Restore Rabbit Hash General Store
I want to ensure everyone who has donated money that these funds are going to rebuild and restore the Rabbit Hash General Store which has always been our intent. Everyone who had donated money or is familiar with the store will be welcome back once we rebuild. Again, our intent to rebuild and bring the magic back to Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.
Going forward, much of the information regarding the rebuilding of the General Store is still in the works and in the hands of the contractors and the historical renovators. Once that information is solidified we will provide it you at one. In the mean time, the General Store is up and running in the annex know as the Rabbit Hash Barn. See you soon.
In its approximately 185 years in existence, the Rabbit Hash General Store in Boone County withstood all manner of threats to its existence - multiple floods, landslides and the Great Depression, to name a few. Through it all, the store and its recognizable front facade remained an unmistakable landmark in Northern Kentucky culture.
The fire was reported about 9:15 p.m. and about 11:30 p.m. firefighters pulled down the picturesque facade of the store. Later, the front sign of the store was salvaged from the wreckage and stored in a nearby barn. The fire that began inside the iconic general store late Saturday night was too much for the old, mostly-wooden structure, however. It burned throughout a nearly five-hour firefight in near-sub-zero temperatures and was destroyed.
The store had been in continual operation since 1831, according to the Rabbit Hash Historical Society - a span in which 38 U.S. presidents took office.
The store at 10021 Lower River Road was on the National Register of Historic Places.
As the building burned late Saturday, residents gathered nearby, some crying and one group singing "Amazing Grace."
The space has been readied and now we await the finished detailed drawings from the architect and the permits needed to begin. Hopefully, these steps will move quickly. I spoke with the builder yesterday and he was asking my opinion on whether or not I saw anything that needed to be changed or more importantly what I didn't want changed. That was really the question because I had to walk through the store in my mind looking and remember all the quirky details that made it what it was. The ducking to get through the door, the stepping and tripping over wonky floor boards or tying up the old windows with a piece of twine to let the cool night air from the creek in. These are the things that will hopefully bring us back into the store with a smile on our face. Sorrow is still very much alive in my heart and I know in yours too, but slowly slivers of joy will replace that and we will look back on this time as an interesting moment in
history, we are all a part of.
I will keep the updates coming but please don't hesitate to pop into the barn in Rabbit Hash to see for yourselves what is going on. Thank you for all of your amazing and continued support.
The locals have been working hard to salvage parts that can be reused in the new store. Folks have donated barns and we have secured a house for the old lumber so the feel of the new "old" store will be everything we expect it to be. The thank you list is so long, that I don't know if we will ever be able to give credit where credit is due. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making this restoration possible. We are trying to estimate costs but it is so difficult to project at this early stage of the game. Reconstruction is just around the corner. Please just stay interested in seeing the store restored. We hope to keep the momentum going with our hard work in creating a place similar to that of the one you once fell in love with.
There are still many fundraisers going on around the area but you can visit us in the barn any time. The support is phenomenal and coming from all directions. It is just astounding how many people have been touched by this tiny river hamlet and how it is so alive in the hearts of all types of people. I am so grateful. Grateful to be a part of this. I believe that all of us, whether it is the school girl that donates $1.50, or the man that pulls a board out of an old house to nail up in the new store,or the little old couple that comes into the barn simply to check on things, is making history by supporting this important task that is laid out in front of us. My sadness is present but my hope and gratitude of making the journey with you, is greater.
On the other side of town, in the barn is a rebirth of spirit. There was music, planning, hoping, dreaming and a whole lot of pizza! It is being rebuilt, first in our hearts and then on the existing foundation. The plan is being put to action. We are carrying on and I would say hoping to open but I am pretty sure we never closed. The temporary store is already open to everyone that comes to Rabbit Hash. I don't have much to sell but I am working on getting all of my licenses in place so I can be the storekeeper you expect when you walk through the door. I am hanging the bell in the morning.
