Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jefferson Davis Memorial

Jefferson Davis MonumentSeveral years ago in the course of traveling across southern Kentucky on US Hwy 68/Hwy 80 from the Jackson Purchase area to Russellville, I suddenly noticed an obelisk that would look more at home in Egypt than in Kentucky. This definitely required turning around and going back to investigate.

As it turns out, the monument and surrounding park are a memorial to Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis was born not far from this site on June 3, 1808 in what is now Fairview, Kentucky, located on the Todd and Christian County line.

Entrance to the Monument
The monument was conceived in 1907 at a reunion of the First Kentucky Brigade of the CSA, known as the "Orphan Brigade". The First Kentucky was formed primarily from residents of the western area of Kentucky. In 1917 construction began, then was suspended during World War I and the obelisk was finally completed in 1924. It is 351 feet tall and the fifth tallest monument in the United States. The walls are seven feet thick at the base, two feet thick at the top and it features an elevator to an observation room.

Historical Marker at Jefferson Davis BirthplaceSince I recently became aware that the Civil War Sesquicentennial is being held 2011 to 2015 with numerous events taking place memorializing that period of our history, I thought it was a good time to post these photos.

A historical marker at the site is inscribed: "Here the only President of the Confederate States of America was born June 3, 1808, the son of Samuel and Jane Cook Davis. The family moved to Mississippi during his infancy."

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