Archeology study at future industrial park

Archeological study finds a “Motel 6”
on the banks of the Little Laurel River

Thousands of years ago, hunter-gatherers made their way through what is now Laurel County and made camp at a “Motel 6” on the banks of the Little Laurel River.

That was the conclusion of an archeological study conducted recently by the Kentucky Archeological Survey on a 135.5-acre tract of land that will soon become Laurel County’s newest industrial park.

The London-Laurel County Industrial Development Authority purchased the tract at the corner of U.S. 25 and KY1006 last fall and named it the Greer Industrial Park South after the longtime landowners.

The archeological study was required before any industrial development could proceed at the site.

“This is a necessary step to ensure the property is clear of artifacts and ready to develop,” said Paula Thompson, executive director of the industrial development authority. “This step is required if you intend to apply for federal grants, use federal funds, or create a build-ready site, which we are.”

The development authority contracted with the archeology department at the University of Kentucky to conduct a site survey. The land had to be plowed with 12-ft wide furrows crisscrossing the property.

Thompson said she had many calls and inquiries from people wanting to know what was being planted at the farm. Plowing was needed to bring any artifacts to the surface. Then, archeologists waited for a hard rain to further reveal artifacts before beginning the survey.

Eric Schlarb, a staff archeologist with UK, headed the site survey along with three assistants. They undertook the painstaking process of walking all the plowed furrows in search of artifacts. They put down red flags when they found things of interest.

Initially they wanted to investigate an area where a large farmhouse used to exist on a road just off KY 1006. But Schlarb said the house had been “blitzed” by a bulldozer and nothing of value was found there.

Other promising areas for artifacts were the mounds on the south end of the property that overlook the Little Laurel River. Careful investigation of the mounds produced one artifact of prehistoric origin.

“We did find a prehistoric site,” Schlarb said. “We couldn’t determine the date because we didn’t find any diagnostic tools, like an arrowhead or anything. But we did find what we call a scraper. This would have been a stone tool for scraping animal hides.”

Schlarb said high ground next to a river would have been a perfect place for prehistoric hunters to stop and make camp.

“An area like that, the best I can describe if I were talking to the public, they were using it like a Motel 6,” he said. “You stop by for one night. Maybe you re-sharpen your tools. You discard your tools and move on.”

Chips off of stone tools used by the hunters also were found on the property, but nothing more of interest that would require further excavation and study.

“For that being a dairy farm for a hundred years, and all the plowing that took place, plus erosion, it was difficult to find anything more of significance,” Schlarb said. “But we definitely know that people were on the tract of land prehistorically.”

With the archeological study completed and nothing found that would hinder development, the industrial development authority is proceeding with building infrastructure into the park.

“We are happy to report there were no environmental or archeological issues found with this study and we are ready to move forward with our first entrance road,” Thompson said.

National and State Accreditation

The London Downtown Board of Directors along with our Executive Director are proud to announce that we received our National and State Accreditation! Thank you to all of our volunteers that help to make our program a success as well as The City of London and City of London Tourism for your generous support and guidance!

Main Street America is a special mark of distinction. It is a seal, recognizing that participating programs, organizations, and communities are part of a national movement with a proven track record for celebrating community character, preserving local history, and generating impressive economic returns.

Since 1980, over 2,000 communities have been part of Main Street, bringing renewed energy and activity to America’s downtowns and commercial districts, securing $65.6 billion in new investment, creating more than 556,000 net new jobs, and rehabilitating 260,000 buildings.

Ladies of Vision

13241173_1771760206389445_3910622692407247253_nLadies of Vision, a regional group of women in Southeastern Kentucky are gaining ground. The group is a branch off of the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce and meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at 8:30am. The group is made up of local female business owners and their mission is to inspire other women to give back to their communities through networking, volunteerism and mentoring.

Most recently they’ve brought the Empowering Women’s Expo to London in May at the London Community Center. The expo featured over 50 vendors ranging from local clothing boutiques to abuse prevention centers. A full day of speakers were scheduled providing information about eating well to current fashion.

Women were networking, empowering each other, and sharing life changing information at the Expo. Ladies of Vision are excited about the opportunities and changes that will occur because business owners and members of the community came together to share their passions and careers.

“When you place a large group of innovators together, you spark change and inspiration,” said a Ladies of Vision member.

For more information about Ladies of Vision visit their Facebook Page or the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce’s website.

Grab a Bite Downtown

Whether you’re looking to relax with a cup of coffee, meet with a client for lunch, or enjoy a night out – downtown London has a seat awaiting you!

Three family owned eateries can be found right off of Main Street in the heart of downtown. Weaver’s on 4th located at 131 N. Main St. is open 7:30am – 10pm Monday through Wednesday, 7:30am – 12am Thursday through Friday, 9:30am – 12am Saturday, and is closed on Sunday. They’ve been serving London’s finest chili, hot dogs, and hamburgers for over 71 years. Cuisine served includes a taste of home with breakfast, burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. They do take reservations and have waiter service. To contact Weaver’s on 4th, call 606.864.9937 or visit their facebook page.

The Abbey Restaurant located at 132 N. Main St. is open 11am – 9pm serving American (new), American (traditional), burgers and steakhouse cuisine. This inviting casual restaurant with waiter service takes reservations, walk-ins, and take out orders. To contact The Abbey, call 606.864.0044 or visit their Facebook page.

Brie’s Brews Coffeehouse located at 202 E. 4th St. is open 7am – 4pm serving espresso based drinks, loose leaf and bagged teas, Italian sodas, and delicious smoothies. Their house coffee is a blend of 5 beans from Central America, Indonesia and Africa. The unique signature of this medium roast coffee is a lightly sweet taste with a nutty undertone.  Breakfast and lunch cuisine served includes America (new), breakfast, Ethiopian, sandwiches, Thai and vegetarian. For more about Brie’s Brews stop in and pay the owners Brishan and Jef Powell a visit, email them at BriesBrews@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page.

No matter where you choose to relax or dine at, you’ll be greeted by London’s great hospitality.

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