The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky on November 8, 1989 · Page 57
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The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky · Page 57

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Louisville, Kentucky
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Wednesday, November 8, 1989
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10D CANDLES . . . Burnett Avenue Baptist marks a century . . . Page 7 TOY C017L . . . Today's champions have some big cleats to fill . Page 8 News and features about your area of Jefferson County WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1989 A WEEKLY SECTION OF THE COURIER-JOURNAL, A GANNETT NEWSPAPER F CLACCr.OC:.! . . . Officers fight drugs in elementary grades . . Page 2 a mm A PLACE IN TIME ID' leasure i II 1 1 I! H oage rarK It began as a playground for city dwellers, but pride has forged a history of independence By BEVERLY BARTLETTStaff Writer ' F YOUR perception of Pleasure Ridge Park is one of firefighters, high school basketball and Dixie Highway . with its lights and signs and bumper-to-bumper traffic you're thinking of the right place. But forget all that Think about the name. Concentrate on the words: Pleasure, ridge, park. Now what do you see? How about a mountain ridge, covered with leaves of gold and red, and families having picnics and maybe couples dancing? What about a distillery that gives free samples of Its whiskey at noon? And roads with so little traffic that a boy could ride his bicycle down it and his mother wouldn't worry? That would be the original Pleasure Ridge Park. A place that got its name about 100 years ago when Louisville residents took excursion trains to what is now the intersection of Greenwood Road and Dixie Highway and spent the weekend at the Paine Hotel, where they could walk across the street to dance and picnic at Muldraugh Ridge. People don't do that anymore, because the modern-day intersection of Dixie and Greenwood is anything but an escape from the urban world. The four corners are the sites of a White Castle a building used as a landmark by many residents a used car lot, a Hardee's and a bank. Pretty typical of city life. But Pleasure Ridge Park, which essentially includes the " r ' OX7 - ' " ' 1 - r - - ' Jgf t ... , , ..v...-. .-m-.... ... 7 - FILE PHOTO Pleasure Ridge Park firefighters polished a new truck in 1955 as they prepared to dedicate a new station on Valley Station Road. The volunteer department, started in 1950, is the state's largest Murphy had given up retail work to be a full-time postmaster. But the new post office was not Murphy's only attempt to bring change to bis community. He was area part of a failed attempt to form a bounded by the Ohio River, Lower city in the mid-1950s and was part Hunters Trace, Dixie Highway and of a successful attempt to estab- Johnsontown Road, isn't a city. Its lish a volunteer fire department residents have made sure of that Murphy grew up in the old by fighting off proposals of incor- Pleasure Ridge Park train depot, poration or annexation. It doesn't according to Jane Miller, Mur- have a city council or a town hall, phy's niece who lives on Green- The only things that say "Pleasure Ridge Park" are the high school, the fire department and a few shops. But the people, they say it proudly: "I live in PRP." According to the 1980 U.S. Census, about 25,000 people can legitimately make that claim. That's quite a jump from 1948, when the late Frank J. Murphy, a hardware store owner, wood Road. The original train depot was built in 1874 by the Elizabethtown & Paducah Railroad, now known as Illinois Central Railroad. But most histories and recollections of the building go back no further than 1910, when Ella Murphy, Frank Murphy's mother, was named ticket agent there. She moved to Pleasure Ridge Park with her DSD YOU KNOW: B At least as far back as 1831, stagecoaches carrying Louisvillians to Nashville would travel down what is now Dixie Highway. Passengers would board the coach at about 5 a.m. downtown and stop for breakfast in Pleasure Ridge Park at the Nine Mile House, where a tollgate blocked the road. Bill's Pawn and Gun Shop is now located in the building at 791 7. Dixie Highway. D German and French inscriptions can still be seen on tombstones at the old St. Andrew cemetery on St Anthony Church Road. St Andrew's Church was established by German and French Catholics and was reportedly built out of stone that was hand-quarried in the area. It no longer stands. opened a post office there. In a 1965 interview four years before his death Murphy said that only 50 people used the post office that first year, but a Courier-Journal report at the time put the number at 500. Either way, it was small com-oared with the 16,000 that the post office served at the time of Murphy's retirement in 1964. By then, a post office building was constructed at his old hardware store