Throwback Thursday – The Covington Family History and Cemetery

The Covington family has a long history associated with Bowling Green. The Covington family cemetery is part of land donated to the city in the modern day residential area of Lois Lane. Dating more than 200 years back to the city’s founding in 1798, the Covingtons have played many roles in this region.

Elijah Covington was a surveyor in the late 1700s. He was one of the men traveling with the Moore brothers who are credited with founding Bowling Green. Elijah settled in a cabin near the current Covington Woods Park and grew his family with a new wife and 12 children.

The Covington family became active in Bowling Green commerce and politics. The Covington Building built on Fountain Square in the 1860s is named for Joseph Covington, a banker, attorney, and noted eloquent stump speaker. 

During the 1830s, Elijah Covington’s son Erasmus enjoyed visiting Mammoth Cave and left his name written on the cave walls. The Covington family had influence at the cave for the next 100 years until it became a national park. 

Erasmus’ nephew Albert joined the cave’s board of directors at the turn of the 20th century. He lived onsite and oversaw operations at the cave and its hotel.

Albert’s cousin Robert Covington also joined the cave’s board. Several Mammoth Cave formations discovered during that time were named for the Covington family: Covington’s Cabinet, Margaret’s Fountain, and Wickliffe’s Domes.

The Covington family cemetery land was donated to the city in 2014. A historic marker sits at its entrance. Sometimes the city uses goats to maintain the cemetery and it makes for more quirky Covington family news headlines.