by Patricia Mann
Mason was once an important freight center. Tobacco was hauled to Mason from Crossroads, Needmore, Corinth, and other communities and then packed into huge hogsheads to be shipped to Cincinnati. Coal was also shipped on the railroad. Mr. Bill Beverly, Mrs. Floy Abernathy's father, took orders for it by the bushel; when he got enough orders to constitute a carload, he had it brought by rail. I imagine some people got cold before enough orders came in for a load. Oak logs were especially plentiful around Mason and were shipped by rail to other cities.
The railroad built stock pens along the railway where the Texaco station is now. By the pens was a chute through which the cattle were loaded onto boxcars and then sent to Cincinnati by freight.
Mason had three early churches. The Bethel Methodist Church stood where Mr. Frances Ruholl's barn now stands. It is said that the crowds were so large that people had to stand up against the walls to hear the message. It was moved to Mason in 1900 where it still stands, but is now used as a storehouse by Mr. Kelly Bruce. The Lystra Church of Christ was started in 1885 and is still standing. The Mason Baptist Church was started in 1883.
Mason had three school districts: one at Mason, one at Cherry Grove, and another at Crossroads. A one-room school on the Sipple Road where all eight grades were taught the 3 R's was town down a few years ago to make way for the construction of I-75. Another one room school was at Lystra. In 1914, Mase Beverly suggested that the three school districts be consolidated into one, and in 1918, the Mason Consolidated School was built.
There was a stream opposite the Baptist Church that never went dry. This stream, the Far Spring, supplied all of Mason with water during dry periods.
Mason had several businesses and landmarks in her earlier days. The old blacksmith shop was located south of the building where Rock Garden now stands. The post office at Mason used to be a store run by Johnny Williams; his house was to the left of the post office. The old section house was a two-story affair that is now standing. Dr. J. B. Alexander's log house stood where Rock Garden now stands, but it burned down within a short period of time due to poorly constructed chimneys. Uncle John Turner's Inn was located where the Methodist Church now stands. The inn was halfway between Covington and Lexington. There was a well by his inn from which water was taken to quench the thirst of the tired and dusty cattlemen who drove their herds to market.
Mason had several prominent families. The Gouge family, who lived where Gus Threlkeld now lives, were large slave owners. John Turner, who operated the inn, was an original landowner. His land lay behind the Methodist Church.
From a collection of essays written in American Literature Eleven. The class was taught by Ms. Hazel Ogden of Grant County High School in the 1963-1964 school year, and was typed by the typing classes of Mrs. Mattie Cox. It is copyrighted by the Grant County Schools, and is used here with their kind permission. We found a copy in UK's King Library.