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Stearns Golf Course listed as Historic Place



The National Park Service (NPS) recently approved 13 sites, including the Stearns Golf Course, for listing in the National Register of Historic Places following their consideration by the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board in May.

The application for inclusion was authored by Shane Gilreath and Marty Perry and describes the historical impact the course carries:

“The original Stearns Golf Course consisted of nine holes and was established in the early 20th century in Stearns, a former coal company town, and in a region of few golf courses due to the ruggedness of topography and scarcity of level land. The area listed is approximately 180 acres, including the 49-acre golf course, a clubhouse and pool. The log clubhouse dates to 1936 and was funded by the Works Progress Administration. According to the author, the kidney-shaped, in-ground pool, also constructed in the 1930s, was one of only 805 WPA swimming pools constructed in the U.S. The site is nominated under Criterion A, significant within the context “Coal Company Towns in Eastern Kentucky, 1854-1965.’ According to the nomination, the site ‘… is a very unusual place, as well as a significant one. It shows the lengths that some coal companies went to create a familiar experience in a very foreign place, importing a feature of urban leisure in a place of rural work.’”

The Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office administers the National Register program in Kentucky and provides administrative support to the review board, which is charged with evaluating National Register nominations from the Commonwealth prior to their submission to NPS.

Owners of National Register properties may qualify for state and/or federal tax credits for rehabilitation of these properties to standards set forth by the Secretary of the Interior, as certified by the Kentucky Heritage Council, or by making a charitable contribution of a preservation easement. National Register status does not affect property ownership rights, but does provide a measure of protection against adverse impacts from federally funded projects.

The National Register is the nation’s official list of historic and archaeological resources deemed worthy of preservation. Kentucky has the fourth-highest number of listings among states, at more than 3,300. Listing can be applied to buildings, objects, structures, districts and archaeological sites, and proposed sites must be significant in architecture, engineering, American history or culture.

The other sites named are the W.G. Swann Tobacco Co. in Murray, the C.A. Baldwin Farmstead in Christian County, Kentucky Buggy Co. in Owensboro, Roscoe Goose House in Louisville, First Vineyard in Jessamine County, Frank Duveneck House and Studio in Covington, Gardner Farmstead in Magoffin County, Ceralvo Masonic Hall and School in Ohio County, Versailles Elementary School, and in Bowling Green, the Charles M. Moore Insurance Co. and a multiple property nomination for the houses of architect James Ingram, including the Causey House and Givens House.

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