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Cars lined both sides of Main Street in Owenton. The license plates spoke of homes from Kentucky to California; and as folks climbed from their vehicles, some dependent on the helping hand of a son or daughter, they cradled flowers in their arms. Owen County cemeteries from Monterey and New Liberty to Owenton were crowded Memorial Day weekend. Traditions of what we place at the graves to honor our loved ones have changed over the years; for not only do flowers and flags fill the cemeteries, but also items that remind us of things that were important to the person buried there. Visiting the graves of family and friends evokes precious memories that connect us to the past. A past that we all need to preserve for our children and grandchildren.
Memorial Day weekend is a special time for 87-year-old Evelyn Stutzman, who for over 50 years, has traveled from Cincinnati, Ohio to New Liberty to visit the graves of her relatives – the Ogdens and Devores. Accompanied by her son and daughter, Evelyn made a stop at the Owen County Historical Society Museum, and to her delight discovered pictures of many family members gracing the walls. As she wandered through the rooms she reminisced about her youth, recalling visits to her grandparents’ farm, and going to school in bad weather with her papa splashing through Twin Creek in a horse and buggy. It was in this same creek that she was baptized at the age of 12. Perhaps when Evelyn Stutzman can no longer make the yearly trip, her son and daughter will carry on the tradition of their mother; and the family graves in New Liberty and all over Owen County will continue to be graced with blue irises, homegrown roses, peonies, and field daisies. Once again, we might even see young children accompany their parents as they come to honor their forefathers, and maybe, just maybe, pride in their heritage will be rekindled in the hearts of our young people.
The historical society will prepare and serve the annual dinner for the Rotary Club the end of June and look forward to continuing our service to the communities of Owen County as we work together to preserve our history and heritage.