by Stephanie Jessie
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
The following article, written by Stephanie Jessie, was first published in The Pioneer-News in July 2016. It is reprinted here with the permission of The Pioneer-News. It is copyright 2016 by The Pioneer-News which retains all rights to its publication in any manner.
MOUNT WASHINGTON — No one knows what the world is going to look like in 50 years, but the Mount Washington Youth Chamber of Preservationists (Youth COPS) have done their part to ensure the present is preserved in the past.
Gavin Blain, Brooke Hatfield, Eliza Love, Isaac Shelton and Haley Steinmetz spent the past year working on preserving a piece of Mount Washington history: the mile marker located on North Bardstown Road beside First Baptist Church.
The 1830s turnpike reads "20 L 19 B" to let visitors know it was 20 miles to Louisville and 19 to Bardstown and, before the Youth COPS began their restoration process, the stone was worn down and unnoticeable.
The night before the 2015 Spring Festival, a car struck and broke the sign that stood beside the marker.
With the help of club co-coordinators Dale Salmon, Bobby Darnell and Carolyn Saunders, the five Bullitt East students repaired and restored the marker and the sign for future generations to enjoy.
Included in the new base below the marker is a time capsule that the COPS will come back to in 50 years to open. Each student wrote a letter describing life as a teenager in Mount Washington in 2016. The group also added a history of Mount Washington book written by Darnell and a "Footprints" photo book created by the original Youth COPS that shows Mount Washington in its earliest days compared to the city today. Because the monument is located on the First Baptist Church of Mount Washington's land, the church included five wooden crosses carved from the church's original pews.
According to Salmon, the students were taught the history of 1800s turnpike construction, that limestone isn't actually stone and how to lift heavy objects with little effort and no machinery. They also learned that commitments by individuals are what cause visions to become reality, as well as the reality that great things happen when many individuals and groups are drawn to a purpose and commit their talents and resources to a common goal.
During the reveal ceremony at the Mount Washington Spring Festival, Salmon told the students that he had recently received certificates honoring the group's nomination for the 2015 U.S. EPA President's Environmental Youth Award and their contribution to improving the environment, signed by President Barack Obama.
First Harrison Bank supported the project as the sole corporate sponsor, paying all the bills and going as far as shutting down the bank during the unveiling ceremony so the bank employees could take part.
The group thanked Mayor Barry Armstrong, the Mount Washington City Council, Mount Washington Public Works, Mount Washington Historical Society, First Harrison Bank of Mount Washington, Michael Higgs of the Cave Hill Heritage Foundation, Laura Proffitt-Rideout of McFarland-Troutman-Proffitt Funeral Home, Ricky Thompson of Kentucky Concrete Cutters, Becky Riddle of the Kentucky Historical Society, Kenny Carrico of the KyTC KDOW District #5, Paul Calvert of Precision Autobody Inc, Tom Jean of the Bluelick Airport and Country Corner Greenhouse and Nursery for their help in completing the project.
Copyright 2016 by The Pioneer-News. All Rights Reserved.
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