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Geology Resources - Kentucky


Research Resources - Kentucky

Stone Carvers/Stone Cutters/Monument Dealers in Kentucky

  • Austing G. Bartlett, Russellville, Kentucky, stone quarry operator - Russellville Stone Quarry.  The Barlett Family Papers (1858-1930) are a part of The Filson Historical Society collection.  These are the personal and business papers of Irving C. Bartlett, of Louisville, Kentucky, (a wholesale distillery distributor), and his son, Austing G. Bartlett, a stone quarry operator.  One of the subjects of the papers is the Russellville, Kentucky, stone quarry.  (Source:  Knt001341)  This resource is listed in the Kentuckiana Digital Library.
  • William Batterson, Stonemason and Builder – Architect in Boone County, Kentucky.  The following information was obtained from the  Comprehensive Architectural Guide of Boone County, Kentucky, prepared by Margaret Warminski, submitted to:  Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board, Burlington, KY and Kentucky Heritage Council,  Frankfort, KY, 1996  (The link from which the following information was obtained is no longer available.)

    One of the few known architects and builders listed in this guide is William Batterson, who was a stonemason and builder-architect in the late Victorian era.  The buildings attributed to him in the northern part of Boone County are the Allie Corn House in the Queen Anne style, the Alonzo Gaines House,  “a transitional Colonial Revival dwelling,” and the Marietta Gaines House, “the sole representation of the Stick Style in the county.”

  • Lewis Craig (Rev.) (about 1735-1825), Stonemason and Architect, Minerva, Mason County, Kentucky, presented by Jim Wilks on his Wilks – Craig – Fowler – Kelley family gedcom web site.  (The quotation below is used with permission.) (The link from which this information was obtained is no longer available.)

    "Excerpt from Ann Woodlief's Craig Family genealogy.

    "(Lewis Craig) settled at Craig's Station on Gilberts Creek in Garrard Co., moved to Fayette Co. and the South Elkhorn church under 1792, then lived in Minerva in Mason Co. until his death, pastoring and building a substantial church.  He established a number of churches and worked also as a stonemason or architect.  He built the first church, the first school house, and the first courthouse (in Washington) Kentucky."

  • Irish Stonemasons - Rock Fences in the Bluegrass.  The information below is taken from the online article:  "Rock Fences of the Bluegrass Still in Jeopardy" (photographs and history), by Leatha Kendrick, on the University of Kentucky/Odyssey Online web site maintained by Alicia Gregory.  (The book and author referred to below are Rock Fences of the Bluegrass, by Carolyn Murray-Wooley and Karl Raitz.)  (The following quotation is used with permission.)

    "Eight years ago Karl Raitz' work on rock fences in Kentucky was instrumental in debunking the myth that these fences were built by slaves before the Civil War. The myth of the fences' construction, like many myths, was partly true. His investigation traced the real origins of the fences to the work of Irish stonemasons who immigrated into the Bluegrass in the early to mid-19th century. These masons passed the craft along to slaves who became master artisans themselves and further passed the craft on to other black artisans, giving rise to the popular labeling of the rock fences as 'slave walls.'"

