The outpouring of support over the last six days (yes, it has only been SIX days…) has been overwhelming. We have made incredible progress in that time: the store is in the process of being temporarily relocated to the barn and the entire community pitched in to clean out the ruins and salvage what they could for later use. There’s still pickin’ behind the stove and in many ways, this tragedy is becoming less burdensome every day that we plan and push forward.
A lot has been accomplished, and a lot has been planned.
It was easy to assume that the next step was to rebuild the store because it appeared to be a total loss. What is left after the fire, however, is solid and significant. The foundation, those iconic wood floors, and three sides survived. So, it is not being rebuilt because the General Store is not gone. It’s not being reconstructed or rehabilitated, because those terms imply total loss of a structure, alterations, and updates to the building. Instead, we will be restoring the General Store, that is, defining its most historically significant time period, in this case the familiar form the building maintained over the last 185 years, and returning the structure back to that period (for more clarification on the critical differences in terminology in the treatment of historic properties click here). To ensure an authentic restoration is achieved, preservationists are laser scanning the ruins to get historical measurements and proportions correct. We also have carpenters, architects, and builders who specialize in historic architecture and materials to execute the historic finishes and details that we all connected with the most. In addition, salvaged, historic materials from Kentucky will be used throughout the process to ensure that the finished restoration is authentically historic and more importantly, that the store feels the way it always has. Just like the spirit of Rabbit Hash, the General Store is not gone, it just needs some help being restored back to its former glory.
Again, if you would like to donate to the restoration, you can do so on the official GoFundMe page, through our “Donate” button at the bottom of this website, or by mailing to: Rabbit Hash Historical Society, 11646 Lower River Road, Rabbit Hash, KY 41091. Thank you for your support and we will keep you updated on our progress.