Published in the December 11, 2019 Edition of the Lexington News
Seasons Greetings from the Lexington Historic Preservation Commission! As we find ourselves in the midst of the 2019 holiday season with all the associated hustle and bustle, the town of Lexington also finds itself looking forward to the beginning of a brand new year with a brand new mayor. Our new mayor, Joe Aull is a Lexington native and well familiar with the expansive history of Lexington; the unique tapestry that is woven from the many threads that make up the complex character of our town. Mayor Aull has made it his top priority to help us move past the turbulent times of the past year and focus on economic development and revitalization along with a long list of other important priorities. Lexington has a long and illustrious reputation as one of the most historic towns in Missouri. We are well known for our richly varied architecture of historic homes and downtown buildings. There are few other towns in Missouri who can boast the concentration of antebellum homes and downtown buildings. Our rich history and historical architecture are one of our greatest visible assets. Visitors come from all over the United States to enjoy our historical celebrations and unique festivals. They are astounded not only by our charming architecture but also by the friendly welcoming attitudes of our residents.
Behind each home, historical or modern, mansion or cottage, resides the most important asset of all....the people of Lexington! We are a diverse group of people here in Lexington. There are a surprising number of residents who have spent their entire lives in Lexington with a deep and abiding commitment to the well being of the town. They truly love Lexington and have made calculated decisions to stay and contribute to the town for their entire lives. There are also a number of residents who have been drawn to the town in more recent years, again for a variety of reasons. More recent arrivals in Lexington often are initially drawn to the historical nature of the town but whether they realize it or not, they are also drawn to the overall welcoming personality of the community of Lexington. We often hear visitors to town speak of not only the beauty of the historic homes and the fascinating history of the town but also the warmth of the residents of Lexington. It is not unusual to hear visitors relay stories of trying to find their way on a historic driving tour or wanting to know the best place to eat and then marveling about how a total stranger noticed them needing direction and then took a lot of time to make sure they received the assistance they needed.
The reason that so many people have chosen to make Lexington their lifelong home was because of their sense of community and their commitment to that community. If every single citizen of Lexington could adopt that attitude just think what we could do. Margaret Mead once said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
One of our local businesses has a sign on 24 Hwy that says "come for the view, stay for the wine". The sentence could be modified for the town of Lexington: "come for the history, stay for the community". The Merriam Webster dictionary defines "community" as a unified body of individuals. In a unified body it is understood that all are affected by the actions of one. When harsh words are spoken against one, all feel the sad effect of those harsh words. When actions are taken that inflict injury on one, all feel the pain of the injury. We are capable of acting as a community, a unified body of individuals. That has been demonstrated time and time again. One recent example that comes to mind was the spring sandbagging of the water plant. So many volunteers arrived that the task was accomplished in record time and the water plant was saved from flooding. Facebook spoke of water department employees braving water moccasin snakes to keep the water flowing to homes. These are examples of community at its finest. There are so many examples of individuals putting needs of others in front of their own during a crisis. But there are also dozens of daily examples of individual citizens going out of their way to express kindness and concern for another. This is how a community not only remains strong but grows in strength. We would all do well to stop and think about each of our dozens of daily interactions and make a conscious decision if the considered action will generate greater kindness or generate disappointment and hurt. Will both parties go home and feel pleased with their journey out into the community or will one or both return home wishing they hadn’t left? The opportunities for Lexington are truly without bounds. We already have a solid foundation to build upon. Let us commit that 2020 will be the year that we are that thoughtful, committed community that moves forward as a unified force accomplishing what we didn't think was even possible only last year.
May you bask in the warmth and joy of friends and family this holiday season.
Sincerely, Lexington Historic Preservation Commission