still awash from
springhouse remains in area
has a storied past
as the property passed down
Helen E. McKinney
Kentucky Edition Cover
(August 2010) The limestone springhouse at
Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve in Goshen has long stood the test of time.
Built for utilitarian purposes, it has weathered storms, kept foods
fresh on its interior stone ledges, and supplied water to any who drank
from its cold spring.
Repairs have recently been completed on the springhouse, due to storm
damage in 2008. The roof flew off like an umbrella because it
was not property bolted down, said Creasey Mahan Executive Director
Tavia P. Cathcart.
The former tin roof was not historically accurate, and has since been
replaced with shingles by Steinrock Roofing, a company that donated
labor for the project. The springhouse has been standing on the property
since approximately 1805. Surveyors, and brothers, Hancock Taylor and
Richard Taylor, first discovered the property that now houses the springhouse
and Nature Preserve.
In 1805 Hancock Taylors descendant, James Taylor, sold the property
to Virginian Frederick Edwards, who had fought in the Revolutionary
War. Since Edwards had already acquired large land holdings near present-day
St. Matthews, he turned the property over to his son, William. William
Edwards is responsible for building the log house that still exists
inside the walls of the preserves main residence, the Mahan House.
William died in 1822 and his wife, Lydia, held the property until she
sold it in 1848. The springhouse remained for the next tenant, Sarah
Henshaw (widow of Phillip Henshaw), to use.
use the stream as an educational location for field trips."
Tavia Cathcart, executive director, Creasey Mahan Nature
Sarah Henshaw bought the property as an investment, eventually
passing it on to her son, John, when she died. John sold the farm in
1876 to Samuel Snowden. Snowdens son, Samuel Bussey Snowden, inherited
the Nature Preserve property and resided on it until his death in 1920.
Snowdens widow, Julia, sold the farm to Jenny Creasey, wife of
Leslie Leigh Creasey. The Creaseys gave the property to their daughter,
Virginia, and her husband, Howard, when the couple married. Upon their
deaths, the Mahans left the farm to Oldham County.
As a wedding gift to his wife, Howard Mahan had water piped from the
springhouse to the main residence. The springhouse remains, a testament
to all of the families that relied on it daily.
Visitors to the Nature Preserve, located at 12501 Harmony Landing Rd.
in Goshen, Ky., still find it a spot they like to walk inside
and cool down, said Cathcart. We use the stream as an educational
location for field trips.
It is used to study plants, dragonflies and amphibians. Its
important in terms of wildlife, she said.
The feeder spring flows under the adjacent service road and into Harmony
Creek near the Mahan-Oldham County Public Library. The springhouse is
really a historic treasure, said Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve
board member Ellen van Nagell.
Van Nagell is aware of several other springhouses within Oldham County
because of her job as a Realtor with with RE/MAX. Nana Lamptons
farm in Goshen, Anne and Duane Murners farm on Todds Point
Road, and Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilsons farm along Hwy. 42
all contain springhouse remains.
The springhouse at Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve refers to a time
before we had public water, a more primitive time, van Nagell
said. Dairy farmers are the reason the county received public water,
because farmers like Carl Klingenfus banded together to make sure there
was public water throughout the county, she said.
You instantly see the springhouse when you drive up, van
Nagell said. Youre taken back in time and given a peaceful
by Helen E. McKinney
Clore poses next to one of
two springhouses that sit on his
property in Crestwood, Ky. His father
restored this one. The other springhouse
is built below ground level.
The same feeling is apparent on Nancy Theiss property,
located on North Hwy. 53 outside of La Grange. The original land owners
were Moses (1760-1820) and Cynthia Duncan. Dad bought the property
in 1954, said Theiss.
Two springhouses sit on the property, one located in a grove of trees
and missing its roof. The spring from this one feeds into a pond which
is where I learned to swim, said Theiss.
The hand-cut limestone springhouse contains a dip and sit area and a
larger storage area. The spring runs year round, she said.
It has a lot of good memories.
One can sit on the old limestone slab walls and hear nature in the woods
that surround it, woods which also add to what is left of the springhouses
once cool interior. It remains hidden from civilization, transporting
one back to a simpler way of life. Even though it is not used anymore
for its original purpose, the spring beneath it runs on through time.
by Helen McKinney
is one of two springhouses
located on property in La Grange
owned by Nancy Theiss.
There are very few springhouses remaining, but of the
ones that do still stand, they hold a lot of history within their walls.
Lee Clores Crestwood property contains two springhouses, one above
ground and one below ground.
Made of limestone, the above ground springhouse contains a tin roof
and two rooms; it was restored by his father. Theres not much
upkeep to the below ground springhouse, said Clore.
Clore said his great-great-great-grandfather, Elisha Clore (1808-1852),
bought the farm which has been passed down through several generations.
Elisha Clores son, Zachariah, built the house I live in
around 1850, said Clore. He said the above ground springhouse
was built around 1955. It was once used to pump water to the house,
but is no longer used.
by Helen McKinney
Don Booney Puckett
poses atop a springhouse he repaired at
the Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve.
Perhaps one of the most famous springhouses still standing
in Kentucky is over the county line in Jefferson County, Ky., near the
intersection of Taylorsville Road and Hurstbourne Lane. Jefferson Countys
last Indian massacre occurred on July 17, 1789, when the family of Richard
Chenoweth was attacked. Three of his children and the two soldiers guarding
them were killed at the familys home on Chenoweth Run, about a
mile west of Floyds Fork, which also runs through Oldham County.
History books have recorded Mrs. Chenoweths fame since she was
scalped and left for dead by her Indian attackers. She managed to crawl
into the springhouse to safety where she was found early the next morning
by a rescue party. Even though her scalped hair never grew back, Mrs.
Chenoweth lived to a ripe old age and covered her scalp with a dainty
cap so no one would ever guess what had happened to her.
If anyone in Oldham County has a springhouse
on their property and would like to have its history recorded to put
on file at the Oldham County History Center, contact the writer at (502)
738-9435 or via email at: email@example.com.
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