Night Rider mask on a mannequin.

Night Riders - Tobacco Marauders

Field review by the editors.

Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Hopkinsville was our destination to check out an exhibit on psychic Edgar Cayce, but the town has a few other surprises.

In the same museum, there was a display about the "Night Riders -- an excitable local organization from the early 1900s. Also known as the "Silent Brigade," it was comprised of "dark fired" tobacco farmers upset about the low prices paid for their crops by the buyers' monopoly.

The Night Riders became more militant in their actions, wearing cloths masks to disguise their identities. Things apparently got out of control, as one headline from December 7, 1907 screams "A NIGHT OF HORROR -- In Red Glare of Burning Buildings Human Devils Gloat Over Their Wanton Power in the Destruction of Property and Terrorizing of Good Citizens." The Night Riders marched into town by the hundreds, burned down three tobacco houses, shot a train brakeman trying to switch his cars to a safer spot, and brutally beat a tobacco buyer.

HORROR newspaper headline.

The museum display includes a Night Rider mask on a mannequin, and various newspaper accounts of the conflict and attack on the town.

Night Riders - Tobacco Marauders

Pennyroyal Area Museum

217 E. 9th St., Hopkinsville, KY
Pennyroyal Area Museum. Downtown, on the southwest corner of E. 9th and Liberty Sts.
M-F 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Sa 10 am - 3 pm. (Call to verify)
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Grave of Edgar Cayce, Famous ProphetGrave of Edgar Cayce, Famous Prophet, Hopkinsville, KY - < 1 mi.
King Arthur's Round Table - Literary ParkKing Arthur's Round Table - Literary Park, Hopkinsville, KY - 1 mi.
Zero Milestone of the Jeff Davis HighwayZero Milestone of the Jeff Davis Highway, Fairview, KY - 10 mi.
In the region:
Pratt Museum: Atomic Mortar, Hitler's Stick, Fort Campbell, KY - 15 mi.

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