by Don Clare
As we were disassembling the remains of the Rabbit Hash General Store and de-nailing and cleaning up
the various shapes and sizes of the re-usable pieces of wood that survived, a common finding soon
made itself apparent and ‘clear as mud.’ There was evidence of dusty dirt or sticky mud on almost every
piece of wood, depending on the current weather of the day. I thought it would be fun to pick this
finding apart and figure out where all this mud came from, historically speaking.
Ever since those early industrious fellows got together in 1831 to build the very first section of the store
we all knew and loved, it was visited quite frequently by La Belle Riviere (French for ‘the beautiful river’).
The very first visitation and deposit of river to the 1831 store building was on February 18, 1832 when
the Ohio reached a level of 64 feet, 9 ¾ inches (as recorded on that date in Salmon P. Chase’s personal
journal in Cincinnati). When the river reaches between 63 and 64 feet, the water would begin seeping
into the building and covering the floor boards of the (formerly) current general store building, so the 64
foot level in 1832 was at least waist high in the building. This first mud invasion occurred before the
store was even a full year old. Recall that when it was originally built, the structure was built on the
ground, so at 64 feet the water was well into the structure. In our earliest picture of the Rabbit Hash
General Store (taken in 1894 by the premiere historian of that time, Reuben Gold Thwaites, while he
journeyed in a skiff along with a doctor friend, his wife and his young son down the entire 981 mile
length of the Ohio River from Redstone, Pennsylvania to Cairo, Illinois where it entered the Lower
Mississippi) it was still sitting on the ground. Thwaites had actually stopped at Rabbit Hash, posted some
letters in the mail, and took a picture of the building. It looked the same as it did on the day it burned
except that it was sitting at ground level and not up on wooden piers!
Everybody recalls the date 1847, right? That was the date assigned by William H. Nelson for the official
naming of the town. In his booklet “The Buried Treasure: A Rabbit Hash Mystery”, he included “by
request” a piece he had written originally for the Lawrenceburgh Register titled “Rabbit Hash, Kentucky:
The Origin of Its Name.” At that time, Nelson was the editor of both the Lawrenceburgh and the Rising
Sun newspapers. He was also a local school teacher. He married the widow Carlton and lived in the town
of Rabbit Hash, just above the reaches of the Ohio River floods. He attributes the naming to a local
inhabitant by the name of Frank. “He stood somewhat apart, shivering violently, not so much from the
effects of the cold, however, as from the chronic influence on his system of over-indulgence in any and
every kind of alcoholic stimulant that he could buy, beg or borrow.” The day was reported to be
Christmas Day, 1847. “For several days the river had been rising steadily, until now all the houses on the
bank were flooded…” This included the General Store. The flood reportedly crested at 63.7 feet. “It was
a time of considerable hardship and suffering. Snow two feet deep covered the ground, and that
combined with the extreme cold made communication with the outside world extremely uncomfortable
and somewhat hazardous.”
The official recording of Ohio River high waters and flooding actually began in 1858. Before that the
reported levels were somewhat arbitrary but within a reasonable margin of error. According to National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service, the official flood stages at
Cincinnati had been 45 feet from 1873 to 1893; 50 feet from 1899 to March 31, 1922; and 52 feet from
April1, 1922 to present. From 1858 until 2014 there were a total of 103 times the Ohio surpassed the 52
foot flood stage. January, February and March have been the most common months for floods and April
not as often. There has been one flood recorded in June.
The flood of January 22, 1862 reached an official level of 57 feet, two and one half inches. So that year
it became threateningly close, but did not get into the building. It would be another 21 years before the
next flooding event and this one was very significant. On February 15, 1883 the river crested at 66 feet,
5 inches, which translates to over 6 feet of water and mud in the building. But it held its ground and
survived that inundation. Three hundred sixty four days later, the flood of February 14th 1884 reached
the level of 71.1 feet, making it the biggest flood of the century and perhaps the region’s original St.
Valentine’s Day massacre. Again, the store survived, but how?
