"Soon after, I returned home to my family, with a determination to bring them as soon as possible to live in Kentucky, which I esteemed a second paradise, at the risk of my life and fortune.
Daniel Boone


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grand Theater Restoration

The Grand Theater in Lancaster is now undergoing reconstruction.


The Grand Theater was opened in February of 1925, commissioned by J.R. and S.G. Haselden. Local furniture raftsman J.A. Trumbo was hired to do much of the interior woodwork, and the original lamps located in the box seats were made from Model T car casings. The theater originally held 750 customers, and the stage and screen were complimented by large pipe organ and piano located in the pit in front of the stage. The Central Record described the opening this way: “The Grand Theater and picture house are thrown open to the public Thursday night, February 12, 1925. Lancaster and her citizenry can point with pride at one of the handsomest, most commodious, and up-to-date show houses in central Kentucky, comparing favorably with many of the more pretentious houses in Louisville or Lexington…”

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Old Kentucky Home

A great rendition of My Old Kentucky Home by Nathan Mick,Economic Development Director for Garrard County, at the dedication of the new Judicial Center

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Adams-Thompson-Gabbard House Near Lancaster in Garrard County

CIRCA 1798

Colonial brick house on Crab Orchard Road five (5) miles from Lancaster.One of the early owners was a John Q. Adams (1811-1865) who is believed to have been related to the famous Adams family of Massachusetts,possibly a nephew.

Adams, a Southern sympathiser and slave holder,was ambushed by Unionists on his way to Crab Orchard in 1865.

Farmington: Joshua Speed House, Jefferson County

Built in 1810 by John Speed from a Thomas Jefferson design, this Federal style house has 14 rooms, and twin octagon rooms. The house is furnished in period.

This restored brick Federalist style mansion was the childhood home of Joshua Fry Speed, considered to be Lincoln's closest friend. His parents, John and Lucy Speed, built the house in 1810 (the year after Lincoln was born) with plans from Thomas Jefferson. The architecture features typical Jeffersonian touches, with its classic symmetry and two octagonal rooms.

Joshua was born here in 1814, the fifth of ten children (including his older brother James, who became Lincoln's second Attorney General). Like scores of other Kentuckians, Joshua went into business in Springfield, Illinois. He recalled that Lincoln walked into his store on April 15, 1837, looking for bedding. "As I looked up at him I thought then, and think now, that I never saw a sadder face."

Joshua offered him free lodging above his store and their friendship flourished. After Joshua returned to Farmington, he invited Lincoln to visit in 1841. Lincoln's six-week stay was intended as an antidote for depression following his break-up with Mary Todd, who became his wife in 1842.

During Lincoln's visit, Joshua's mother Lucy gave him an Oxford Bible. Lincoln later wrote to Joshua's half sister Mary, "Tell your mother that I have not got her 'present' with me; but that I intend to read it regularly when I return home. I doubt not that it is really, as she says, the best cure for the 'Blues' could one but take it according to the truth."

Patti's 1880s Restaurant: Grand Rivers, Kentucky

From the Maysville Ledger-Independent:

Grand Rivers is a small town with a population of a little over 400 and is located in the western part of the state of Kentucky.

The two rivers, the Cumberland and the Tennessee, join at Grand Rivers. At Grand Rivers you will find one of the best restaurants in Kentucky -- Patti's. Patti's restaurant is a popular stop for the locals and tourists. It has been the recipient of many awards throughout the years. I was most impressed with the establishment being voted number one restaurant for tourism by the state of Kentucky and number one Restaurant Association by Southern Living Magazine's Reader's Choice Award for Best Small Town Restaurant in Southeast United States.

Patti's opened as an ice cream shop in 1977 and it seated 20 people. It featured hamburgers, a variety of sandwiches and homemade ice cream. The most expensive item on the menu was $1.95. How times change! Now the restaurant Patti's 1880 Settlement Restaurant has expanded to include antiques, a gift shop, farm animals out back, stained glass, Indian Joe, shopping and gazebo. It is very family oriented and a great place for wonderful food. When we were there a few years ago, their pet pig out back was a favorite spot for the children to visit. Calvin was a miniature African pig who lived in total luxury. He had his own house, his own wardrobe, drank lemonade and sometimes took leisurely walks around town on a leash. He also walked in the town parades on holidays. He was truly spoiled.

In the restaurant specialties include 2-inch grilled pork chops, flower pot yeast bread with strawberry butter and pie piled a mile high with meringue. It is estimated that they prepare over 200,000 pounds of pork chops per year.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Newdigate Tavern/ Justice Stanley Reed Summer Home

The Old Newdigate Tavern was built in the late 1700s in Maysville,Mason County on what was once known as Zane's Trace and the Maysville-Lexington Turnpike, now old US 68.

The building was purchased by Stanley Reed in 1915 and was used as his summer residence when he served on the US Supreme Court.

Friday, August 28, 2009

1811 Augusta City Jail- Bracken County, Kentucky

Unlocking the past

Michael Moore paints the exterior of the historic Augusta jail Wednesday. -- Terry Prather/Staff

1811 jail's restoration nearing completion

Friday, August 28, 2009 1:18 AM EDT
AUGUSTA -- A step into the lower portion of the 1811 Jail in Augusta takes a visitor back in time when getting into trouble meant meager accommodations and a cold cot.

Thanks to community support, the work of historians and the Augusta SHARE group, visitors can see what life behind bars meant for more than 150 years in Augusta.

Thick stone walls, complete with iron barred port-hole size windows and austere accommodations greeted wrong doers in the past. Within the walls is another log room, rebuilt representing a holding pen, which contains a chair, lamp and area for prisoners to be shackled.

Near the door hangs a shotgun, now locked in place, with Augusta City Jail carved in the stock.

Opposite the holding cell is another room with barred cells and metal cots.

Names, assumed to be created by former prisoners adorn the cell walls, which date from 1840 to the 1970s.

In a common area there is an ornate carving apparently done by a prisoner who was there from Dec. 17, 1974 - Feb. 25, 1975; and there is no visible heat source in the prisoner areas of the building.

A man known as "John Ike" was apparently jailed for a short time in the 1970s for streaking, and another time for 120 days according to the jail cell graffiti.

Comment: I was City Attorney for Augusta in the 1970's and remember this old stone jail very well!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

William Whitley House- Lincoln County

The William Whitley House a/k/a Sportsman's Hill in Lincoln County is one of the first brick houses west of the Allegheny Mountains and the site of America's first circular racetrack with racing in a counter-clockwise direction was completed in 1794.

William Whitley (August 4, 1749 – October 5, 1813), was an early American pioneer born in what was then Augusta County, Virginia, the son of Solomon and Elizabeth Whitley. He was important to the early settlement of Kentucky and fought in both the Indian wars and the War of 1812.

In early 1775, he married Esther Fullen, and by the spring he set out on an expedition with his brother in law, George Clark, to explore what is now known as Kentucky. They chose a spot for a settlement near the Cedar Creek branch of the Dix River, and returned to Virginia to bring back settlers to establish a community. Returning in November of that year with his family and supplies, he planted 10 acres (40,000 m2) of corn and began to settle the area, but quickly moved to the newly built fort several miles away at St. Asaph's Creek, also known as Logan's Fort (now Stanford, Kentucky).

Referred to as the "Guardian of Wilderness Road", the Flemish bond pattern house was a gathering for early Kentuckians,including George Rogers Clark and Daniel Boone.

Monday, January 5, 2009

James Ellis Stone Tavern

The old stone inn was a stagecoach stop on the Maysville-Lexington Turnpike and was operated by Revolutionary War soldier,James Ellis. Located on US 68 in Ellisville in Nicholas County.

House built ca. 1807 by James Ellis, Revolutionary War soldier; it was well-known point on "Smith's Wagon Road" and Ohio-to-Alabama mail stagecoach line. Ellisville named county seat of Nicholas Co., 1805. Across road stood county's first courthouse, 1806-1816. Seat moved to Carlisle.