Sunday, February 14, 2016

R.I.P. Rabbit Hash General Store

Sat. Feb. 14, 2016: The iconic Rabbit Hash GeneralIn 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 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 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 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."
Through tears, Bobbi Kayser, member of the Rabbit Hash Historical Society Board of Directors, said there was a feeling of magic whenever she stepped inside the store.
"We call it the center of the universe, and that's because when you're here, you actually feel like you're in the center of the universe," said Kayser.
Multiple fire departments, including Belleview-McVille, Petersburg, Union, and Burlington, responded to the fire.
Firefighters were able to pull some merchandise from the store, but only a few larger pieces. Many of the pieces were charred or damaged by smoke.

article appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer on 2-14-16

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