This stream is, and has always
been very important to Auburn. It is like Tennysons 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
Heres to the
creek, the wonderful and ever useful Black Lick. It has meant so much to Auburn all
J. HENRY BURNETT