At an unrecorded time in the store’s history, the four 12 inch by 14 inch sill logs were anchored to the
ground with iron rods bolted through the logs to the ground. As the subsequent floods eroded the
ground toward the rear of the store into the creek behind it (viz. 1883 and 1884), large locust posts were
installed to prop up the rear of the building. In the 1894 photo, the front of the store still remains on the
ground, but the rear is supported by these posts, and the sills still anchored to the ground. During the
restoration, an archaeologist from the same Gray and Pape Cultural Resource Company who is serving
as our project manager will be doing some testing to see if we can really tie down the dates of those
Another 23 years later the next major flood recorded a level of 65.2 feet on January 21, 1907. But once
again, the old girl withstood the ravages and recovered from a new layer of Ohio River mud, which
seeped into and hid in the crevices. Then on March 19, of that same year another high water event
came through the front door registering 62.1 feet. Only six years later, the year 1913 also decided on a
double whammy, two major flooding events just 3 months apart. On January 14, 1913 the waters
peaked at 62.2 feet and before the building was hardly given time to recover, that level was trumped by
the April 1, 1913 crest of 69.9 feet. April Fools! Almost as bad as the 1884 model. More erosion and
more locust post piers needed to support the sagging building, this time even the front porch got props.
In our 1817 photograph of the Reverend Twinkle delivering a sermon at the General Store the locust
posts can be seen under the porch and the February 12, 1918 flood was thankfully kept at bay.
The next flood threat waited until March 21, 1933 to seep into the store, leaving its floors warped and a
muddy mess. You may recall in a previous update article that we found a signed and dated tongue-and-
groove flooring board as we were taking up the floor boards for re-use in the renovation. That floor
board was signed by Vernon Smith and dated Sept. 11, 1933, just 6 months after the 1933 flood. Little
did neither Mr. Charlie Craig nor Vernon Smith know what was to come in January of 1937, or they may
have waited to lay a new floor! They certainly must have been elated to have ‘dodged the bullet’ in 1936
when the river reached 60.6 feet and didn’t ruin their new floor.
The ’37 Flood was the ‘Mother of all Floods’, officially cresting at 79.9 feet, but actually between 81 and
82 feet along our stretch of the river. At the time the American Red Cross declared it the greatest
natural disaster in the history of the United States. There are scores of books and publications
concerning this devastating event if you want to learn more. It is hard to believe that in just six months
(July of 1937); the river was a mere 12 feet deep.
The 1940s witnessed two close calls when the river reached 60 feet in 1940 and 60.8 feet in 1943. But
the river will always come back for the things it left behind previously. The General Store took another
big hit in 1945 at a crest of 69.2 feet, almost rivaling the 1884 inundation. This time, though, the last
vehicular ferry boat (The Mildred) was totally destroyed by the accompanying ice. But again, the old gal
fought back the forces of Mother Nature and with the help of her loyal and caring neighbors carried on
her charged role of social clearing house and centerpiece of the community. Then again in 1948 her
unwelcomed visitor reached 64.8 feet. (By comparison for those of you who remember the 1997 flood,
this was just one tenth of a foot higher!)
The 1950s seemed to give the General Store a well deserved rest from the high floodwaters. Another
close call of 61 feet in March of 1955 did nothing more than threaten. This same scenario repeated in
1962. In 1953 the Secretary of the Army approved the construction of a system and series of higher and
more sophisticated locks and dams to replace the older and obsolete low level dams of the 1910s and
1920s. Mackville (McVille) Lock and Dam Number 38 was completed in 1926 in the Belleview/Mackville
neighborhood. In 1962, after the completion of the new Markland Lock and Dam, it was blown up along
with Dams 35, 36 37 and 39, raising the normal river pool from 16 feet to 26 feet in this particular pool.
This rise brought the Ohio a lot closer to the Rabbit Hash General Store. But the new locks and dams had
nothing to do with flood control. They were built to only improve river navigation by creating a series of
pools (or lakes) all the way from Pittsburgh down to Cairo, Illinois which was the entire 981 mile length
of the Ohio River.
But people were mistakenly under the impression that these new locks and dams would put an end to
flooding around here. So in 1964 the Ohio proved that impression dead wrong when she crested at 66.2
feet, again getting over the counters inside the store. Again neighbors all came to the rescue and moved
goods and supplies up the road a short piece (now Rabbit Hash Hill Road) and the store re-opened in an
empty two room house in a matter of two days (just like they did this past Valentine’s Day, moving the
General Store into the Rabbit Hash barn)!
