Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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.

Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

In Other News...

Hopkins County Conservation District Holds Annual Youth Ag Day

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (9/30/14) — The Hopkins County Conservation District held its annual Youth Agriculture Day… Read More

English Park Boat Ramp Schedule for This Weekend's Air Show

OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/30/14) — The following closings will be in effect at the English Park Boat Ramp and Courtesy Dock: 11… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 27, 2014 3879

Hopkins County Grand Jury Misdemeanor Indictments

in News by Karen McKnight
September 29, 2014 3507

Endless Road Strings Bring Orchestra Mix to…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 27, 2014 2825

Sinister on Center Takes Haunted Manor to Whole…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 29, 2014 2374

One Injured in Single-Vehicle Collision on…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 29, 2014 2331

Man, Woman Charged with Violating EPO Against…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 28, 2014 2192

Community Shows Support to Muhlenberg Humane…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 29, 2014 2053

Man Charged with PI, Drugs, After Allegedly…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 28, 2014 1978

Marching Mustangs Take Third in Ohio Competition

in Top Stories by Information provided by Shawna Hendrix
September 27, 2014 1614

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
September 27, 2014 1589

Hopkins/Webster Counties Native, Paducah Writer…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
September 29, 2014 1543

Man Arrested for DUI, Marijuana Possession

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 29, 2014 2374

One Injured in Single-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 29, 2014 2331

Man, Woman Charged with Violating EPO…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 29, 2014 2053

Man Charged with PI, Drugs, After…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 29, 2014 1543

Man Arrested for DUI, Marijuana Possession

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 28, 2014 1392

Angel Garden Dedicated at Baptist…

in Top Stories by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 29, 2014 3507

Endless Road Strings Bring Orchestra Mix…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 28, 2014 2192

Community Shows Support to Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 28, 2014 1978

Marching Mustangs Take Third in Ohio…

in Top Stories by Information provided by Shawna Hendrix
September 29, 2014 1194

One Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
September 29, 2014 1188

Fourteen Year Old Parker Hastings Wins…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

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)


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

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06