Entrance columns, under construction.  Shelby County.  February 13, 2005.  3:08 p.m. EST.

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     These new entrance columns beside KY 43 northeast of Shelbyville have been under construction for the last few weeks.  Made of reinforced poured concrete, they are being faced with limestone and will, it appears, have lights on top when they are completed.  Just over the hill, out of sight in this view, is the new house the entrance columns announce.  It's a big house, not a mansion by any means, but still a substantial new home on a large rural lot.
     Of course, it's not uncommon for people to erect columns or ornamental gateposts at the entrance to their home property.  Many of these structures, like the ones in the photo above, are large and must cost thousands of dollars to build.  There are smaller totems, too.  I've seen decorative concrete lions, lawn ornaments, resting on either side of short driveways that lead to house trailers.  And you can still find a few concrete lawn jockeys, holding out metal rings at the ends of their little outstretched arms.
     You may think there's a big difference between something like the imposing stone columns in this photo and cheap little concrete lawn jockeys.  But to my eye it's all the same thing: a statement of place and permanence.  As in, "This is our place and we're here for good."

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     Throughout rural Kentucky can be seen, here and there at the side of the road, old stone columns, weatherworn and tilting, still flanking what once was a lane that led to where a house once stood, where people once lived and made their stand.
     The photo above represents a beginning.  Perhaps another photographer, as yet unborn, will stop by and record this scene 150 years from now.
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Other photos of this subject:
(click on the thumbnail)
   
This is the stone-and-concrete entranceway to the former Minnowbrook Farm, off Old Taylorsville Road just south of Shelbyville.
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Posted February 13, 2005.