What was to follow that was a 33 year reprieve from flood water getting into the store building. The
Flood of ’97, as it is now affectionately referred to, struck in early March, 1997 and nearly matched the
1948 crest and missed the 1964 crest by only one and a half feet. The year before, the river tantalized
and intimidated area residents, but called off the invasion at 57.3 feet, just enough to get everyone’s
This may sound strange or weird, but as we were disassembling the walls and the floors of the building
after the fire, I started collecting this left-behind flood mud into plastic sandwich and storage bags, just
for the heck of it. For me, the mud served as a memory of all the stress, tribulations, inundations, bad
luck and bad karma the poor old gal had to suffer over all these years. Now mixed with the mud was
charred wood and ashes. I figure the mud that was under the tongue and groove flooring put down in
1933 was left from the ’37 Flood and those after that. But the mud I scraped out of the original 4 inch by
12 inch floor joists in the central bay section goes all the way back to 1832, almost 185 years ago! So,
just as people keep the ashes of grandma and grandpa, I thought it only fitting to keep the mud and
ashes of the old gal who meant so very much to me for close to forty years!
Stay tuned for further updates as the restoration begins to take shape…
-Don Clare, President
Rabbit Hash Historical Society
Ever Hear of Shou Sugi Ban? by Don Clare
This update will hopefully answer several frequently asked questions and criticisms concerning the current activities around the Rabbit Hash General Store over the past seven weeks. “Why are you saving all that old burnt wood?” “Why don’t you just push it all over and start from scratch?” You’re just wasting your time saving all that burnt stuff.” Plus many, many more like that. In today’s world of immediate gratification and throw-a-way life activities and products, this seems to be an appropriate response from someone stumbling upon the ‘ruins’ of the General Store. First thought is that it appears to be a total loss with nothing of salvageable value or merit.
Don’t think these feelings have never been felt before about an old historic building or house or some other significant structure at a ‘low’ or ‘pitiful’ time in its life. It happens all the time! It happened to Monticello in 1836 when Uriah Levy decided to purchase the structure that was in total ruins. It happened to Mount Vernon in 1858 when Ann Pamela Cunningham and the Ladies of Mount Vernon helped to save George Washington’s home. It happened to The White House after the British torched it in 1814 during James Madison’s presidency and burned it down to a mere shell, leaving it uninhabitable for a full three years. It happened to the Odd Fellows’ Hall in Covington in May, 2002 when it was reduced to its front façade, back wall and a three story column of smoke and charred debris by a devastating fire that was also caused by an electrical short, only to be restored by its determined owners and friends. It happens all the time all over this country, every day! Now it has happened in Rabbit Hash, to our iconic national treasure and pride and joy. But just like the other aforementioned structures, there are champions for this cause who will see to it that the store will again rise to its former glory and just carry on as usual “after the fire.” And even better, the store will remain on the Department of Interior’s National Register of Historic Places when she begins this new chapter in life.
The Rabbit Hash Historical Society and the people of Rabbit Hash and its surrounds have stepped forward in this case to be the ‘champions’ who will see this restoration through. So many concerned local, regional, state-wide and national and international individuals and groups have joined hands in this effort that it is impossible to name and thank them all in this short article! But you know who you are! And we thank you all from the very essence of our being! This includes individuals who have donated their labor, time, money, kind words and encouragement. It includes businesses that have donated goods and services, direction and advice, and financial support. It involves local, regional, state and federal agencies and regulatory bodies who are assisting in the one common goal of complete restoration of our beloved General Store.
Now, have you ever heard of Shou Sugi Ban, as the title of this piece asks? Or Yakisuki? Well, probably not. But they refer to an ancient Japanese custom of building with charred and burnt Japanese cedar and other species of wood. Usually found on the exterior of buildings, Shou Sugi Ban is now also very popular in interior construction and furniture construction all over the globe. What it is basically is construction methods and techniques using charred and even deeper thickness burned wood, which has proven to be a rot resistant, weather resistant, pest resistant, UV ray and fire retardant, non-toxic way of preserving wood. It has proven to be effective against raw wood ailments for up to eighty plus years without any maintenance other than initial and periodic oiling and sealing.
So, here is our answer and explanation to these various questions and criticisms. We have meticulously dismantled, de-nailed, cleaned and stored under roof all the salvageable pieces and parts of the original building and plan on using these materials in the restoration of the General Store, following all the preservation guidelines and regulatory requirements inherent to this type of restoration. The use of charred and burnt pieces in this project is really not a detriment to the final product, but a proactive defense against the ravages of time and nature!
Please stay tuned for further updates and notices.
Look for Rabbit Hash’s float TODAY in the Opening Day Parade!!
Rabbit Hash General Store Restoration Update March 29, 2016 by Don Clare
Thank you everyone for your thoughts, comments and questions about the restoration of the Rabbit Hash General Store. I feel we are moving along very efficiently in the disassembly of the remaining materials and structure of the store after the fire. Every piece of material we are removing, we are de-nailing, cleaning and storing under roof in a local donated barn. We are almost down to the floor joists and foundation system.