spot, and PRP Train nr rrm Depot I I Paine Hotel 1 L 1 Paine Store & V .1 Dnct Dffir i . - five children after her husband died doing railroad work. As ticket agent she was in charge of the daily operations of the depot, which was located near the intersection of St Andrews Church Road and the railroad track. Those oper ations were important to the early development of Pleasure Ridge Park. Although there is no longer a station there, the railroad once provided transportation for the Muldraugh mage STAFF MAP BY STEVE DUBBIN export of goods produced in the area, including whiskey, lumber and dairy products. Despite the presence of those industries, most of the area was settled by farmers. The Wallers, who still own land on Greenwood Road, are one of the area's earliest farm families. The Wallers original tract came from a land grant given to George Waller's father-in-law for fighting in the Revolutionary War, according to a history written by the Valley Woman's Club. George Waller's family moved to the area around the turn of the 19th century. Much of the small portion of PRP that lies east of Dixie Highway was settled by French and German Catholics, who in 1851 built St Andrew's Church, which no longer stands. By 1858, a map dubbed the intersection of Greenwood Road and Dixie Highway as Painesville, apparently because L.M. Paine owned much of the surrounding land. Dixie Highway has been known as Salt River Road, the Louisville and Nashville Turnpike and Valley Pike. By the late 1800s, the Paine family owned even more of the area, including the Paine Hotel, a store, a post office and a distillery that reportedly gave out free shots of whiskey every day at noon. (The Paine post office opened in 1874 and closed in 1910. The area used Valley Station's post office until Murphy opened his in 1948.) George Thornhill, who as a child moved to the Paine Hotel in 1940 after it was converted to apartments, can remember riding his bike on the highway in front of the building, unhampered by traffic. He described the old hotel as a two-story wood structure with a high porch. He said the building was converted to apartments after it was purchased by Dr. Wade Shack-lette. The building also held the doctor's office, a small store and See PLEASURE Page 3, col. 1 Ministries try to strike paydirt with bowl-athon By BEVERLY BARTLETT Staff Writer An Idea that South Louisville Community Ministries rolled out five years ago has turned out to be a solid, in-the-pocket strike. The ministries' annual bowl-athon fund-raiser has been so successful, in fact, that it has since been copied by other local ministry groups. And this year, 10 of the 13 ministries in the area are planning to participate in a communitywide event Nov. 18. Besides South Louisville, the groups represent southeast and southwest Jefferson County, Fair-dale, Fern Creek and Highview, Shively, the Highlands, St Matthews, West Louisville and south-central Louisville. Organizers hope the bowl-athon in which participants solicit pledges of so much money for each pin knocked down will raise between $2,000 and $10,000 for each ministry. The idea came up several years ago when South Louisville Ministries was facing a financial crunch and casting about for ways to raise money. Two avid bowlers on the agency's finance committee advanced the idea, according to ministries director Mike Jupin. One of them. Gene Wells, has stayed with the event through the years, Jupin said, and should be credited with making it what it is today the group's top fund-raising event Like other such groups, South Louisville ministries relies mostly on grants and contributions from member churches for its $125,000 annual budget Wells said the bowl-athon has raised a total of $16,000 to $18,000 in the past four years. Robert Owens, the director of South East Associated Ministries, which began a similar event last year, said the $5,000 it raised helped the group to become more self-reliant Grants are helpful, he said, but they're unpredictable and generally aren't growing as quickly as the agency's budget "Our budget Is about $130,000," he said, and while the fund-raiser didn't represent "a huge chunk of it See MINISTRIES Page 5, coL 1 Dock and loader will help Riverport live up to its name By BEVERLY BARTLETT Staff Writer Until recently, the Riverport development in southwestern Jefferson County had a somewhat misleading name. In all of the more than 1,600 acres owned by the Louisville-Jefferson County Riverport Authority, there wasnt a port to be found. Search no more. A general cargo dock, which opened 13 months ago, and a bulk-commodity transfer terminal scheduled to be partially operational next week have finally given credence to the 24-year-old name. The dock has allowed companies to transfer goods between river barges and trucks, and the commodity loader will enable businesses to load from trains as well, making the port fully operational. "Finally, we're going to have a river