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

LuRay Artifacts Add to Richness of Memories

antique1CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (8/4/14) — Central City's LuRay Hotel holds a special place in the heart of Wanda Jones, who is proud to say she is '79 years young.'

As plans progress for breaking ground for the LuRay Park, on the site of the historic hotel, Jones has donated several items now on display at the Central City city building.

“In 1952, my husband, Rev. Gerald Jones, and I, caught the train at the LuRay Hotel to go on our honeymoon," Jones told SurfKY News. "We waited in the lobby to take a train to Columbus, Ind. They had large steam engine passenger cars then."

As a newlywed couple, the Joneses were some of the last to ride the passenger trains from the LuRay's then bustling location in downtown Central City. The railroads drastically and quickly cut train service as the use of automobiles became the norm for travel.

Just three decades after the Joneses marriage, the LuRay fell to the wrecking ball in the mid 1970s. The three-story structure was razed, but many area residents have rare items that were auctioned off when the site was leveled.

The city has begun looking for possible items to increase awareness of the rich history of the hotel, which was once a major stopping point between Nashville and Louisville.

"Central City Fire Chief Ricky King came by my house to see what items I had from the hotel that might be of interest," Jones said. "I think he kind of fell in love with what treasures I had, and I was so glad he did. I had the painting of the LuRay, along with the tea set and chair. Just as fascinating for me was the original stool that sat behind the hotel's front desk. For a while, I thought it was handmade, but if you turn the stool upside down, there is a tag that documents that it was made in Louisville. There's no telling how many years this stool sat behind the front desk at the LuRay."

Jones said she also loves the oil painting of the hotel by Magdalene White. The painting is dated on the canvas as being completed in 1976. Jones admits she knows little about the artist or the painting's history.

"The painting was given to me as a gift in 1995," Jones said. "I really don't know anything about the artist. I wish I did. But I just love pictures of historic buildings and this is a great one."

Jones said she has cherished the extremely rare items through the years, but believes that sharing them with others is more important.

"I had these pieces and was using them in my husband's study," Jones said. "When I saw the plans at the city building for the new park I was inspired to give the city these items to do what I can to help out. I wanted to do something for Central City. My husband I lived here so long. We were in the Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church parsonage for 42 years, from 1965 until my husband's passing. It's important now to give back to this community. I hope that others will do the same."

The Rev. Cody Crowell, current pastor of the Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church, said Mrs. Jones has always been a person who lives to share.

"She is an inspiring person," Crowell said. "She still teaches a Sunday School class and she is always open to mentoring younger Christians, in helping them to grow in their faith. She is a very giving person."

King seems to agree with Crowell.

"We think it is inspiring that Mrs. Jones gave us these historic artifacts," King said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to incorporate many of these fascinating pieces of history into the finished park. We are hoping to break ground in time to have next year's Labor Day events on the LuRay amphithearter stage. That is our dream. We are also in the process of obtaining a bit more land for the park."

Jones' items are on display Monday through Thursday at the Central City city building 8 a.m to 4 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To find out more about donating items from the hotel, or to make monetary donations to the LuRay Park fund, call (270) 754-5097.

ant-2 

ant3

Paul McRee
Photos 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.

button coupons
button classifieds

In Other News...

Daviess County City Hall, Transit, Parks, Sanitation Holiday Schedule

DAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. (12/20/14) — The following is the Christmas and New Year's 2014-2015 schedule for the City of… Read More

Most Read This Week

December 16, 2014 10541

Coal Miner Fatally Injured in Underground Mining…

in Top News For All Sites by Dick Brown
December 17, 2014 7464

Elderly Couple Found Shot to Death in Muhlenberg

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 17, 2014 6743

Three Men Charged with Burglary

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 15, 2014 5070

Hopkins County Woman Charged Second Time in Two…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 15, 2014 4531

Woman Leads Police on High-Speed Chase in Stolen…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police
December 19, 2014 4266

Dawson Springs Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Detective Sean McCance
December 18, 2014 4060

Cat Scratching over Dog Ownership Escalates

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
December 19, 2014 4058

Armstrong Mine to Layoff 39 by End of Day

in Top News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
December 19, 2014 3851

Woman Flown to St. Mary's after Two-Car Collision

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 16, 2014 3683

Highway Crews Pre-Treating Roadways for Potential…

in Hopkins News by Keith Todd

Stories Trending Today

December 19, 2014 3159

Vehicle Fire Causes Traffic Back-Up on Pennyrile

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 19, 2014 1178

Greenville Mayor Honored during Final Council…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 20, 2014 971

KET’s Kentucky Life Segment to Feature Old…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 20, 2014 855

New Trial Sites Added for U of L's Brown Cancer…

in General News For All Sites by Health Sciences News
December 20, 2014 774

Farmers' Markets, Vendors; Sign Up for Free…

in General News For All Sites by Ted Sloan
December 20, 2014 771

'When the Universe Was Young' Opens Jan. 4 at…

in General News For All Sites by WKU News
December 20, 2014 767

WKU Public Affairs Claims 17 Statewide Awards

in General News For All Sites by WKU News
December 20, 2014 766

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
December 20, 2014 746

Law Enforcement Officers, Agencies Honored for…

in General News For All Sites by Erin Eggen
December 20, 2014 695

City of Madisonville Holiday Schedule

in Hopkins News by Leslie Curneal

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


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

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss