stone quarry existed in the Devou Park area before the Devou Family presented
the property to the city for use as a park. In 1916, the Covington City
Commission proposed that prisoners from the Covington Jail be put to work
in this quarry. A rock crusher was purchased and several small storage
buildings were constructed near the quarry.
The impetus behind the decision to send prisoners to the quarry was financial.
At this time, Covington was spending $18,000 per year for crushed stone
for use in building and repairing city streets. Early estimates indicated
that the Devou Park operation would save the city at least $10,000 per
On April 17, 1916, the first prisoners from the jail were transported
to the quarry in the park and were put to work crushing stones. The operation
was not initially successful. Prisoners were typically escorted to the
quarry by a single guard. In the first few years of operation, a number
of prisoners found the quarry a convenient place to escape.
Over the next few years, the level of the quarry was steadily lowered.
By 1924, the quarry had been transformed into a large lake appropriately
called “Prisoners’ Lake.”
Over the years the lake has been used for boating and fishing. For many
years, the city sponsored fishing derbies at the lake.
Kentucky Post, March 7, 1916, p. 1, April 17, 1916, p. 1, June 28,
1916, p. 1, July 19, 1924, p. 1.