No Destination: Livingston

Of the three incorporated communities in Rockcastle County - Brodhead, Mt. Vernon and Livingston - Livingston was my favorite. And I don't know why.

According to the 2000 Census, the population was 228. The old graded school was boarded up and over 1-in-4 persons live below the poverty line. Even so, the man sitting on the steps of the school spoke fondly of what the town once was. He recalled his years at the graded school fondly and how the community had once been vibrant. I discovered the following:

But Livingston has no hotel, no drug store or bank or any of these sundry establishments. There was a time when all these and more were present. Not one, but four hotels and numerous boarding houses catered to temporary residents. Not one, but two doctors tended human frailty. All that remain now are ghosts, faint echoes of a once-prosperous past when Livingston was a busy and exciting place to live. Livingston's Main Street, at the heart of the town, is a place of padlocked doors and boarded windows, of burned and sagging buildings, of broken glass and rotting timbers and unswept dust.

The last source of pride was the Livingston Graded School, which served the community from 1927 to 1994. It closed in the wake of school consolidation and budget cuts as Kentucky sought to modernize its education system.

There is a memorial park in Livingston with a memorial to the Graded School, saying "Can't Hide the Pride." Hopefully, this community will again one day have a source of pride.

Also in this memorial park is a beautiful 9-11 memorial. Standing at about 12 feet tall, it is a complete surprise and worthy of being found in a community/town/city of any size. Because in Livingston, you cannot hide the pride.
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