Preservation - Where Has Our Past Gone?
As I look around Kentucky, especially central Kentucky, I see the wholesale slaughter of our green space.  Much of this space includes historic ground.  With each new subdivision, or strip mall, we lose more of our farms and our wild places.  There is an all out war against everything natural.  It is a hurtful thing to see the places of one's youth destroyed, buried under a sheath of brick, mortar, and pavement.

How many more gas stations, Wal-Marts and McDonald's do we need?  But then, there's the issue.  It's not about need, or even want.  It comes down to land owners and developers chasing after the almighty dollar.  Greed, simple greed, is what drives this plague of destruction.  Its casualties are not only the topography, but there is a human factor as well.

Where will our children and grandchildren play?  Where will we go where we might see and experience unspoiled nature?  Where will we go to see our own history?  Those places are steadily being wiped from the face of the Earth.  Or, they are being surrounded and isolated.  Have you ever seen the Alamo?  In Lexington, there is another good example.  McConnell Springs was the site of Lexington's founding; where the long hunters were camped when they learned of the battle of Lexington, Mass. in 1775.  It is a very nice park today, but it is completely surrounded by industrial sites.  In fact, it is hidden behind a business so as to be nearly invisible. 

I was nearly brought to tears one day as I drove through Richmond, Ky and saw the ruins of Woodlawn, which had been the home of Col. William Rhodes.  The house had witnessed part of the battle of Richmond in 1862 and was where the 11th Kentucky Cavalry was formed shortly after the battle.  It was being taken a part, brick by brick and carted off to Lagrange in Oldham County.  What was a few years ago the finest example of Federal architecture in all of Kentucky, was now a pile of old bricks.  You see, it sat upon a piece of prime real estate in the heart of Richmond's shopping district.

The fields where I used to roam and work and hunt for arrowheads as a teenager in Jessamine County are gone forever too.  Subdivisions have replaced the ground that had given me so much.  What history is there to a cheap press-board and brick veneer shack that passes for a $150,000 home?  What past is there to the mortgage and debt that come with that shack?  We, as a society, have lost sight of some important things, like our heritage and our roots.  We have replaced them with instant gratification and a short attention span. 

Ours is at best a poor stewardship and our descendants will have to answer for it.  If we forget our past, we lose our direction, and ultimately, we will repeat it.  Maybe the next time around, we will do better.

Back to Comments and Editorials
Back to Table of Contents