No Destination: Columbia

The county seat of Adair County is full of history, and it is clear that the community is dedicated to the preservation of the same. On the courthouse "lawn" (watch out Nate; when you get to Columbia, the Courthouse is situated in the middle of the town square with nary a place to walk on) there lie several historical markers. The old courthouse remains the focal point of downtown with a preservation effort underway to deconstruct the additions erected in 1976 (presumably, this will recreate a courthouse lawn). As in so many Kentucky counties, a new judicial center has been erected taking some business out of downtown Columbia.

Even so, the downtown public square bustles with shops. The Columbia Bank has operated since 1866; cafes and shops remain active. The only sign of decay is the old Columbian Theater, whose empty marquis reminds us of the loss of small theaters at the expense of the multi-plex.

Columbia is the home of Lindsey Wilson College, a liberal arts college. The town hosts its annual festival, Downtown Days, each summer with nearly all of the town's 4,000 inhabitants (2000 Census) coming to celebrate.

The town, first settled in 1800, was laid out as the county seat in 1802. It was the childhood home of Jane Lampton, the wife of John Marshall Clemens and the mother of "Mark Twain." The Courthouse has many interesting features, but I will (as usual) leave those for future posts as part of the Kentucky120 Project.


PJWB said…
Columbia Magazine just posted an 1897 map of the county - really neat: map