The Wicked Eyed Woman
Since moving to Elizabethtown, I have learned a lot about this beautiful town and some of the interesting stories that are told by local residents tell. There is so much more I need to know, but being self employed, I have little time to dig into the areas that I want. I do listen though. This information may not be historically accurate, but the stories are good.
As much as I love history, I really enjoy the stories that come from the memories of locals and how their lives were touched by events. How they remember family members in conjunction with events and circumstance. They may not be totally accurate, but they're very interesting and make for great storytelling, which is something I enjoy doing! I hope that I can share some of these with you. Correct me if need be!
This photo is the proposed front dining room and on the far right of that photo in the dark, creepy area, will hold an inviting entrance door. Under the ugly wood flooring is the original wood floors waiting to be sanded and stained again. Behind the furring strips on the wall is horse hair plaster and behind that, amazing handmade locally brick that will be exposed and sealed.
This is the future kitchen. That room is going to be gutted and made into a great kitchen with great food served from it.
These photos are what condition our old lady is in. It looks much worse than what it actually is. She is strong and still full of life, just been put on a back burner and not been treated very well in a long time. There is beauty, even in the ugly places. The original cast iron sewage pipes are staying. They are art work from a time forgotten. The handmade bricks are still holding up her strong walls and will live another 100 years if taken care of correctly. I have fallen in love with this old lady and I hope she out lives me because of that love. Please share your stories when you stop in to visit.
The Wicked Eyed Woman
One of my favorite things to do is talk to older people. I can spend hours in a room for of older adults just listening to stories about their lives and experiences. That is where I get a lot of my data for my comedic storytelling. The crazier the person, the more data I gather. We have some very colorful people in Elizabethtown and I love being part of it. The photo above is quite old and what Elizabethtown was like back somewhere around the turn of 1900 from what I have been told. This view is Dixie from Mulberry facing the court house. The trees are now gone, but many of these buildings still exist in some shape or form. Our old lady is just to the left in the corner. She's hard to see, but she is there. This city is very pretty and rich in history.
A older client of mine, who lives in western Kentucky, told me a funny story before I moved here, about Elizabethtown, that I have learned tid bits just might be true. She said. "that the town during and after the Civil War was known to have a bad reputation for being a rough, dirty city full of saloons and loose women". Well, that information was just the icing on the cake on why I chose to live here! I listened to her recollection of stories she heard from her grandmother, who would be about 150 now, and thought, just maybe it held water. "My grandmother said there were saloons all over Elizabethtown and the North was on one side of town camped out, the South on the other. Men would come to town to get drunk, fight in the street and visit the whore houses. Cattle were roaming up and down the streets leaving piles everywhere and the streets where nasty and smelled bad", I was told. "No decent woman went into town after 3:00 because of the filth and you always took a family member with you so the men wouldn't bother good women." One night I had an event at the Brown-Pusey House and was reading a map from back during that time period. I counted no less than 17 saloons! Maybe her story did hold some weight?
Our Beautiful Old Lady | 133 West Dixie Avenue
I've been digging around for more information in the building the Tacky Palette is in, The Taylor Hotel, and found that it was built in 1902-03. The building that was here before burnt down was a two story saloon and the second floor was a place to visit said loose women. I Love it and it makes a lot of sense why I am so comfortable here with the ghosts and odd noises late at night. I can't wait to get the time to dig for more information.I have heard many heart warming stories of people who "came to town" on Saturday with family to shop and stopping by the diner at the Taylor Hotel for lunch. This building has lots of personality and I hope one day someone owns it will love and appreciate it enough to bring it back to it's grandeur. At the present time, it is falling apart, unloved and has a reputation for years of being a place with questionable residents.Sad... but maybe one day?
One thing that my close friends know about me is that I am a HUGE fan of Abraham Lincoln and I have been for years. I have studied, collected and delved into many books about his life and management style. I can't get enough Lincoln history and as weird as it sounds, my home has had a Lincoln bedroom for years. It's not so much of an obsession, but a huge interest in the life of a man who grew up from nothing and became an intricate part of our American history. The fact that it began a few miles up the road from here and that as a young boy, he walked the same streets that I live and work on, is just a kicker in my life. It also gives me hope that I can succeed in my own way, just like he did, not that I will ever amount to that level of accomplishment, but I have hope. I can though, use some of his ideas, theories and work ethic to accomplish what I want. It happened because of his community, his relationships and divine intervention from a higher power. I hope I can do it with as much grace, humility and style with the help of my community and friends.
This photo is the second dining room wall, with original cast iron sewage pipe. The walls have original horse hair plaster that will be removed to expose the brick. The floors here are different and will be tiled. A small stage will be built for live music.
Great Food, Great Drinks, Great Friends!
Back to our old lady.... The photo on the left is one of the few pictures we found of the building from the 30's. Our old lady is the far left with the white front, half showing. It also shows the original front of the current Nicely's Furniture store before it was updated in the 50's and this building has had few, if any updates since. Our old lady's face is long gone and not much has been told about it during this time period. I would love to now more. I have heard though about White Dove Bakery that was where the Clagett building is currently being renovated. The only original part left of our old lady are the three cast iron posts attached to the front. There is so much going on in The Square right now, it's fabulous! Many new owners are stepping in and bringing back this historic area and bringing in many nice businesses and we are honored to be apart of it.
In this photo, the building on the left was a newspaper and publisher that closed many years ago. That building was torn down a few years ago because of a car accident and many years of neglect. Our old lady is the building on the right with the huge neon sign. At this point she was a loan office and apartments upstairs. The building is actually four distinct construction phases. The original brick face was prior to 1890, the second was built directly behind and attached about 1910 and the third was concrete block and built in the 60's. The original front doesn't exist anymore and was replaced with inferior design around 2000. There is little historical value where preservation is considered. She still holds original structure, brick and floors on the inside. Like a beautiful old lady needing a makeover. Stories told to me are of a beauty shop up until the 70's was upstairs around the back. We need to know more and please don't hesitate to share, especially pictures.