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At the beginning of time — so the stories went — my people decided to leave the faraway land of Virginia, and made a great pilgrimage across the mountains, and through the gap, seeking our “Promised Land.” It was the singular most extraordinary event in our history. Our people became legends, our stories myths, our places hallowed.
With these words, columnist and Kentucky author Georgia Green Stamper, who will be the special guest of the historical society Thursday evening, describes her forefathers’ journey from Virginia to Owen County, Kentucky.
Georgia is a seventh generation Kentuckian and still owns the land which has been in her family for over 150 years.
She graduated from Transylvania University and was a high school English and theater teacher. Her first poem was published when she was in the first grade, but Georgia says she didn’t begin to write seriously until her youngest daughter graduated from college. She has received many awards including the Emma Bell Miles Award for Essay from Lincoln Memorial University’s Mountain Heritage Literary Festival; the Carole Pettit Legacies Creative Writing Medallion from the Carnegie Center; and the Leadingham Prose Award from the Frankfort Arts Foundation. Her work has been published in various anthologies and since 2004 many of you have probably read her bi-weekly column, “Georgia On My Mind,” in Owenton’s News-Herald. In 2006, Georgia became a regular commentator for NPR member station WUKY-FM.
Georgia Green Stamper’s book, “You Can Go Anywhere From the Crossroads of the World,” is a poignant, sometimes humorous, always delightful commemoration of people, places, and events that have made an indelible mark on her life.
All are invited to the I.O.O.F. Hall at 6:30 p.m. Thursday for refreshments and 7 p.m. for the program when we will take a look at Owen County through the eyes of Georgia Green Stamper.
It is always a pleasure for the historical society to welcome visitors from all over the country who stop and tour the museum. Recently a woman from New York commented on how surprised she was to discover such a charming and informative museum in a town the size of Owenton. The credit for this goes to all those dedicated historical society members who worked and continue to work to make the Hartsough Home a showcase of history. What is puzzling is the fact that most of our visitors are not local.
The question arises as to whether Owen countians are aware of the treasure in their own backyard? The success of our future relies, in part, on the knowledge of our past, so make an effort to relive the past of your ancestors, for in doing so, you not only preserve your heritage, but you also endow future generations with a greater understanding of their vital part in the world.