Lafayette County (MO) Courthouse and old homes in Lexington, MO

By Max R. Weller

My negative feelings about the old hometown’s denial of slavery as the primary source of wealth for those who built beautiful homes in the pre-Civil War era is well-known, and I won’t belabor the point with more of my comments here.

Instead, I’ll concede that the buildings themselves are lovely. Beginning with the Courthouse and its celebrated Confederate cannonball:


lexington cannonball


Highland Avenue Historic District

old home #1

old home #2

old home #3

old home #4

old home #5

Of course, slave quarters meet a different fate than historic preservation to attract tourist dollars. Read Historic structure to be demolished in Lexington from The Concordian. Quoting from the article below:

Lexington is perhaps best known for its Civil War battles with unique remnants of that time still visible. This riverfront town was primarily comprised of southern sympathizers, and approximately one-third of its more than 4,000-person population during the time of the war were slaves.

Soon, a reminder of that time will no longer exist.

In May, Lexington’s Preservation Commission — a group of city residents appointed by the mayor — approved a request by Ralph and Rebecca Browning to demolish a slave quarters on their historic property. In addition to being the property owner, Rebecca Browning is the acting secretary of the preservation commission.

The structure’s condition is the prevailing reason for demolition. The commission’s meeting minutes noted the building, which is believed to have also served as a summer kitchen, is dilapidated, has weak rafters and there is no mortar between bricks. It was also recorded that the exterior stucco is cracking. Repair estimates reportedly exceed $30,000.

Although the commission approved the demolition of the structure, other experts in the field voiced their disagreement since only 1 percent of the more than 13,000 slave quarters built in the Little Dixie region remain.

A public service announcement issued Thursday by Missouri’s Little Dixie Heritage Foundation stated: “The board members of the Missouri’s Little Dixie Heritage Foundation have agreed that it is unfortunate the city of Lexington has not yet realized the historic importance of its African American slave quarter architecture and continues to ignore these sites.”


I have nothing to add to that . . .


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