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Anvirdale Historic District

History

The Alumni-Latham-Mooreland area developed as an early automobile suburb of the city. Hopkinsville experienced a building boom between 1900 and 1911 with more than 19 residential subdivisions platted in these years. Two of the additions were the Crenshaw Addition in 1909, which was to become Alumni Avenue, and the J.B. Trice Addition known today as Latham Avenue.

Alumni Avenue, the first of the three streets developed in the historic district, was originally known as the Crenshaw Addition. M.F. Crenshaw obtained the land in 1900 at a Master's Commissioner sale when his bid of $4,500 secured the six and one-half acres formerly owned by Bessie Withers and others. The sale document states that there was a house on the property. This may have been the J. McHenry Tichenor House which Crenshaw sold to Tichenor in 1906. It is the oldest house in the neighborhood and appears to have been constructed during the last half of the nineteenth century.

By 1909, M.F. Crenshaw had recorded a plat of his addition and was selling lots. In 1909 Ida Merritt's deed for Lot 20, on which stood the Tichenor House, states: "Crenshaw's Alumnae Avenue."  In a Kentucky New Era newspaper article of May 18, 1992, writer Joe Dorris suggests that the avenue was named for Bethel College graduates. It is not known when the spelling was changed from Alumnae to Alumni.  The lots sold rapidly with many changing hands in 1909.

The early owners of the properties on the street were influential business and community leaders. The most prominent resident was Dr. Frank Bassett who built his home at 149 Alumni Dr.  Bassett served as Mayor from 1918 to 1922 and Christian County Clerk until his death in 1950. Other residents were Mr. Roy C. White who owned the White Tire Company, Dr. M.A. Gilmore, and HE Abernathy, department manager for Imperial Tobacco Company. Governor Ned Breathitt is said to have rented the property at 110 Alumni for some time before he became governor of Kentucky.

The John B. Trice subdivision, the second portion of the historic district to be developed was platted in 1916. Trice developed the area out of his pasture and named it Anvirdale in honor of his oldest daughter Annie Virginia. It is bounded by Alumni Avenue on the southeast and Main Street on the northwest. Latham Avenue was named for John C. Latham a Confederate Soldier, cotton broker and prominent New York banker. Although Latham moved to New York, he continued to be a valuable benefactor to the citizens of Hopkinsville. He paid far a Confederate monument at the Riverside Cemetery which he also paid to have designed and landscaped. He headed a movement to build a hotel in Hopkinsville, gave money to build a new Methodist Church, and in 1907 averted a bank failure by loaning the City Bank with $25,000 in gold.  His will left land for two parks and a trust fund for the "worthy poor” of Hopkinsville. The lots along Latham like their neighbors on Alumni were purchased by prominent residents of the city.  W.O. Stone, owner of Stone Printing Company, resided at 128 Latham and John A. Henderson owner of JA Henderson Company, was at 132 Latham. Latham was a street of doctors, businessmen, and lawyers.

Mooreland Drive, the last street in the historic district to be developed, was the Duncan-Lile Addition plated in 1938. Willie Lila and James V. Duncan were its co-developers. It was named for T.D. Moore, previous owner of the land and abutting property he continued to hold on. S. Virginia Avenue. The majority of dwellings built on this street were constructed between 1938 and 1942 when most construction was halted due to the coming of World War II. Like the other streets in the neighborhood. Mooreland was populated by doctors, business owners, and upper management officials. Tom Roney, part owner of Stone Quarry, was the first to build on the street.  Dr. Gwen Prewitt's Tudor dwelling at 121 Mooreland soon followed.

Both South Virginia Street and the Alumni-Latham-Mooreland Neighborhood have remained intact since the mid-20th century. Few buildings have been constructed in these areas since World War II and most properties retain their original historic character. Both areas are sufficient for their collection of late 19th and early 20th century architecture and for their role in the historical development of the city.

Architecture

Five prominent architectural styles characterize the Anvirdale Historic District in Hopkinsville.