Graves County's Living History
Camp Beauregard Memorial
Established in Water Valley in 1861, the Camp’s purpose was to protect the eastern flank of Columbus, Kentucky. It also served as a recruiting and training center. At its peak, the Camp housed 6,000 men. No actual battles were fought here, but several scouting parties engaged in skirmishes. Over 2,000 confederate soldiers are buried here. The Camp also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This 1917 monument represents a time in Mayfield & Graves County’s history when Mayfield was occupied by a small Union force in 1864 and the citizens were forced to build an earthen fortification around the Courthouse. This is one of only four Civil War fountains in Kentucky and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In a plot of Maplewood Cemetery are the unusual stone figures of an eccentric aristocrat and Civil War soldier, tagged as, “The Strange Procession That Never Moves”. These figures were built from 1892 until Wooldridge’s death on May 30, 1899; Henry Wooldridge (buried here in 1899), his family, friends and favorite animals are enshrined here. Following damage from the Ice Storm of 2009, all the monuments were restored on site in 2010, by Monument Conservation Collaborative, a historic monument restoration firm. The Confederate Memorial Gate to Maplewood Cemetery and the Wooldridge Monuments both are on the National Register of Historic Places (gates open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., daily).
Blue Star Memorials
Harmon Park, Mayfield | Symsonia, Kentucky
Graves County is the only county in Kentucky to host 2 Blue Star Memorials. Blue Star Memorials were started in 1945 after World War II to pay tribute to the US armed forces. One of these Memorials can be found at Harmon Park, where you also can also visit the historic Humane Society Fountain, and the other is found next to Symsonia Elementary School. It is thanks to the Mayfield-Graves County Laurel Oak Garden Club that we have these 2 beautiful memorials in our community.
West Kentucky Museum
Seventeen room mansion built in 1926 as a private home for Ed and Annie Gardner. Used as a public library for 32 years and now home to the Mayfield Graves County Chamber of Commerce and Graves County Economic Development. Edana is for “Ed & Anna” and “Locus” is Latin for “place”.
St. Jerome Church & St. Jerome 1909
Located 10 miles west of Mayfield on Route 80, Fancy Farm was settled by Roman Catholics starting in 1829 and the community grew around St. Jerome Church, built in 1836. The village is the site of the annual Fancy Farm Picnic, famous as a traditional political gathering featuring state and national political figures. The school, built in 1909, is currently being renovated back to its original design and serves as a museum for the community. St. Jerome Church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Old Oak Political "Lyin" Tree
In front of the old St. Jerome School is the “Lyin’ Tree”. Lightning struck this 133 year old oak tree on April 15, 1974. The tree trunk remains as a symbol of the years since 1880, where political speeches were made on the first Saturday in August, at the Fancy Farm Annual Picnic. Some of America’s greatest statesmen have spoken under the shade of the great oak tree. The monument, dedicated August 7, 1976, by former Kentucky Governor Julian M. Carroll, marks the spot of the famous ‘old oak political tree’; due to deterioration, a bronze plaque was transferred to this monument in 1993.