October 23, 2008

Hometown History 101

It has been said that, "Home is where the heart is." I never really understood that until we moved to Bowling Green and it became our HOME. I grew up in Tennessee, have lived in Florida and Ohio but Kentucky has become my Home. Maybe it's because this is where Rich and I built our house from the ground up, maybe it's because this is where we found each other again after a rough spot in our marriage, or maybe it's because this is where we started our family....for whatever reason, Bowling Green has become our Home and I can't imagine living anywhere else!
It was so cool to learn on reveal night that April & Scarlet decided to use some of our Hometown Sights as names for this month's kits. It also occurred to me that some of you might be interested in our local sights and want some more information. Thus the idea for the Hometown History lesson, Studio Calico style ;-)

Let's start with Fountain Square - information courtesy of the official Bowling Green website.

Fountain Square - prohibitionists have marched around it, trolleys have encircled it, parades of all types-circus, military, historical, homecoming, Irish, political and patriotic- have taken place around it, scrap drives headquartered here, Civil War soldiers knew this place, hundreds of farm animals have been sold here as well as fine horses, pageants have been held here, veterans were welcomed home here, people have sold and traded every kind of item imaginable here, and buildings here have come and gone. No one familiar with local history can deny that Fountain Square is Bowling Green's touchstone to its past; it is certainly the community's most endearing and enduring landmark.

In 1881 the city trustees, in consultation with Mayor H.C. Hines, purchased a 6,000 pound precast fountain from the J.L. Mott Ironworks of New York City for $1,500. The new piece was crowned by Antonio Canova's (the original sculptor) Hebe, the goddess of youth. The old fountain was disassembled and portions sold at auction, and the new one was installed in May 1881. The statues surrounding the fountain represent the mythological figures of Ceres (goddess of grain), Pomona (goddess of fruit), Melpomane (goddess of tragedy) and Flora (goddess of flowers.) The Fiske Company of New York cast the four statues as well as the two urns at the east and west ends of the park. They are mounted on locally quarried limestone. At the north and south entrances to the park are two arched memorial entries also of Bowling Green limestone. The lush greenery of the park is due in some part to the early efforts of the Bowling Green Garden Club. Shortly after it was chartered in 1934, the Garden Club commissioned R.L. Sturtevant, a prominent landscape architect from Groton, Massachusetts, to design a planting for the park.

I've borrowed a picture that Scarlet posted earlier this week on the message board. Here you see Noah and Nadiya under one the the limestone arches.

These are some of the shops in downtown along Fountain Square. You can find everything from a Men's clothing shop to a Subway right off the square. You can even find a couple of creative geniuses named Scarlet & April just around the corner at Studio Calico headquarters.

Now lets take a look at one of Bowling Greens most regal residences, Riverview at Hobson Grove - information courtesy of Wikipedia.

Riverview was built as the mansion home of Atwood Hobson and his wife Julia. Construction on the mansion started in the 1850's, but was halted due to the outbreak of the Civil War. During the conflict, the incomplete house was used as a munitions magazine during the winter of 1861-1862, when Bowling Green was the Confederate capital of Kentucky.

Riverview was finally completed in 1872. The Hobson family and their descendants lived in the house until 1952. After a string of various successive tenants and being damaged by fire, the structure was abandoned and condemned in 1965. The city of Bowling Green purchased the property with the intent of demolishing the house and building a golf course. The house was saved when a non-profit organization, the Hobson House Association, was formed the next year, restoring the dwelling in Victorian style. The proposed golf course was built nearby and can be viewed from the hill upon which Riverview sits.

Riverview at Hobson Grove is the centerpiece of Hobson Grove Park and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

This picture shows Riverview standing in all her glory atop the hill at Hobson Grove Park. During my research, I found out that the house is open to the public and can be toured for a small fee. This is something that I'll be adding to my list of things to do in Bowling Green!

Well, that's enough History for one day. Tomorrow I'll have some information for you on Jackson's Orchard and Lost River Valley. I'll also be issuing a challenge for all of you History lovers!! Stay tuned.....


april said...

it's really sad that I've lived here (in BG) for 10 years and have visited these places a million times (Lorie omitted that she and Greg played on a softball team at Hobson Grove park), and yet never knew the history. It's a shame - history is not my forte :(

Anonymous said...

wow it looks beautiful there.

scarlet Namvong said...

Thanks for the lesson, Lorie!

TxScrapAddict said...

TFS! I grew up in Lexington but never ventured to tour around in BG, just drive through or past. Gues I should've stopped...