The Lone Oak - Lone Oak, Kentucky
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member trailhound1
N 37° 01.974 W 088° 40.184
16S E 351491 N 4099825
Quick Description: A marble marker describing the creation of Lone Oak, Kentucky.
Location: Kentucky, United States
Date Posted: 3/20/2011 7:18:09 PM
Waymark Code: WMB0R9
Views: 5

Long Description:

Front: "On this site stood the massive tree for which the town of Lone Oak was named in 1900. The town, first known as Pepper's Mill, was renamed to obtain a local... (see other side)"

Reverse: "... post office. The tree was cut down in 1903 and was used for a bonfire on christmas night 1903. The area originally home to eight families being formed in 1875."

Erected 1989 Lone Oak Lions Club

There are two stories that describe how the town of Lone Oak was formed:

The first, as told by Mrs.Elizabeth McCarty in 1975, states that James Potter and George Rogers established a homestead in the 1830's between what is now Clinton and Lovelaceville roads. They were given slaves in exchange for building a dirt road to help society.

The second, and more widely accepted, states that Doctor W.T. Pepper, in 1875, bought 100 acres lying south of the city of Paducah because, "It was high, beyond the reach of the rivers. A good dirt road (possibly the Potter road) ran to it from Paducah". He built a grist mill that became the center of activity between the communities of St. John's, Fremont, Oaks Station, Florence Station, and Harmoney for they were too far from Paducah back in that day. The mill stood at intersection of U.S. 45 and Lovelaceville Road. From here, a toll road to Paducah was established in 1887.

In 1899, D.M. (Doc) Potts, owner of the first store in Pepper's Mill, applied for a post office. That name could not be used, so a post office was approved for "Lone Oak," hastily named for a massive stubby landmark not far from the mill site.

Three years later as the story goes: "Playful young men made a Christmas Night bonfire using the tree for the consummation of the fire."

As the community grew, Pepper School, the forerunner of the schools that now serve Lone Oak, was built not far from the site of the mill in the area known as the Cambridge subdivision. It as well as Lone Oak Baptist, Lone Oak Methodist, and the Highland Cumberland Presbyterian churches, became the center of the crossroad life: pie suppers, spelling bees, and other gatherings.

In 1888, Professor Joe Ragsdale founded the "college" of Kentucky Western School, one of the first schools beyond eighth grade. It has two stories and its outside basketball court is now covered by the Lone Oak High School gym.

Lone Oak almost became the site of the first McCracken County High School in 1910, but that honor, as well as the honor of having the future consolidated school, went to Heath. In 1919, Lone Oak High School succeeded Kentucky Western School. It continued in the old college building until it burned down in the mid-1920's. On December 26, 1971 and Feburary 2, 1972, LOHS was again destroyed by fire. Despite these events, the Lone Oak schools have the distinction of serving more students in McCracken county than any other school community.

After the flood of 1937 devastated Paducah, many Paducah residents were attracted to the high ground of Lone Oak. This influx of citizens led to the establishment of a water system, a volunteer fire department, a public park, a civic center building, and other improvements. U.S. 45, from Lone Oak to Paducah, was the first paved road (1921) and the first truly four-laned road (1960s) in McCracken County.

The tiny community of Lone Oak was incorporated as a city in 1979 and then dissolved in 2008. Lone Oak High School, first established in 1919, is due to consolidate with the county's other two high schools in 2012. However, the community of Lone Oak will continue to exist.
Marker Name: THE LONE OAK

Marker Location: City

Type of Marker: Other

Marker Number (for official markers): blank

Group(s) Responsible for placing Marker:
Lone Oak Lions Club

Visit Instructions:
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trailhound1 visited The Lone Oak - Lone Oak, Kentucky 3/22/2011 trailhound1 visited it