The first historic stop that we will begin with is Black Mountain of Kentucky. This is the highest point to be found anywhere in the state of Kentucky, which has an elevation of 4,145 feet above sea level. The top of Black Mountain is located near the Virginia border in Harlan County.
The history of Black Mountain ties it to the coal mining of the surrounding area, simply because of Lynch, Kentucky. This area use to be one of the largest coal mining towns in the United States. The coal mining history seems to be the biggest challenge for Black Mountain today. Now, the surrounding towns have adapted and found new ways to employ people in these towns with a tourism market, but there are coal mining companies who wish to continue mining in the area and Black Mountain. The locals fear that the mining of Black Mountain will destroy the mountain's natural beauty and possibly contaminate the area's water supply, since the water supply originates from a source on Black Mountain. Also, if mining is allowed in this area it would most likely destroy the towns' vastly growing tourism business, not to mention the impact it would have on their economic system.
Hinchliffe stadium will be the second historic stop, and Hinchliffe Stadium's history is definitely one to be remembered. This historic site has memories that have been passed from generation to generation starting at the beginning of the Great Depression. Hinchliffe Stadium was built from 1931 to 1932, when final completion and opening was September 17, 1932. The stadium was named after John Hinchliffe, former Mayor of Paterson, New Jersey, whose relentless efforts brought the stadium to be.
This new amphitheater designed stadium played host right away to the Negro League, and completed the first baseball season with the Colored Championship of the Nation (Negro League World Series). Hinchliffe Stadium would go on to host the New York Black Yankees, which brought to us some of the best baseball players of all time with names such as, Larry Doby, Oscar Charleston, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and many more baseball greats. Hinchliffe Stadium not only hosted the New York Black Yankees, but also boxing events, auto racing, football (pro, semi, and high school), concerts, antique car shows, and soccer until its close in 1997.
After the close of Hinchliffe Stadium it was threatened with demolition, which inspired many people to find ways to raise money and save this historic landmark. In 2004, Hinchliffe Stadium was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and continued efforts are on going to save the historic landmark. Although, the stadium continues to deteriorate many people foresee great things for this historic place in the future.
The third historic stop is the Juana Briones House, which was bought and owned by Juana Briones de Miranda in 1844. Juana Briones, a successful business woman and healer, bought her property, a 4400 acre ranch, from two Native Americans. This ranch is where she raised her seven children and one adopted Native American daughter. Juana Briones is one of only 34 different women documented as being a landowner in the early history of California, and she is also believed to be one of the first residents of now San Francisco.
As you can see there is some significant history at the Juana Briones House, and a lot that could still be learned from the house. At this time the house is abandoned, and is gradually deteriorating. The owners of the property are still fighting in court to demolish the house to build a new dwelling on the property. So far the preservationists have been able to keep the house from being demolished, but the threat is still there.
Our fourth historic stop places us at the, limited access, Merritt Parkway in Fairfield County, Connecticut. This historic place is a 37 mile stretch of highway that runs from the New York state line in the town of Greenwich to the Housatonic River in Stratford, and is the state's first ever divided lane highway. Merritt Parkway is known for its extravagant beauty of assorted art throughout its highway, and some of the diverse artwork to be seen includes Gothic and French Renaissance. All together the Merritt Parkway was intended to give drivers a beautiful array of art and vegetated scenery to view on their way to from locations. Although, many of the bridges that were first built over passing the Merritt Parkway were designed with the array of art designs on them, yet some of the new modern day over passes did not continue the practice of earlier designs.
The Merritt Parkway, today, is faced with a series of problems. The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOC) has decided to accommodate the problem of increased traffic flow to the Merritt Parkway by certain changes without regard to preserving the Merritt Parkway's unique character. Also, many of the residents of Fairfield County have mixed feeling toward the trees along the highway, because many of safety concerns due to trees falling and injuring or killing people traveling on the parkway. Due to safety precautions the CDOC has removed more and more trees creating a significant impact of the natural beauty on the parkway.
The fifth and final stop will take us to the small town of Meridian, Mississippi were the once infamous Threefoot building is located. The Threefoot building, named after its owners, was built in 1929 by three brothers, Marshall, Kutcher, and Lewis Threefoot. To expand a little on the name Threefoot, the original name was Dreyfuss, which is German and translates into three foot. The family was Jewish-German immigrants who arrived sometime in the mid 1800s, and it is believed they changed their name to better reflect their new home in America. The Threefoot brothers continued their family business after the death of their father, and by 1910 they were exceeding 100,000 dollars a year in sales. This was the beginning of what prompted the building of the Threefoot building.The Threefoot building was basically short lived, because of a combination of variables and the arrival of the Great Depression the Threefoot family business came to an end. Although, the Threefoot building is abandoned the people of Meridian, Mississippi have not forgotten about it. The former Mayor John Robert Smith had high expectations of renovating the building into a 125 room hotel, but the renovation was immediately halted by the newly elected mayor, Cheri Barry. Although, the project still had the support of city council, the Historic Restoration Incorporated refused to carry on with the project due to lack of support from Cheri Barry. The Threefoot building is still left abandoned and unmaintained, but the residence of Meridian still celebrate and remember it once a year with an art festival.