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Page 794 of History of Henderson County, Kentucky : val

HISTORY OF HENDERSON COUNTY, KY. trary, let his business take care of itself, while he indulged his con- trolling passion for bird hunting. Men took advantage of him, and, from this, he was continually pressed for means and met with frequent reverses. On the sixteenth day of March, 1816, he and Thomas W. Bakewell, under the firm name of Audubon Bakewell, made appli- cation to the Town Trustees for a ninety-five year lease upon a portion of the river front, between First and Second Streets, for the purpose of erecting a grist and saw mill. Prior to this time, December 22d, 1813, he purchased of General Samuel Hopkins, lots Nos. 95 and 96, on Third Street, between Green and Elm, and on the third day of Sep. tember, 1814, lots Nos. 91 and 92, on Second Street, between Green and Elm. The Town Trustees granted the petition of Audubon Bakewell, and soon thereafter they commenced the building of a mill suitable for the times. The mill was completed during the year 1817, and is yet standing, being the far end section of Clark's factory. It is a curiosity for these times, and the weather boarding, whip-sawed, out of yellow poplar is still intact on three sides. The joists are of un- hewn logs, many of them considerably over a foot in diameter, and raggedly rough. The foundation walls are built of pieces of flat and broken rock and are four and a half feet thick. Mr. Audubon oper- ated his mill on a large scale for those early times. His grist mill was a great convenience, and furnished a ready market for all of the over- plus of wheat raised in the surrounding. country. His saw mill also was a wonderful convenience, doing the sawing for the entire country. The timber and lumber used in building the old Kerr, Clark Co. building, on Main Street, was sawed by his mill. During all of this time Mr. Audubon continued his study of birds, and, it is said, that the walls of his mill presented the appearance of a picture gallery, every smooth space presenting to the view the paint- ing of some one or more birds. In 1817 Mr. Audubon built at Hen- derson, a small steamboat, for what purpose it is not known-more, perhaps, to gratify his erratic inclination than for any other reason. The Captain of the vessel ran her out of the Ohio into the Mississippi River, and was followed by her owner in a rowboat to New Orleans, where the little craft was recaptured and sold. In 1818 Constantine S. Rafinisque, a native of Galato, near Constantinople, Turkey, and a naturalist of great reputation, descended the Ohio in an ark, as it was called, and remained with Mr. Audubon for a number of weeks. The two-to use an ordinary expression-had a 'picnic bird hunting. Birds were far more plentiful and of a greater variety in those days tbau they have ever been since the woodsman commenced clearing the 794

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