Auburn, Kentucky

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Black Lick Creek

Auburn In The Long Ago                     Auburn Times – April 28 1939

This stream is, and has always been very important to Auburn. It is like Tennyson’s book - - it flows on and on, forever. To my certain knowledge, it has flowed on for over 60 years, for as a boy I waded in it, I went fishing on its banks, I went swimming in it, I was baptized in it.

Many enterprises, financial and social, were found upon the banks of this mighty creek. It seemed good-sized 60 years ago, almost in the river class, but of course it has shrunk up some, at least it looks so.

The tan-yard (with the Friday evening beef club) was located on “the creek.” The pumping station, operated by Mr. Ab Key and owned by L&N Railroad Co., to supply water for their engines, was located on one bank of “the creek,” and all the water pumped came from this great stream, clear as crystal until a rain came, and then red with mud. The old swimming hole was located in the middle of “the creek,” and was an afternoon rendezvous for the town boys. The baptismal pool for white and colored was right in the heart of “the creek,” and was frequently used.

I recall three brick kilns and worked in all of them, for they were operated in three different years, but at the same place, which was real near “the creek,” for brick may be made without straw, but not without water.

The colored washwomen could be seen on washdays on the banks of “the creek,” for water was always there and handy. The stock and horses slacked their thirst at “the creek.” In dry seasons, those who ran short of water would hitch up the wagon, put one or more barrels in it and drive down to “the creek.” Standing on the wagon tongue the drivers with buckets would fill up the barrels and take water home for drinking and other uses, or in season to the field where wheat was being threshed, so the engine could be steamed up to run the thresher.

Here’s to “the creek,” the wonderful and ever useful Black Lick. It has meant so much to Auburn all the years.

Yours sincerely,

            J. HENRY BURNETT

                        Macon, GA


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