The Cross Bench – Ford’s Woods Park, Middlesboro, KY
From “A Coal Miner’s Simple Message”
The cross bench is a very special sign that lots of people have enjoyed. This particular one-of-a-kind sign (bench) weighs two thousand pounds and is built in the shape of a cross.
This shows the cross bench as it was first cast at Harrison’s homeplace. Later, it was moved to downtown. Presently, it is placed at Ford’s Woods Park, Middlesboro, Kentucky.
This sign was placed on a sidewalk downtown near the busiest corner between 19th and 20th Street, and Cumberland Avenue.
The size of the bench was 6 ft. long with the beam of the cross measuring 4 ft. wide. The seat part was 12″ wide and 18″ high. This bench is small compared to the tall concrete crosses, but weighs more. The bench has 2 1 /2″ recessed letters on the side of the bench that reads: “GET RIGHT WITH GOD.”
Also, this sign has recessed letters in the end of the head piece of the cross. These letters are: “P.A.E.” Those letters stand for “P,“ Planetary; “A” Aviation; “E,” stands for Evangelist. Daddy Mayes used these often.
In the center of the cross was a 2″ metal pipe that served as an umbrella stand. On top of the pipe was a recycled (again!) bright red coca cola beveled sign.
At the base of the cross there is a one-inch red stripe. It is fading now, but if the cross bench was placed on pavement like a sidewalk, the red stripe could have been easily seen. The bench would seat four adults comfortably.
The bench has been permanently placed near a picnic shelter at the Ford’s Woods Recreational Park, Middlesboro, Ky.
Note: It took me a while to locate this cross bench from above, but thanks to historic satellite images I was able to find it underneath a tree and was able to confirm it via Google Streetview