The plan is to rebuild. Rebuild and maybe it will be better or maybe it will just be different but the same. We have to keep making history. I am going to open a temporary store in the barn in Rabbit Hash and we are going to start cleaning up, gathering old materials and rebuilding that store so we can all sleep again knowing there is a place to come to when you need to feed and soothe your soul.
I am shocked at this Go Fund me page that my dear brother, Tom Markesbery has set for me and the Rabbit Hash Historical Society. His support is undying and his wisdom carries me through on so many different levels. My family is everything that a family should be and more. I am truly blessed not only to have a family as such but to also belong to my Rabbit Hash Family that escorts me through life daily. And then there are all of youpeople, that continue to support and love me in good times and in the worst of times. My faith in humanity is restored repeatedly with the kind words and generosities.I really don't feel worthy but I am so grateful to each one of you. I am wrestling with the
words to express my gratitude but simply can't find any poignant enough.
Thank you to all of the VOLUNTEERS fire departments and Red Cross for being there in our greatest hour of need. They are genuine heroes and we should all recognize them.
I will keep you posted.
To those questioning the price and to whom this is going to... The original 150k was most likely an arbitrary number posted to get this page started. Being down there today with Terrie, talking and assessing, the restoration between the building and restocking could easily cost 250k, plus insurance. If you've ever been to the General Store, the instant feeling of community, acceptance, and trust are undeniable. If you're concerned about monetary manipulation, remember to whom and what this is going to. This place has provided history, has been a safe haven for happiness, and a gift to music and culture for free. Indeed, it is time for us to give back.
Terrie - I sent you an e-mail, but I'm not sure if it went through. My husband and I have a TON of barn posts & beams from a barn that we dismantled in Boone County for materials for our coffee-shop's build-out. We would love for you to have them (if someone can come pick them up). Some are quite large and they are all extremely heavy. You can reach me on Facebook (or reply to my e-mail, if you get it).
@ Christy if you would LEARN how to READ Terrie is the OWNER OF THE STORE . That is leased from the Historical Society. There is no way insurance will cover all the loss of the antiques lost let alone cover the cost of all the special wood that will be needed to rebuild it by guidelines set to keep it on the historical list. This is a tragedy for her and many other people and your dumbass remark is rude and uncalled for just because you are too stupid to read.
At around 9:15 p.m. on February 13th, 2016, the historic Rabbit Hash General Store (in Rabbit Hash, KY) caught fire. This regional gem has been on the National Register of Historic Places since the early 1980s (according to the town’s website). In its 185 years of existence, this colloquial location has stalwartly withstood all manner of threats to its existence (flash floods, choatic landslides, and even the challenges of the Great Depression). Through the decades, this eclectic storefront has been a constant and unmistakeable landmark in the Northern Kentucky area...until now. Tragically, the Rabbit Hash General Store has been damaged beyond almost all recognition. This is a devastating loss for many in the Northern Kentucky community, including myself. As a native to the Boone County area (and a current resident of the city of Burlington, KY), I recall many fond memories associated with visiting the Rabbit Hash General Store, including a trip to the location my husband and I made on our first wedding anniversary. This storefront's historical, simplistic beauty and staunch preservation of the region's "old way" of life has preveiled throughout countless trials and tribulations; to think that it has been wiped from the map in one fell swoop is gutwrenchingly difficult to swallow. Personally, whenever I visited the Rabbit Hash General Store, I felt that I had stepped back in time. Somehow, the quiet, rural atmosphere of the place always instilled in me a sense of immediate and utter calm - it was like life had slowed to a snail's pace and I was suddenly able to enjoy the simple pleasure of human existence (drinking a cup of coffee, for example, or leuisurely throwing a stick for one of the many resident Rabbit Hash dogs to fetch). I didn't feel compelled to whip out my cell phone to take fifteen some-odd pictures to prove that I'd been there...all I needed to do was gaze in wonder at the bygone scenery, listen to the gentle current of the river flowing nearby, and wonder how many