  • Irish Stone Masons in the Bluegrass Area - "Stone Masons and Their Craft in the Bluegrass Area of Kentucky."  "Paper examining prevalence of stone structures and living stonemasons in area surrounding Franklin County, Ky. Includes biographical information and qualifications of stonemasons, 1986 survey of stone structures, photos and related 1959 article." Guide to the Linda Allen Anderson Collection, Nov. 22, 1959, Dec. 1985-April 1986, University of Kentucky Libraries, Special Collections and Archives. Extent:  1 folder. 82 items. 12 color photos. 68 b/w photos. Repository:  Western Kentucky University Folklife Archives, Bowling Green, Kentucky, 42101-3576.  (Some of the relevant subjects are:  Stone masonry in Anderson County; the Bluegrass Region, Ky.; Fayette County; Franklin County; Jefferson County; Mercer County; Scott County; and Woodford County; and the Quarries and quarrying in the Bluegrass Region; Stone Buildings in the Bluegrass Region.)  Click this link to view the copyright notice and information on contacting the specific repository holding this archival item or collection.
  • Joel Tanner Hart (1836-1877)  "Kentucky stone cutter who became a sculptor and poet. His most famous sculptures are of Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay. He spent the last thirty years of his life in Florence, Italy. The collection includes letters to and from Hart. The Earliest, written while he was a stonecutter...."  Repository:  The Filson Historical Society.  Guide to the Joel Tanner Hart Papers, 1836-1877. Click here to view the copyright notice and information on contacting the specific repository holding this archival item or collection.  This resource is listed in the Kentuckiana Digital Library.
  • Robert Jackson, Sr. (Bourbon Co.), Richard Tufnell and, stonemason Stanley Matherly (Bourbon Co.) (interviews) from World of Our Own: Kentucky Folkways, produced by KET, Kentucky Educational Television. If you are interested in obtaining this video or others from Kentucky Education Television, you can call the KET Tape Duplication Service at (859) 258-7217 (800-945-9167 in Kentucky) or e-mail tapes@ket.org for information. (The quotation below  is used with permission.)
    • In Programs 5 and 6: The Art of the Everyday, Drystone Masonry, there is an interview with Robert Jackson, Sr. (Bourbon Co.), expert Richard Tufnell and, second generation stonemason Stanley Matherly (Bourbon Co.)  Robert Jackson states: 

      "From stonemason Robert C. Jackson Sr., we learn that 'green rock,' rock fresh from the ground, is easier to work because it's still full of moisture."

  • John Metcalfe, Stonemason - Paris, Kentucky (history) 

    The following information is presented by Bob Francis on his Root and Branch web site. (Scroll down to BB-152 - Mt. Lebanon, Gov. James Garrard House; 1785 Peacock Road) (Although the main web site address is still active, the URL from which the below information was obtained is no longer at this link.)If you’d like to get in touch with Bob Francis, you can contact him through his web site, Bourbon County, Kentucky: History and Genealogy of the Region.

    One of 35 stone dwellings that are document in Bourbon County is located on a rise overlooking Stoner Creek.  The building was constructed "...by renown stonemason John Metcalfe, the two-story, central passage ashlar house with one-story ell exhibits excellent workmanship." in 1785.

  • Thomas Metcalfe, Stonemason and Governor, Metcalfe County, Kentucky 

    The following information was obtained from "Inauguration Has Colorful History," written by Tom Stephens Kentucky Historical Society. (The link from which the following information was obtained is no longer available.)

    One of the stonemasons who helped build the Old State Capitol was Thomas Metcalfe.  On August 26, 1828, he was inaugurated as governor, and in 1860 Metcalfe County was named in his honor.

  • The First Presbyterian Church of West Union is known as the "Church of the Governors."  (This information is presented on the Ohio Bicentennial Commission  web site.)  (The link from which the following information was obtained is no longer available.)

    The Church was constructed by stonemason and Kentucky governor Thomas Metcalfe in 1810.

  • Governor Thomas Kirker, Homestead, Southeast of West Union on State Route 136, West Union, Ohio.  (This information is presented on the Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau web site.  The quotation below is used with permission.) (The link from which the following information was obtained is no longer available.)

    "The hewn stone section of the house is the original home of Ohio's second governor. It was erected in 1805. The stonemason was Thomas Metcalf, later a governor of Kentucky. It is located on State Route 136 and Township Road 21.  The two-story addition, now the front of the home, was built in 1852 by George Kirker, son of the governor.  George Kirker later served as a Captain in the Civil War.  It is privately owned."

  • Watkins Tavern, Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky.  The information below is from the Signs of History: Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Virginia web site, presented by Grover and Jayne Hibberd.  (The following quotation is used with permission.)

    "Site of stone tavern/inn built by stonemason Thomas Metcalfe, later governor of Ky. Owned by Henry Watkins and wife Elizabeth, widow of Rev. John Clay and mother of Henry Clay. Lafayette, traveling from Frankfort to Lexington, was entertained here on May 15, 1825; greeted friends and veterans and had to address crowd from upper balcony. Tavern burned in 1886."

    West Union United Presbyterian Church, 104 South Second Street, West Union, Ohio.

    "The West Union United Presbyterian Church was built of hewn stone in 1810. The stonemason was Thomas Metcalf who later became Governor of Kentucky.  Governor Thomas Kirker was instrumental in getting the church built.  This is the oldest church structure in Ohio still in use as a church."

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