Community gathered to watch Graves County Courthouse get demolished
MAYFIELD, Ky. (CNN NEWSOURCE) — It’s been nearly a year since a devastating tornado hit Mayfield, Kentucky, killing eight people working inside a candle factory that night.
Homes and other buildings around town were also destroyed and the city is still cleaning up, demolishing buildings that can’t be fixed — like the county courthouse.
Capturing the memories and the change — Joseph Petty has been documenting the recovery since the Dec. 10 tornado, taking more than 1,000 photos just last Saturday at the courthouse.
He says it’s time for it to be torn down.
“Some of it was getting old. It’s best to start over. What do we have to do? We have to let the past go and move on and start rebuilding. Move on,” said Petty, who lives in Mayfield.
Another local, Kay Mills says it’s hard for her to let it go.
“Very sad. I feel like I’m losing the whole town. I don’t know that it’s ever going to be back. I mean, I hope so but it’ll never be back like it was. And so many people are leaving,” said Mills.
As more buildings in Mayfield are leveled, Mills worries about the future of her town.
“Are we ever going to have any industry back here? We didn’t have much to start with. Not a lot of draw for Mayfield, Kentucky. Maybe somebody will buy it up and promote it and get us back on our feet,” she said.
Petty says he’s sad to see parts of his community leave but is focusing on what’s already being restored.
“Like I say, material stuff can be replaced. Like our church up here, Fairview, it got hit but we’re rebuilding,” said Petty.
His motto to keep his positive attitude?
“Just move on. Just be happy.”
Plans to rebuild the courthouse haven’t been finalized yet, but county officials say it could take up to three years.