Sunday, February 20, 2011

History of the Cardome Property

This weeks research in the archives of the Cardome Center has enlightened me on a number of levels. There is so much information I would like to share and even more questions I would like to ask in case any of you dear readers may be able to shed some light, however, I will limit the information since there will be several more posts and time is not of the essence..yet. In the archives there were a few records of owndership and after reading them I was able to come up with a comprehensive list of not only the owners, but also of their professions and a small amount of information about their lives. Among the owners was an old professor of Georgetown College, Danford Thomas, who taught Latin and the Classics. There was another person associated with the college, Benjamin Chambers. His interaction with the college was not explicit or explained, but, as a Georgetown College student, I found it quite interesting that the history of Cardome and the history of the college are so involved. I probably should not be surprised considering this is a very sweet, small town. James F. Robinson, who was the owner of Cardome before it became a school and nunnery, was also involved with the college. As well as being Governor of Kentucky for a year or so, he was also the president of the Board of Trustees for Georgetown College from 1864 to 1881 and the president of Farmer's Bank.
During the years that Robinson was in possession of Cardome the Civil War was running rampant through our states and did not avoid Kentucky. During the war both Confederate and Union soldiers camped on the ample acreage and, some years later, it was discovered that there had been tunnels forged underground. The reason for these is complete speculation. There are theories as to it being for protection and easy escape or for the family, or their servants, to help slaves escape. This is definitely a point of interest for me.
Cardome, or Cara Domus which means "dear home", was much more than a school and a nunnery. It was a home, even for the school girls, and based on what I've been reading through, their correspondences and reunions, they loved it as more than an institution. To the women who attended school there it seemed to be a club, one that they considered themselves more than lucky of which to have been a part. I'm finding more and more about the chronological history of Cardome and I've only touched on what actual life there was like. I am interested in discovering what their day to day schedules were. It would mean a lot to this project to know about their habits and memories.