There are a lot of moving pieces right now in terms of planning, permitting, and trying to find suitable materials for construction, so I don’t really have answers to all of your questions. We are trying to reuse as much material as possible and have some good materials that have been donated, but we’ll also be needing to acquire some specialized materials to replace those elements lost to the fire. Also, not everybody working on the project is able to donate their time. We’re planning to have a public meeting in April at the main Burlington branch of the Boone County Public Library, where we will let people know what our plans are and hopefully answer as many questions as possible about our progress and timeline.
There have been questions about what the estimated cost of the project will be and the results of all the fundraising events and donations. This will all be addressed in the general public meeting as well. So, whatever your concerns might be, please plan to attend this informative and fact finding public meeting. Currently, the time and date is being determined based upon the availability of the meeting rooms at the library.
In the act of removing the top tongue-and-groove floor in the main section of the Store, a flooring board was discovered with a name and date affixed in pencil. It said “Vernon Smith, Sept. 11, 1933”. This is very significant information in recording the past history of this building. Mr. Charles W. Craig purchased the building in 1919 and operated it as a general store continuously until his death in 1945 when the business was taken on by his heirs, wife Emma and son William Jennings Craig (Sheeny) and daughter Elizabeth and her husband, Clifford.
In March of 1933, the river flooded to a depth of 63.6 feet which was about a foot lower than the most recent 1997 flood. The dated floor board indicates that the flood damage must have significant enough to warrant a new floor in September. Little did C.W. Craig or Vernon Smith know what was to come in just four more years! The Flood of 1937! The Mother of all floods.
As we pulled up the floorboards in the main section and the two lateral bays, 1937 flood mud covered every available surface of the flooring and sub flooring….along with the mud from 1945, 1948 and significantly the mud from 1964 and 1997!
Under the top flooring boards was another sub floor of tongue-and-groove flooring running the same way. Now under that sub floor was the mud of the floods prior to 1933 all the way back to the 1847 ‘big river’. This was the year that Carlton Magisterial District began embracing the name of “Rabbit Hash.”
Several of the central bay original floor joists measured 4 inches thick by 12.75 inches wide and 20 feet long. These boards also sported augured horizontal holes through them which indicated that they were indeed formerly river barge structure pieces, as the story has always been told.
After the subfloor of the left bay is removed, de-nailed and stored, then the restoration team can get into action. Be sure to attend the upcoming public meeting about the renovation in the coming weeks.
Our search for suitable clap board for the exterior and the necessary tongue-and-groove lumber for the interior walls, ceilings and floors continues. The two structures we had slated to disassemble have both been recalled; one due to the presence of environmental hazardous asbestos and the other due to having been a former ‘meth lab’, if you can believe that. The EPA has taken charge of both until mitigation can be completed. So, we are still looking for a good source for these materials, preferably close by and free from environmental problems.
Several possibilities are now being considered for the recovery of the necessary larger timber pieces needed to get the all-important foundation and sub structure ready for this mammoth undertaking.
The comprehensive process of getting all the moving parts in this machine working and well oiled takes time. But the stars and planets are definitely aligning and the ducks are beginning to line up in their row. All involved are anxious to get things underway and going, and everyone looking on is anxious and excited to see construction begin. Good things take a little time, a little bit of yours and a little bit of mine.
When the date and time for the public meeting gets finalized, it will be well advertised so everyone has the opportunity to plan to attend. Until then, I will keep things updated as they happen.
To be continued…..
Autopsy Report: the Rabbit Hash General Store
On Februrary 13th, 2016, the Rabbit Hash General Store caught fire around 9:00 PM on one of the
coldest nights of the 2016 winter season. Five different Boone County local Fire Departments responded
to the call and fought the fire throughout that intensely cold night, well up into the early morning hours
of February 14th, Valentine’s Day. But all the hearts in the Rabbit Hash area were already
This particular Valentine’s Day was a day of grief and mourning, not one of celebration and happiness.
An American icon was taken from us. Not by flood waters, not by ice, not by wind. But by the most
dreaded villain of all…..fire. The same fire that kept us all warm and cozy for the past 185 years and
Oh, God! Please don’t let it have been the Rabbit Hash Iron Works stove. Not to worry! That product
was still totally intact and working as expected two days later. No, it was an elderly Coca Cola cooler in
the riverside back bay that caused this horrible and devastating conflagration. Coca Cola cooler! How
ironic! Featured on the General Store’s façade since 1931, extolling the virtues of this now benign thirst
quencher and very popular soft drink, that happy looking figure named ‘Sprite’ just didn’t seem to have
a bad bone in him. But something went awry. Water over the dam, now, so to speak!
