Roof and second floors of Historical Building pancaked down Monday morning
Jackson Purchase History Buried in Collapsed Building
Clinton, KY. Feb. 12, 2013
At 1:28 a.m., Monday morning, February 11, a major historical landmark of Clinton, Kentucky came crashing down. Two stories of brick, roofing, 24 foot long wood beams pancaked on top of each other as the 150 year old home of the Hickman County Historical & Genealogical Society died.
The building at the intersection of Clay Street and Jefferson Street on the court square has been the home of the Society for over 10 years.
Earlier the week before, the building was hit with a micro burst of high winds and extreme wind driven rain during a late night violent thunderstorm. The force of the microburst tore and ripped metal sections from the sides and front of the building.
The 30 foot by 80 ft structure is now being recommended for total demolition. With over 60% of the building now collapsed, the remaining brick walls are a serious threat to life and property.
The Hickman County Historical & Genealogical Society is in the unique position of having records of the far western Kentucky region. In 1818, General Andrew Jackson secured by treaty with the Chickasaw Indian Nation for all the land between the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers, including all land from the Ohio River down to the Tennessee and Mississippi State boundaries.
In 1822, the single county of Hickman spanned the entire geography of the Kentucky portion of the Jackson Purchase. This area is the eight counties of the Jackson Purchase, Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken.
The Hickman County Historical & Genealogical Society holds over 100,000 records, maps, documents, letters concerning the formation and settlement of this part of America’s frontier. Later records show the impact of the American Civil War and the rise of West Kentucky settlement patterns in the early years of the 20th century.
The Society’s latest book, “The Golden Age of Hickman County,” by former President LaDonna Latham, documents over 300 individuals and families who pioneered retail and wholesale commerce. The numerous photos and advertisements in the book came from the archives of the Society.
A local demolitions company is at work clearing the roof and second floor debris. Society officials are hopeful that at least 90% of the records will be recovered. Many were stored in metal filing cabinets along interior walls.
According to Historical Society President Ivan Potter, the Historical & Genealogical Society is looking for another building to move to in the near future.
Potter is hopeful about the future of the Society.
“The Society may have lost its building, but it has not lost its frontier spirit. We will pick ourselves up from the concrete, dust ourselves off and once again document the past. We will continue to make history a major lens through which our leaders may better define our collective cultural heritage.”
For more information, contact:
Ivan Potter, President, Hickman County Historical & Genealogical Society