Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Possible New Life for Muhlenberg Old Airdrie Furnace

 

airdrie1 400

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (4/19/13) – Every day, hundreds of TVA employees, local residents and local hunters travel past what may be one of Kentucky’s most unique, yet largely neglected, historical sites.

Recently, several friends on Facebook began comparing notes for lore, and pictures of the large four or five story 1850s furnace, built by a man that would become Scottish nobility, and a founding father of what is now a booming Kentucky horse industry.
 
Earlier this month, several Airdrie preservationists hiked the sometimes hazardous trail to the furnace, which sits within yards of the Green River. This trip was different though. This time Rachel Kennedy, the Executive Director of Preservation Kentucky ( www.preservationkentucy.org ) also trekked to the site.
 
Kennedy stressed to SurfKY News that this is only a very small first step. A number of factors will have to come together if some way is to found to bring new life to Old Airdrie. Kennedy emphasized that although her initial inspection of Airdrie was just that, she did note that she was impressed with its relatively good condition, considering its exposure to the elements for over 160 years.
 
"It's obviously an amazing example of iron ore production in Kentucky, especially in the western part of the state. It's a really amazing building, and Robert Alexander is a very important figure in the history of 19th century Kentucky." Kennedy noted.

airdrie2 500

Kennedy was highly impressed that the furnace structure, which stands almost 5 stories tall, "is as intact as it is." She noted there are other historic furnaces throughout Kentucky. But Airdrie, she said, seems to have a "unique design. Also, many furnaces are missing bits and pieces. This one is different because it's actually two separate structures, as opposed to one."
 
Kennedy continued, "It's an amazing example of iron ore production in Kentucky, especially for the western part of the state. It's an amazing building, connected to Robert Alexander, a very important 19th century Kentuckian."

Airdrie was the dream of a Scotsman named R.S.C.A. Alexander. Built in the 1850s, Alexander came from his homeland with some of the finest Scottish masons. Although the 5 story solid rock furnace did not fulfill its dream of producing quality iron ore, Alexander did fulfill another dream of success in the world of horses. He moved east to Kentucky's horse country, and went on to become one of Kentucky's foremost horsemen.
 
As for local support, John Rogers and his brother Steve, recall going to Airdrie as small children. "It's a part of some of the 1800s history of this county," Steve Rogers said. Although he no longer lives in the county, he said he would love to be a part of helping the preservation happen.

Another Airdrie supporter, Walt Merriweather, who has lived in both Muhlenberg and Todd Counties over the years, said he also wants to see the site preserved.
 
Freddy Mohon of Beechmont started the ball rolling after seeing some Facebook comments of people who, like him, wanted to try to save Old Airdrie.

John Rogers noted "We just want to see this site preserved. We are hoping there is a way to work with the state or anyone who wants to help. Alexander created the horse industry, but that part of the story never came out. That's the real story.... the entire life of Alexander, including Airdrie and beyond. His life is so fascinating, and this is part of it. Currently two families own the land. There is a lot of area, and we'd like to eventually see more than just a future road going in. We hope there can be a facility that could be utilized. It could be much more than just the furnace site. But if you don't have somebody interested in taking over, to maintain and save it, then we are really running out of time." Rogers emphasized.

Editor’s Note: Please note that at the present time the property mentioned in this article is private, and permission to enter said property is required. Due to disrepair there are many hazards and dangers involved in reaching this site. At this time, it is officially illegal to trespass on this land mentioned without written permission from the property owners.
 
Paul McRee
SurfKY News
Photo provided by Paul McRee

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Union County Traffic Advisory

UNION COUNTY, Ky. (7/21/14) — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to close Kentucky 983 in Union County Tuesday,… Read More

Southern Knocks Off Defending State Champ Paintsville

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (7/21/14) — The Owensboro Southern 11-year-old All-Stars pulled away to beat defending state… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 18, 2014 2863

Madisonville Man Arrested for Meth in…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
July 18, 2014 2001

Hopkins County Health Department Food…

in News by Lisa Miller
July 18, 2014 1826

K9 Unit Helps Find Meth in Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
July 18, 2014 1729

Man Injured in Depoy Accident

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
July 21, 2014 1727

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 18, 2014 2863

Madisonville Man Arrested for Meth in…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
July 19, 2014 982

Local Hip-Hop Artist, Marack, Talks About…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
July 22, 2014 909

Madisonville Woman Charged With…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 21, 2014 890

Three Injured in Three-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 19, 2014 800

Riddle Insurance Inaugural Flight

in Top Stories by Ron Sanders

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 18, 2014 1549

Owensboro Police Department Reports…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
July 21, 2014 713

Portion of Southeastern Parkway Closed…

in News by Beth Cecil
July 18, 2014 404

Owensboro Begins Year-Long, Long Range…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
July 21, 2014 368

Strahan Selected as Cravens Elementary…

in Top Stories by Julie Ellis
July 21, 2014 183

ODC 14-Year-Olds Win West State, Move on…

in Top Stories by Steve LeMaster

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 18, 2014 1826

K9 Unit Helps Find Meth in Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
July 18, 2014 1729

Man Injured in Depoy Accident

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
July 21, 2014 1727

Five Sent to Hospital After Two-Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 18, 2014 1360

From New York to Greenville, Iron Beam…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 19, 2014 1271

Cash Mob Descends on Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03