As the Rabbit Hash Historical Society is currently working with multiple National, state-wide, regional,
and local agencies to re-establish the historical iconic National Register structure, the centerpiece of the
Nation Register Rabbit Hash, Kentucky District, progress is taking time. Many issues need to be resolved
and worked out in order to complete this renovation of the Rabbit Hash General Store. There are very
stringent steps in the Department of Interior’s Standards of Historic Renovation to be taken, and we are
taking them slowly and accurately.
“Good Things Take a Little Time….A Little Bit of Yours and a Little Bit of Mine.” This is a song that was
written by a former proprietor of the Rabbit Hash General Store, Danny Wilson, and it explains the
current process of renovation best. Folks, it is going to take TIME, RESOURCES, and FINANCIAL
Social media and the internet are major sources of our information now-a-days. But some social media
information is errant and untrue. Be informed, and listen to the facts. The General Store was indeed
insured against fire damage to the fullest amount it could get. That was $60,000. The building was
considered by the insurers as being nothing more than a hay barn or tobacco barn (both being most
vulnerable to fires) and this was the most we could get. Back in the 1980s, we were only allowed
$25,000. But each year we exercised the option to increase its value incrementally up to this current
value. Same for contents. So, we are only going to realize a total of $85,000 from our insurance. The
maximum we could get. Move on!
It is estimated that to replace the Rabbit Hash General Store to its former look and historic style in order
to remain on the National Register of Historic Places is somewhere in the range of $275,000 to $350,
000 (possibly more!) This is including as much of the original fabric and materials that we are now
tenaciously dismembering, cleaning, and storing for re-use. Thanks to local area farmers and land
owners, we have the appropriate facilities for safe and conservative storage. And thanks to numerous
local and regional property owners, we are able to salvage and re-use exact period materials and
artifacts to reproduce the very essence of the General Store make-up and construction.
We are so very fortunate to have such tremendous champions and supporters to have these various
fundraising events for this vision of renovation that it is hard to express the love and support coming
from every angle and area of this regional community. But we do acknowledge and embrace every
effort put forth toward this ultimate goal!
The autopsy showed death by conflagration! It was determined by several expert fire investigators that
the cause of the fire was an elderly Coca Cola cooler which had recently been serviced several weeks
prior for a faulty light switch. It was NOT due to the wood stove. In the town of Rabbit Hash, we take a
lot of stock in the Rabbit Hash Iron Works stove which heats every building in town. So, you can dismiss
this as a cause of the fire, despite several news agencies’ assumptions on the night of the fire.
This autopsy also confirms that the central portion of the General Store was most probably built from
the members of an Ohio River watercraft, either some sort of barge, raft or flat boat that was
dismantled at the site and used for the construction of the central bay of the General Store. It was
basically a balloon framed structure which consisted of four joined sill logs, with four corner mortised
upright beams on each corner, with mortise and tenon plate logs along the upper periphery. Then, two
inch wide vertical boards were attached to the upper plate log and the lower sill logs to complete the
balloon structure. There was NO other vertical framing.
On these vertical boards on the left side of the central bay, it was discovered that a sign of some sort
was painted along about twelve of these upright boards. The letters were large, maybe five or six inches
tall, painted white and then outlined in red. It was extremely difficult to make out what the sign said,
but the first word appeared to be ‘Bayou’ and farther along was ‘La’ which was fairly clear to read Was it
referring to Louisiana? That remains to be seen. Photographs were taken and hopefully can be computer
enhanced to help solve this puzzle.
These upright two inch thick boards were all clear white pine, a species believed not to be in abundance
in our area and probably imported from somewhere in the south. Clear white pine was a very workable
and durable wood type and was preferred in the building and finishing of fine early homes. Today, it is
prohibitively expensive and hard to come by. There were at least two known homes in this area that
were constructed of clear white pine. Conceivably, this wood arrived in the area by boat and then the
boat was dismantled and used to construct the central bay portion of the General Store.
All throughout these huge wide boards (several were 23 inches wide) were found holes for pegs which
was probably the method of construction for the boat. In the building, these thick, wide boards were
attached at the top and bottoms to the sill and plate logs by seven inch long, blacksmith made, hand
forged iron spikes with the rose head pattern at the top. The numerous peg holes all throughout these
boards were all plugged up with a broken off corn cob in order to minimize air and water leaking into
the building. Early insulation? Pretty ingenious, actually. They used whatever was available to them in
those early days of Rabbit Hash history.
