A Memorial to a Leader

At a 1907 reunion in Glasgow, Ky. of the famous Confederate Orphans Brigade, former Confederate general Simon Bolivar Buckner proposed a plan for a Jefferson Davis monument to be erected at his birthplace in Fairview. A group started the Jefferson Davis Home Association and raised money for the monument. By April 1909, the Association paid $7,052 for seven tracts of land containing twenty acres. Within the next eight years $150,000 had been accumulated for a suitable monument. In 1917 work began on the world’s tallest concrete obelisk. 

The firm of C. G. Gregg of Louisville designed the monument and oversaw its construction. America’s entry into World War I halted work on the obelisk for several years. By the time construction began again, costs had risen dramatically and the project faced an uncertain future. The United Daughters of the Confederacy raised an additional $20,000 toward completion of the monument and the Kentucky General Assembly appropriated $15,000 to install an elevator (originally run by steam) in the 351-foot structure. On June 7, 1924, dedication of the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site took place and it became a part of the Kentucky State Parks system. 
The monument has a base of 35 feet by 35 feet with 10-foot thick walls at the lower level, tapering to two feet at the top. Construction cost $200.000. The observation windows at the top of monument offer visitors a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside.