Warners Bridge Road just west of the Shelbyville city limits. Pay close attention to the flat, smoothly-cut stones at the top of each column. Those appear to have been taken directly from the old courthouse as well (note the pre-1934 photos, at the top of the columns). When did the road's name change from Fishingford Pike, as I always heard it referred to as late as the 1970s?
The Confederate monument on the southwest side of the courthouse lawn, also using stones from the old building.
And the World War I monument on the southeast side, dedicated Nov. 11, 1935 and made of stones from the former courthouse.
At the entrance of Audubon Road off South Brittain Street stand two identical stacks of stones, this one on the south side of the road and both including more of the courthouse column-toppers. Look closely at what appear to be bullet holes, and note the stones stacked on their sides in the ground nearby.
A closer look at the row of side-stacked stones off Audubon Road.
One of two identical columns at the entrance to the American Legion Center on Kingree Road.
More of the stones, this time on East Lane Street on the westernmost of two side-by-side homes.
Stones at the second of the East Lane Street homes. The ones at far right are next to what I believe used to be the driveway of a large older home on Cooper property that burned in the very late 1960s or early 1970s.
What's left of the stones at the entrance to Fritzsche Trailer Park, East Lane Street.
So far we've accounted for approximately 90 of the missing stones from the columns of the 1870s version of the courthouse (I'm not going to try an exact count) but, if I've counted correctly on the 1934 photo, the majority remain unaccounted for.
I love how this blog sometimes goes in unexpected directions as a result of reader comments. I would never have expected to go courthouse stone-searching.
Early Celebration photos: We need photos of the original construction phase of today's Celebration Grounds from the 1940s or so for a story in our annual Celebration special edition. Can you help?
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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