The two attached sheds were added shortly after the original pen was completed, again using thick
vertical boards as the sides and various other used and reconditioned lumber for the rest of the
structures. Each shed was slightly below the level of the main floor, which accounted for that signature
‘dip’ one encountered when going from room to room.
The tongue and groove flooring ran in the direction of road to creek in the main section and in the left
(bridge side) shed. In the river side shed it ran perpendicular to that (towards the river). All throughout
the building, patch upon patch, and repair upon repair were observed, each one as innovative and
eclectic as the other. Pieces of tin advertising signs covered mouse holes and holes in the floor.
Whatever used wood pieces were available at the time were used to make repairs when needed. Having
been through at least as many as a dozen or more major flood and high water events in its life, recurrent
repairs were rather commonplace and it is not surprising that used materials were put to good use. The
old timers just used what they had and conserved on everything in their daily lives. The only new
material used in repairs was that used in the past thirty seven years since Louie Scott or the Rabbit Hash
Historical Society had owned the building. But the flames spared nothing, new or old!
Probably one of the most asked questions is “Why are you saving that old burned up ___ (wood)? In
order to maintain the Rabbit Hash General Store’s National Register status and in keeping with the
Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving,
Rehabilitating, Restoring and Reconstructing Historic Buildings, we are required to re-use as much of the
original material and fabric as we possibly can in carrying out this restoration. That which cannot be re-
used must be replaced by ‘like’ material, using ‘like’ craftsmanship, tools and procedures. Now it’s
beginning to make a little more sense in understanding the estimated inflated cost of renovation, isn’t
it? Why not just build a contemporary building? Because that’s not what Rabbit Hash is all about! We
care for our past; we embrace our history and heritage; we are passionate about the iconic centerpiece
of our town, the very Center of the Universe!
We’re not out to “fool’ people into thinking that the renovated General Store is the original one. We are
merely determined to fix what was taken from us by fire. When all was said and done, we had the
foundation system, floors, and three standing walls remaining…..more than enough to work with in
order to keep this historic building on the National Register of Historic Places. The history of Rabbit
Hash, Kentucky will continue as it always has. Only now, we will refer to ‘before the fire’ or ‘after the
fire’ instead of ‘before the flood’ or ‘after the flood’.
Stay tuned for further updates as they become available.
-Don Clare, President of the Rabbit Hash Historical Society
Contact: Andrew Miller, Marketing Director
(859) 266-3232, firstname.lastname@example.org
Forcht Bank To Help Rebuild Rabbit Hash General Store
BURLINGTON, KY – Forcht Bank has announced that they will be matching donations made to
the Rabbit Hash General Store at their location in Burlington to help efforts in rebuilding the
historical building. From now until April 30th, Forcht Bank will match donations made in person
at our Burlington Banking Center up to a total of $1,000. Since being decimated by a fire, the
Rabbit Hash General Store has raised over $57,000 to help assist rebuilding efforts.
Despite surviving the Great Depression, multiple floods, and several landslides throughout its
185 years of existence, the Rabbit Hash General Store burned down on February 14, 2016. As a
working general store since 1831, the store is the anchor of Rabbit Hash, a small river town in
Northern Kentucky. The Rabbit Hash General Store was on the National Register of Historic
“The Rabbit Hash General Store provides some historical significance for this area,” explains
Chip Regenbogen, Burlington Market President at Forcht Bank. “And as a community bank, we
feel compelled to help rebuild one of our community’s landmarks.”
For more information on Rabbit Hash General Store, please visit www.rabbithash.com.
Forcht Bank (forchtbank.com), operates 30 banking centers in Fayette, Jefferson, Boone, Grant, Madison,
Taylor, Pulaski, Laurel, Whitley, Knox, McCreary and Green County. Forcht Bank has $1 billion in assets,
placing it among the largest privately-owned banks based in Kentucky, according to the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Last week, RHHS and General Store propriter, Terrie Markesbery met with county officials, Judge Gary Moore, Jeff Earlywine, and Matthew Webster to discuss the restoration process, updates, goals, and intended outcomes. Also in attendance were Boone County Historic Preservation Review Board members, building inspector, Jerry Noran, Mike Striker of Gray & Pape, Inc. as well as fellow stakeholders. As plans for the restoration develop, RHHS will work closely with the county and these stakeholders to achieve a successful restoration of the General Store.