port and not just an industrial park," County Judge-Executive Harvey Sloane said in a telephone interview last week. Sloane said the new facility will be an additional selling point to companies considering a move there. "It's a dream come true," he said. Robert Timmerman, authority president said there was no "scientific" way to predict what the port would mean to the surrounding area economically. But "I think we can safely say that over a period of time let's say five or 10 years . . . we'll be talking about several hundred jobs," he said. The port, which was financed through county bonds, state grants and funds from CSX Transportation railroad, cost $26.5 million and should employ 12 to 15 people working a single shift, Timmerman said. Some employees have already started work at the cargo dock; others will start soon at the bulk-commodity terminal. The authority hopes eventually to operate on a two-shift system, meaning the terminal would operate 16 hours a day and move more than 4 million tons a year. But Sloane and Timmerman believe those will not be the only jobs created by the port For example, Riverport Steel Inc., a Japanese-owned plant that plans to open sometime this month with 13 employees, would not have considered its four-acre site in Riverport if not for the general cargo dock. "We can't be away from the water," said Hiro Fujisawa, vice president of the company. Fujisawa said the company plans eventually to use the dock once a month to move up to 14,000 tons of steel plates from a barge. Fujisawa said his company, which cuts the plates for use as components in industrial vehicles, will start operations gradually, meaning it may be another year before it is receiving enough steel to justify using a barge. The port has also encouraged Chaparral Steel Inc. to consider the See CURRENT Page 2, col. 3 Cost, labor keeping county from moving Vietnam memorial By BEVERLY BARTLETT Staff Writer The Vietnam War memorial in southwest Jefferson County won't be going anywhere for its 19th anniversary Saturday. And instead of the rededicatJon ceremony previously planned, the only event at the memorial on the lawn of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Dixie Highway this Veterans Day will be an annual vigil by a few local residents. Plans to move the 50-foot tripod from the church to the Southwest Government Center, two miles north on Dixie Highway, have been postponed Indefinitely, said Aaron Giv-han, deputy director of the county Family and Neighborhood Services Cabinet Bids on the project were higher than expected and the county didnt get volunteer labor from local unions as it had hoped, said Givhan, who suggested the monument's 20th anniversary as the next possible re-dedication. Barry Barnes, the Vietnam veteran who has led efforts to have the memorial refurbished, is disappointed that it won't be moved or rededi-cated this year. But he's not going to let Veterans Day pass without some tribute to county residents who gave their lives in the war. So, as they have in each of the last five years, Barnes and Gene Dodds, as well as Mark Jones, who joined the other two last year, will be at the memorial to read aloud the names of county residents killed in the conflict, but he's upset with county officials. "It just really ticks me off to think that we went with them all these months and have them say it is going to be started here and then have nothing materialize," he said. But contrary to what Barnes believes, Givhan insisted that county officials haven't forgotten the memorial. He said that the project could be re-bid in the spring if new revenue sources can be found, and that officials at Fort Knox have been approached about assisting. "We do not view the project to be unworkable. It's untimely," Givhan said. The Southwest monument is the oldest Vietnam memorial in Kentucky and one of the oldest in the ' I .V is f T, Sar Vf h Jl x .in - tt(i..i .c FE PHOTO Plans to move the Vietnam War memorial to the Southwest Government Center are on hold. country. It was built in 1970 through an effort led by Charles Hendrix, who lived in the area and whose son died in Vietnam. But vandalism and neglect have taken a toll on the memorial. Its fountain and carillons, for example, no longer work. Barnes, of Dodge Lane, took up the cause of refurbishing the memorial two years ago. Since then, he and other veterans have raised $6,000. They want to have plaques added listing county residents who died in the war. They also want the monument moved to publicly owned property so it can be more easily monitored and maintained. The Southwest Government Center is considered ideal partly because the police station there might help deter vandals. The county tentatively agreed about two months ago to cover the cost of moving the monument but the veterans were told they might be asked to contribute if the cost See VIETNAM Page 7, coL 1

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