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The two RV Gypsies
at the Jefferson Davis Monument
258 Pembroke-Fairview Road
Fairview, Kentucky
'270.889.6100
October 2, 2016

USA map showing location of KentuckyKentucky map showing location of Fairview

The Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Site is a Kentucky state park commemorating the birthplace of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America, in Fairview, Kentucky. The site's focal point is a 351-foot concrete obelisk. The Jefferson Davis State Historic Site is one of eleven historic sites in Kentucky which include small parks and are maintained by the Kentucky Department of Parks. The park covers 19 acres and includes open and covered picnic areas and a playground.

At the visitors' center museum, visitors can watch a video describing Davis' life and the construction of the monument. Guided elevator tours of the monument are available daily.

The center sells books and memorabilia about Davis, the American Civil War, and the surrounding area, as well as Kentucky handcrafts. The park is open from May 1 until October 31. However, the two RV Gypsies arrived just as the park and center were both closing. They did not even know it was there, but saw it as they were driving by. Unfortunately, that meant they could not go up to the top of the tower, nor buy anything from the Information Center, or browse the museum.

sign: Jefferson Davis Monument Historic Site

history clipart boolSimon Bolivar Buckner, Sr., a Confederate general, first proposed the idea of a monument for Davis during a reunion of the Orphan Brigade of the Confederate Army in 1907. Construction began in 1917 but stopped in 1918 at a height of 175 feet due to building material rationing during World War I. Construction resumed in January 1922 and was finished in 1924 at a cost of $200,000. The monument's base was set on limestone bedrock and limestone was quarried on the site for use in its construction. The concrete walls are 8.5 feet thick at the base and taper to 2.5 feet thick at the top. The monument was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The obelisk was closed to the public from 1999 until May 2004 for renovations and construction of a new visitor center. At the top of the monument is an observation room with a window in each of the four walls. Originally, this room could only be reached by climbing stairs which went around the interior of the monument; an elevator, installed in 1929, now takes visitors to and from the observation room.

Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Site Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Site
Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Site Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Site sign
Jefferson Davis birthplace sign Jefferson Davis Museum

The Jefferson Davis monument is the tallest reinforced concrete structure in the world. No steel was used to reinforce the concrete walls below its pyramidal top. As one pour was completed, large chunks of limestone were left projecting up to connect it to the next pour above. It is also the tallest concrete obelisk in the world. It is the second tallest obelisk in the world after the Washington Monument,

It is the 5th tallest monument in the USA, behind the Gateway Arch at 630 feet , the San Jacinto Monument at 567 feet, the Washington Monument at 555 feet, ad the Parry's Victory and International Peace Memorial at 352 feet. The Crazy Horse Memorial, not yet completed, has a planned height of 563 feet.(all of which the two RV Gypsies have seen).

Elsewhere in the world, the Great Pyramid of Giza, Khafre's Pyramid, Spring Temple Buddha, and the Ushiku Daibutsu are taller monuments.

The difference in coloration in the photos below is due to the angle of the camera and sun.

Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Monument Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Monument

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