Historic Structures

Eleventh District School, Covington Kentucky

The former 11th District School building is one of the chief landmarks of the small (population about 2,000) community of West Covington, an area annexed by the city of Covington in 1916. Set near the top of a ridge surrounded by the hills of Northern Kentucky to the south and by the Ohio River Valley to the north, the building, a restrained Tudor Revival design typical of the post-World War I era, is highly visible from many directions. It was built in 1920-22 to extend the benefits of the traditionally excellent Covington public school system to the newly annexed community, which is geographically somewhat separate from the 19th-century city, located around a bend of the hills in the adjacent Licking River Valley. The 11th District School was designed by the prolific and highly competent Columbus, Ohio, architectural firm of Richards, McCarty & Bulford, who also were responsible for the design of many important buildings in central Kentucky. A compatible 1931 addition was designed by northern Kentucky architect Chester H. Disque. In the vicinity of several other community institutions, the school building remains a visual landmark, although it was reluctantly, closed because of Federal student~busing requirements in 1979. A group of local investors is currently (1983) considering renovation and adaptive re-use of the structure for apartments, utilizing the Tax Incentives available under the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981. West Covington was originally known as "Economy." It was established about 1846 on the estate of Israel Ludlow, a prominent early Cincinnati and northern Kentucky land-owner and developer. The town was incorporated in 1858 as West Covington. The population grew from 554 in 1860 to 993 in 1870 according to Collins. As early as the mid-1870s there was a movement to annex it to the city of Covington, whose population continued to expand after the Civil War. Annexation was not accomplished, however, until 1916, during a period when a number of adjacent areas to the south and west of the 19th-century city were also annexed.

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Beavertail Lighthouse, Jamestown Rhode Island

Beavertail Light is one of the oldest lighthouse sites in America. The successive lighthouses at Beavertail, set at a vital location, have helped ensure the safe transportation of passengers and goods in the Atlantic and Narragansett Bay for over 200 years. As the site of early experiments with gas illumination and fog signaling equipment, Beavertail has earned a place in the annals of science and invention. Early Rhode Island settlers quickly grasped the strategic value of Beavertail Point. The colonial records of Jamestown refer to the existence of a watch-house at Beavertail in 1705, while orders for the building of a beacon and maintenance of a regular watch at Beavertail are recorded in an entry dated 9 June 1712. The purpose of all this vigilance was probably strictly military, to warn of the approach of hostile foreign ships, but it is possible that the beacon was sometimes used to help guide merchant vessels into Narragansett Bay. in 1738 the General Assembly of Rhode Island authorized the construction of a lighthouse at Beavertail, but nothing was done until 1749, when a 58-foot wooden tower was erected under the direction of Peter Harrison of Newport, one of America's most eminent Colonial architects. This lighthouse was the third one to be established in America. It burned down in 1753, whereupon Harrison supervised the construction of a 64-foot fieldstone tower which was completed in 1755. This structure was burned by British troops when the occupying forces evacuated Newport in 1779. The lighthouse was repaired in 1783-84 and was used until 1856 when the present tower and keeper's house were completed. By that time the old tower was extremely decrepit and it was quickly torn down. The second Beavertail Light was one of the most important lighthouses on the Atlantic coast, for it marked the entrance to the East Passage of Narragansett Bay, which led in turn to Newport Harbor, one of colonial America's largest and busiest ports. As a result, mariners of the period often referred to it as "Newport Light." The present lighthouse still serves as a major aid to coastal navigators.

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Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Depot, Wyoming Illinois

Wyoming, Illinois was established in 1834 by General Samuel Thomas. Thomas was born in Connecticut and had been a resident of Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania. The town was charted on April 2, 1836. Although the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Depot was not built in Wyoming until 1871, the railroad had been established in 1855 in order to create a transportation link between Chicago and the Mississippi River at Quincy, Illinois and Burlington, Iowa. The final connection to the River was completed in 1856. In 1871, when the railroad built the Wyoming, Illinois depot, there were 893 miles of track. A second railroad, the Peoria and Rock Island Railroad, was also sought by Wyoming citizens. The Peoria and Rock Island was organized in 1867 and consolidated with the Rock Island & Pacific Railroad in 1869. In June of 1871, it dispatched a construction train to Toulon, and one month later the first regular train went through Wyoming. The Rock Island Railroad depot, which originally stood 200' west of the C,B,& Q depot, is no longer standing. Although the two railroads contributed to the economic development of the community, the C,B, & Q depot is the sole surviving railroad structure in the community. The C,B, & Q railroad was an important shipping link for the greater Wyoming area. Like most service towns in agricultural regions in Illinois the citizens of Wyoming recognized the need for a railroad to transport its rich coal deposits, cheese, grain, cattle, hogs, and other products to Peoria and Chicago markets. Without the rail connections, the agricultural development of Stark County would have been minimal because the cost of getting the product to market by back roads would have been too great. The railroad was also a critical necessity for Wyoming because Illinois River transportation to Chicago was unreliable due to its limited depth and freezing over in the winter.

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Dwight-Derby House, Medfield Massachusetts

Established as a town during the Plantation period (1620-1675), also known as the First Period of English settlement in eastern Massachusetts, Medfield is one of fourteen towns carved, in whole or in part, from the territory known as the Dedham Grant (1636). In addition to Medfield, all or parts of the following communities were once in the Dedham Grant: the present Dedham, Westwood, Norwood, Needham, Wellesley, Natick, Dover, Walpole, Norfolk, Wrentham, Franklin, and Bellingham, as well as the Dorchester, West Roxbury, and Hyde Park neighborhoods of the city of Boston. In 1649, the inhabitants of Dedham petitioned the General Court for a grant of land west of the Charles River, or the area now known as Millis and Medway. Medfield was set off from Dedham in 1650, its territory then encompassing the present towns of Medfield, Millis, and Medway. In 1651, the General Court recognized Medfield as a town. The first land grants in the Medfield area, once known by the native name Boggestow and later as Dedham Village, date to 1643, and constitute some of the earliest expansion of English settlement west of the settlement cluster at Dedham. Most of the first English settlers in Medfield were from Dedham, Braintree, and Weymouth. They were married sons from large families who sought opportunities to use their skills and so support their own families. Both the town center and the river meadow served as principal foci for First Period settlement in Medfield. Early settlement clusters, dating from the third quarter of the ia century onward, included the Bridge Street Plain on Bridge Street, the South Plain area near the present Philip and Spring Streets, and the town center area near Vine Brook.

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