The following article by David Strange was originally published on 14 Feb 2016.
Though one of the younger of the eight cities in Bullitt County, the community of Fox Chase has one of the more interesting histories. I particularly like the surprising source of the name.
Fox Chase was not incorporated as a city until 1983, but the history of the land dates back to at least 1852 when John Turnstall Rogers bought 400 acres from John Anderson. That land stayed in the family for 122 years, passing down through the Rogers family and splitting only once, as part of a will settlement. The half parcel of 250 acres eventually became, with borders basically intact, Fox Chase. John Rogers and several others are thought to be buried in the Rogers Cemetery there, one of two cemeteries on the land.
In 1953, Rogers descendant Lillie Rogers Netherland willed the land to her daughter, Lillian Netherland Chase, the great-granddaughter of John Turnstall Rogers.
Lillian Chase owned the land for many years, using the farm as a summer and weekend retreat for her and husband, Frank, while renting the land out to others to farm. It is said that the Chases would have friends out for fox hunts, so perhaps you see where this story is going.
Sometime in the 1950's, a parcel of the land was used as a rock quarry, providing material for the new Kentucky Turnpike (later to become Interstate 65) being constructed nearby.
Then in 1974, Ms. Chase sold her farm to Phillip Leigh and Harold Meredith, who had a plan to build high-end homes. And so they did, creating one of the nicer and more successful residential subdivisions in the county.
And what did they name it? "Fox Chase," after Ms. Chase and the red foxes that frequented the farm. (I bet you thought it was about chasing foxes.) The subdivision progressed, eventually incorporating as its own city to maintain its own identity in the face of other cities growing around it. Today the population is estimated at 472.
Over the years, there was considerable trouble with the rock quarry at the back of the subdivision. Linda Cundiff Barrow remembers building the first house on the "higher" side of Fox Chase on Running Fox Drive. She tells me that the new streets of the subdivision just made it easier for people to trespass at the quarry and get into trouble.
And trouble there was. Though private property, the temptation of the water filled quarry proved too strong for many people. There are countless stories of people and parties at the lake. Sadly, at one time there were also reports of someone drowning there almost every summer. At one point, a newspaper account states that charges were brought against people 17 times in one day. Phillip Leigh tells me that he was even threatened with a knife when he asked some intruders to leave the property. There were several raids over the years, arresting as many as 45 partiers at one time. I have long heard that such a group was once packed like sardines in the Old Stone Jail until they could be processed, but I have not yet confirmed it.
Then in 1985, as a result of owner Harold Meredith's attempt to fill the quarry, debris deep down in the fill caught fire and smoldered for months, making awful trouble.
But that is all long past, now. The beauty of the homes and the pleasant living of Fox Chase now presides. And yes, foxes still scamper around the neighborhood. Roger Sadler moved there in 1978. He says that deer are more common now, but people do still see the occasional fox. He remembers putting up hay on the farm and that there was once a log house, said to have been slave quarters. State Representative Linda Belcher lives in Fox Chase as well, telling me that it has been a great place to raise a family and that her son has a place there now as well.
Home. Comfortable living among friends and among some of nature's most beautiful creatures, on land with an interesting history. Fox Chase is such a place.
More information can be found on the city of Fox Chase at its website at www.cityoffoxchase.org. City meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at Jewish Hospital South in the Larry Belcher room. More information on the history of the land and its cemeteries can be found on our web site. Here is a link to the Rogers Cemetery page, and another link to an unnamed cemetery in the area.
Copyright 2016 by David Strange, Shepherdsville KY. All rights are reserved. No part of the content of this page may be included in any format in any place without the written permission of the copyright holder.