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Where are you from?

Cedar Flat School 1937 – Teacher Erbon Sawyer Photo owned by Ruby Sullivan Martin

By PJ Martin

Editor

The Herald-News

 

In the 1800s, when someone asked you where you were from you might answer “Cofer”. Fast forward to today and chances are not many would know where that is. Not so long ago, there were many small communities all over Metcalfe County. Some consisted of only a couple of large families for whom the place was named or there might have been a store with a post office the area was named for. A few merged into larger towns and the names were changed over time, but others faded away as the residents passed away.

Information for a few of these small communities is now hard to find, since the Metcalfe County courthouse was destroyed by fire, not once but twice in 1865 and 1867, and many records were lost.

We have searched through the newspaper’s archives, US census records, historical society, and multiple websites to locate information for just a small part of these communities.

A few of them are still around although with different names. These small hamlets were listed as unincorporated and many that remain are still unincorporated.

Did you know that Metcalfe County has what is classified as a ghost town?

ALONE

Founded in 1880, the community of Alone was once located along the KY 1243 approximately 4.5 miles from Edmonton. It was named by J.C. Withers when the post office was established on November 30, 1880. This is according to Jas. Underwood Cornelius on November 11, 1880, and in a letter written by Thos. L. Gill to William G. Steel in 1925.

In 1887, the posted master was D.J. Anderson and in 1897 the population was listed as 50 people. According to Lodge records at Frankfort, the Beechville Masonic Lodge No. 619 members met at the post office every Saturday of the month in 1892.

The community of Alone is now classified as a ghost town on websites.

ANTIOCH

First settled around 1790, (possibly earlier) by Revolutionary War veteran Austin Allen who upon the war’s end was granted a large piece of land. Another man named Samuel Shannon, Sr. settled his family there and together they built several homes

They also built the first church, a log building, and named it Antioch after the Biblical name. Many of the homes were built with handmade brick made by slaves on site. The original church was built on land deeded in 1838 by W.A. Allen.

The log church was replaced with another building in 1895, but not dedicated until 1906. The church was also used as a school until 1882 when a separate school building was built. That school building was later converted into a home when the school moved to another location.

Circa 1935 – Sam Walker of Nobob at work in his blacksmith shop at Logan’s Crossroads. Archives | Edmonton Herald-News 2/17/2021

The post office of Antioch closed in 1857 due to not having a postmaster. Later, another post office was opened on July 23, 1867, and named Knob Lick with the postmaster Frank S. Ewing. The name came from the knob about a mile north and a swamp or ‘lick’ south of the knob. According to postal records from 1789 – 1930.

BEAUMONT

Founded in the early 1800s (no exact date found), the location was first called Ray’s Cross Roads and there was a blacksmith shop operated by brothers named Perkins. Then on February 5, 1879, the established post office was called Smith’s Cross Roads, in 1895 the post office was called Sweeza after a store owner named Button Sweeza.

The name was changed to Beaumont on January 16, 1902, and may have been named by Curtis Everett of Summer Shade a nearby town. Curtis had a general store in Beaumont. Others were Anthony Smith a wagon maker, Nancy Smith who ran a hotel, and there were also several mills. 

The crossroads were actually about 1 mile up the road and are today referred to as “Bloody Crossroads” due to so many deaths from motor vehicle accidents.

CEDAR FLAT

Thought to be named for the cedar trees on a level area there, had at least two stores. All that remains of the original community on KY 163 about 5 miles south of Edmonton is a church and the remains of a stone store foundation, but the place is still called Cedar Flat.

Mary Philpott the wife of Joseph Philpott who founded Frederick (Center). Archives | Edmonton Herald-News 2/17/2021

FREDERICK

The community was first referred to as Frederick by Joseph Philpott who came from Frederick, Maryland to settle there. Philpott built several homes, a store, a tavern, and a church. A double log house was used as a school and town hall. Around 1946 a distillery was located there (until prohibition).

It was renamed Lafayette around 1853 after the famous Revolutionary War veteran Marquis visited America in 1824-5. The post office changed to Centre around 1871, because the name Lafayette was taken. Later Centre was changed to Center.

It was named Center, because of its equal distance from the county seats of Glasgow, Edmonton, Greensburg, and Munfordville.

COFER

Located between Edmonton and Breeding, it is uncertain how it got its name. One site listed Martin Hardin Coffer (1832-1882) from Hardin County who was a newspaper editor, a Confederate Officer in the Civil War, and later Chief Justice of the KY Court of Appeals may have been who Cofer was named for.

CORK

A post office was established on January 24, 1906, and the location is still called Cork by some residents.

CROSS PLAINS

The post office was established in January of 1869, located about 3 miles southwest of Center. Later called Savoyard aka Chicken Bristle. Birthplace of Eugene W. Newman, his pen name Savoyard was used to name the town, formerly Chicken Bristle. He was a Washington columnist for several metropolitan newspapers and a political writer. He is buried in Edmonton.

DEAD MAN HOLLOW

The location is about 2 miles south of Edmonton on the Burkesville Road. Stories say the body of a dead soldier was found there. Local tales tell of haunted woods there.

EDISON

A post office was established on October 9, 1908, and discontinued on June 14, 1913. Approximately 2 ¾ miles northwest of Cyclone and 3 miles south of Summer Shade.

GOOD LUCK

First called Little Barren, the post office was established on October 7, 1894. There were three store buildings, a church, and a post office. Usually spelled as two words and was located about 7 miles south of Edmonton. It is still referred to as Goodluck.

There are many more small communities in Metcalfe County, some of which are still in existence. Here are a few more Chicken Brissel, Clarks Corner, Curtis, Echo, Edmunton, Emitt, Estes, Gascon, Glovers Creek, Hensonville, Hubbard, Juanita, New Liberty, Nicols, Nobob, Node, Pleasant Grove, Poplar Springs, Randolph, Ravenna, Red Lick, Riggs, Sartain Precinct, Savoyard, Subtle. Sugar Plant, Sulphur Well, Summer Shade, Sun, Tobbyville, Toledo, Verna, Vivian, Wauseon, Willow Shade, and Wisdom. Unfortunately, we do not have enough space to publish information about them all.

METCALFE COUNTY

Metcalfe County, the 106th county in Kentucky, was created officially on February 1, 1860, from parts of Adair, Barren, Cumberland, Green, and Monroe Counties.

The 1860 the county’s population was 5,964, according to the U.S. Federal Census, which does not include slaves. The census lists these numbers: 181 slave owners, 557 Black slaves, 225 Mulatto slaves, 26 free Blacks, and 24 free Mulattoes. Yes, the horrible truth is that slave owners were living in early Metcalfe County.

At one point the county had 60 one-room schoolhouses and the first high school was established in Edmonton in 1911.

The information written here came from several historical online record locations, Metcalfe County Historical Society books, the US Postal Service website, US Census Records, and the archived Edmonton Herald-News issues.

The date the photo was taken is unknown. Archives | Edmonton Herald-News 7/19/1975

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