Hello from Adairville, Kentucky. The town I love and the town that I want to make a big come back.
Over the past 20 plus years the town has lost all three of it’s factories, all of it’s grocery stores, the car lot, barber shop, a beauty shop, swimming pool/spa business, numerous restaurants, and on and on. Over 350 jobs have been lost.
With the loss of so many jobs the population has dropped from a high of about 1,200 people to some where around 750 to 800 people. A full third of the town’s population has moved away in search of jobs. Our town has been a victim, like so many other small towns, of companies moving to foreign countries for cheaper labor and higher profits.
The lure of Walmart, K-Mart and big malls have also taken many customers away from small town stores. What is left is a town with many elderly, retired, low income, welfare recipients, part-time farm workers and a declining income base. Yes, we do have some with better incomes, but not enough. The sad thing to me is that our young people have to move away in search of jobs.
Adairville’s chances of attracting a large factory is about zero. The big cities are offering free land, free buildings, no taxes for several years and on and on. Few small towns or Adairville can compete with that.
Our best hope is to have a solid plan where we can attract small companies that are not interested in going out of the country. When you can attract several small companies to town then you begin to add jobs again.
One of the big problems we have is the lack of support for the businesses that we do have. Many will drive to Russellville or Springfield and make purchases that they could make right here in their home town. Shame on those that do not support their town!
I also believe that our town can come back. We have to look at what we have and take advantage of it. I have mentioned the small town of Bell Buckle, Tennessee in one of my past articles. The town has a population of 600, is way off Interstate 40 about 20 miles from Murfreesboro, Tennessee and you really want to go there to find it.
Twenty years ago there was only a small cafe and one or two other small businesses open. Today all 15 of the shops in town are booming and more are being built. The little cafe has grown and serves over 5,000 meals per week. The little town offers a festival every month, entertainment, art shows, plays, antique shows, quarterly parades, lots of publicity in publications and on and on and most of all jobs! Just about everyone who wants to work has a job.
If Bell Buckle can do it I do not see why Adairville cannot do it. Tourist can well be our success story. We actually have far more to offer than Bell Buckle. We have beautiful homes, gardens, historic houses like the Peter Cartright House, the Hite House where Frank and Jesse James hid out many times, one of the most important caves in America, the site of one of the most famous duels in America - the Jackson-Dickenson Duel, a historic old one room school house, a salt peter mine that could be open to tourist, very historic Indian relics from Savage Cave that can go in our growing museum and on and on. I have talked to the governor’s office and found that there are only three reproduction forts or stations in the state and they are all in Eastern Kentucky. We could build a small fort in Adairville that could represent the numerous small forts that were built along the north and south branches of the Red River and protected our big island. That would bring bus loads of school kids from all over Western Kentucky. All of these things are doable.
There is hope for our town. We can come back.
There are grants out there to help our town accomplish some of these things. It takes the will, planning and determination to make these things work. I guess I should add vision as well.
I remember a few years back when the doom sayers said that the local fish and game club would never be able to build a new dam and restore James Lake; but they did it. It took vision, determination and lots of hard work; but they did it.
I do not want to hear the reasons we cannot do it. I want to hear why and how we can do it. I dream the dream that Adairville can come back and that tourism can help us do it.
The old Odoms Sausage Plant was sold a few weeks ago. I understand that the property was going to be used for storage of tobacco. There was a fire two weeks ago at the property and one of the buildings was destroyed. It is believed that an arsonist set the building on fire. There is a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the guilty party. Call Adairville City Hall if you have any information or leads on this crime.
The Adairville Methodist Church has a new minister coming this Sunday. I think it will be a lady minister. If so that will give Adairville three lady ministers. Something of a record for a small town.
At last Monday night’s city council meeting the council decided to get tough and enforce the city laws on home owners that do not keep their property clean. This means clutter in the yards and on the porches, uncut yards, litter and trash not picked up, old junk cars sitting out and so forth. Letters are being sent out to the guilty parties. (It is my understanding that the actual owner of the property is the one who will get the letter.) It appears that the city means business. If the owners do not comply then the city plans to have the work done and bill the owners. If the owners do not pay then a legal lien will be placed against their property.
The city has contracted with a professional lawn cutting service to take care of the cemetery. The contract is for weekly care and for 12 months.
Plans are to add on to the fire hall for a much needed additional vehicle. I think it will carry water to fires where there is no fire hydrants.
Since I moved into town I have really enjoyed it. I bought the property a year ago and spent my first night on the square two nights later. I still have not sold my farm just south of town but hope it will happen soon. I have given most of my chickens away this week. I still have a few and if you are interested please call me at 615/389-5495.
With a smile For several years two big friendly dogs lived with their humans at a house just behind the city cemetery. In the summer time they would come to town every day and jump into the big beautiful fountain in the town square park. They would have a great time and cool off. One day I was in the Davis Hardware Store and Mrs. Davis said look at those two dogs. They are going to jump in the pond and they did. There were several people sitting on the park benches and they seemed to enjoy wating the dogs have fun and cool off. Then the two big dogs jumped out of the fountain and begain to shake off. You never saw so much water come off those two big dogs. I guess you might say they baptised the people sitting on the benches. You never saw people run so fast but it was too late. I think the hardware store crowd had as big a laugh as I have ever seen.
Till next time. Good night too each of you, “Sweet Angel Sister” and Mrs. Calabash where ever you are.