wandering souls had come before me, how many people from different walks of life stood on the same soil I was now standing on, how many of them had spent a moment taking in the same antiquated sights and sounds, experiencing the same landscape, the same profound sense of "place." I can still remember my first purchase from the Rabbit Hash General Store (a hooded sweatshirt that was proudly plastered with the ever-so-recognizable store facade); the older gentleman who was working the register actually asked me "Miss, what was the price listed on this item? I don't ususally run this store, I'm just lookin' after it while the proprietor is on lunch." The question struck me as immensely innocent: in a fast-paced world littered with cynicism and skeptics, this man was asking me (a complete stranger!) the price of an item. I could have said $20.00 and he might have believed me! Indeed, the sweatshirt was $45.00, and I relayed this to him without hesitation. But there was meaning behind that trust (at least for me) - it was a little momento of Rabbit Hash's confidence in basic human decency, a priceless souvenir for me to take back to the "real world." You see, the Rabbit Hash General Store is MORE than a just a relic. Like the gentleman's trusting question, the store is a reminder of a time and a culture where life was just more simple (a time when you could actually ask a person for an honest answer and not think twice about whether or not they'd try to deceive you). The loss of this historic storefront is a devastating blow to the Northern Kentucky area; not only have we lost a landmark, but we also stand to lose the nostalgia and magic that went along with it. The Rabbit Hash Historical Society is an all-volunteer organization (I myself am not a part of it, but feel compelled to do something to help!), and only receives money through donations. Most of the organization's funds were depleted after a landslide hit the area in July and damaged one of the few buildings on the propery. Sadly, a GoFundMe page was started to raise money for this calamity as well, but donations fell overwhelmingly short of the anticipated goal. The Rabbit Hash General Store may never be the same; no amount of money can replace the store's historic foundation or the antiques which were housed within its walls for so many years, but what CAN be revived is the essence of the store (the store's "spirit-of-place," so to speak) and the confidence in neighborly goodwill that the store location so often radiated. Please, Terrie and the Rabbit Hash Historical Society will need a lot of help to restore this location. If you find yourself able, any and all donations will go a long way in saving the Rabbit Hash General Store!
Damn! You've made it through winds, floods, landslides, etc but damn the fire! I always meant to come down, I've never been. But life, life happens, and I was like oh, I'll make it down eventually. Don't put off what you can do today is the moral of this lesson. I know it's not much, but I donated what I could. Even though I havent been there myself, I know how important this place was to a lot of people. I can't wait to come see the General Store v2.0
Our entire family is heart broken over the store burning down especially our mother Joyce Acra Tillery. We have so many sweet memories in Rabbit Hash. Our mother was born in a house a few doors down from the store in 1934. Her parents are Barried in the cemetary and my parents were married in 1955 at the church right up from the cemetary. My Grandpa John Floyd Tillery used to collect the farmers cream right next to the store and my dad John "Terry" Tillery would drive the tracker to the General Store to buy groceries in the late 1940's. We will be making a donation to help rebuild the Rabbit Hash General Store so that family memories will continue to live on for our grandkids.
I just know the General Store will rebuild and continue to be a part of our lives, our children's and their children...for many more generations! Can't help but think I f those walls could have talked about the 185 years of customers it served, what would they say? From horse drawn carriages to the first-ever automobiles to the vehicles and bikes that drive from afar to visit today...so much history that place has seen. Less of a store and more of a museum! The new store, I'm sure, will be replicated with reclaimed and vintage materials. I do hope anyone with access to vintage building materials ( and vintage-like) and old store items would consider donating them to Terrie.
This place is where i go to find solace. It is home to the best people I know. Its an amazing community, and I know we will all come together to rebuild. It fills my heart to see all of these donations pouring in and it is truely a testaments to how many lives this place touched. I love you Rabbit Hash. You will always be the center of the universe ♥