Trimble cave may have hidden runaway slaves - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Trimble cave may have hidden runaway slaves

Posted: Updated:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --Some Trimble County residents want to save a cave from becoming part of an LG&E coal ash landfill.  They believe the Wentworth Lime Cave was used during the Civil War to hide runaway slaves.

"It needs to be preserved," say Trimble Co. farmer, Sonia McElroy.

The power company is in the process of turning the 200 acre plot of land, where the cave is located, into a landfill for coal ash debris.  The debris is a byproduct of the nearby power plant.

There's rumors up and down the river about caves," says Pam Venard, who lives nearby.

"Hopefully LG&E would find another place rather than to destroy something of historical cultural significance," says McElroy.

LG&E is waiting for more information before moving forward.

"The Corps of Engineers is going to do some additional studies on the feature to see if there is any connection with the Underground Railroad," says LG&E's Brian Phillips.

A research report by Berea College Professor Dr. Alicestyne Turley suggests it is possible the cave was once used to aid runaway slaves.

She writes "...the Wentworth Lime Cave serves as a very real example of a "holding" or way station to aid slave escapes along the Ohio River....The location is deemed worthy of further investigation."

LG&E calls the report speculative and says more research is needed. 

"There is some historical significance in the area but nothing that links this particular feature to the Underground Railroad," says Phillips

People who live near the proposed coal ash landfill are also concerned about how it could impact their health.

"We manage these products very safely and in compliance with all regulations," says Phillips.  

LG&E says another landfill site is a possibility but that property has even more streams and trees and would cost up to 50 million dollars more.

But McElroy argues how can you put a price on preserving history?

"A lot of our history has just been in the way of progress so it just gets bulldozed over," says.

Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.