Louisville Magazine

NOV 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 11.18 47 the deceased. e article reads: "Everybody in the city is aware that some years ago the remains of most persons buried there were removed . . . but for some cause there yet remains a number of aged time worn monuments and tombs marking the sleeping places of slumberers among the dead." Bader found other articles, one telling the story of young French immigrant lovers who fled to America in the late 1700s. Unable to marry due to political differences in their families, they created a life in Kentucky, supposedly surviving an attack by Native Americans but ultimately succumbing to some kind of illness. As the story goes, they were buried beneath elm trees that twisted together, and, during preparation of the site for the park in the late 1800s, their skeletons were found holding hands. Last year, Bader and her team dug, finding 25 grave shafts. e city stopped using the site as a burial ground in the 1830s, Bader says, so it's likely the interred are some of Louisville's original settlers, dating back to the late 1700s. At Corn Island's office in Jeffersontown, located (naturally) in a house that's more than 200 years old, Bader saves a small chunk of a tombstone they collected. It belongs to a woman, maybe Isabel, maybe Mabel. Her full name, once etched in stone, has broken over time. Every artifact Corn Island finds gets tenderly transported in a brown bag. In a dimly lit back room at their office, trays upon trays of history sit, most pieces scrubbed with a toothbrush and cleaned over a sink with a large, low belly and steady trickle of water. It's painstaking work — the research, the trenches, the sifting of dirt, the sorting, the investigation of the historic worth of shards and fragments. "You can sit in a chair and read history, or you can be outside in the dirt and reveal history," Bader says. "I prefer to reveal it." Eventually, some of the artifacts may land at the University of Louisville for further study or storage. Perhaps a Russell welcome center might want to showcase items someday. But that's thinking too far ahead, to the Russell that will be, the one that exists mostly in the abstract. ere's so much hidden truth about this place yet to discover. This 1860s-era white clay pipe was made in New Jersey. More than 100 years ago, the head of a toothbrush was made of bone, with hog hair for bristles. (The handle to this one must have broken off.)

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