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Owen County Historical Society News: Groups join together to share a lasting legacy

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By Bonnie Strassell

They came from all walks of life — farmers, carpenters, homemakers, teachers, and bankers. What they held in common was their love of history and their dedication to its preservation.
Owen, Carroll, Gallatin, Trimble, Henry, and Switzerland counties’ historical societies gathered at the Owen County Extension Office last week for the annual six-county picnic. Over 70 people attended and the food, fellowship, and entertainment combined to offer an enjoyable evening for all.
A representative from each county presented a synopsis of their historical society’s accomplishments of the past year and their vision for the future.
Port William Historical Society (Carrollton) owns and operates the Masterson House which is one of the oldest surviving two-story brick houses on the stretch of the Ohio River between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cairo, Ill. In the 1970s, the historical society was deeded that house and five acres, but the house was in need of renovation. Aided by a grant from the Federal Department of the Interior and the Kentucky Heritage Commission, the Port William Historical Society restored the home and offer guided tours to visitors.
The Switzerland County Historical Society owns and operated the Switzerland County Historical Museum, which highlights the local culture and life of the early Swiss settler and the Native Americans. The society’s “Life on the Ohio River” History Museum features exhibits depicting life and work along the Ohio River.
Trimble County Historical Society is offering a program for anyone who would like to learn stone masonry as they are preparing to restore a stone wall around a local cemetery.
Gallatin County Historical Society has spent many years restoring a log cabin which is located in the town of Warsaw. The project is nearing completion.
Each year Henry County Historical Society raises money by sponsoring a gala which includes an elegant dinner at a local winery. Their museum is located in a home built during the Civil War by a local resident. It is one of three homes the gentleman had built for each of his three daughters. All three homes have the same floor plan.
Before the picnic, several people visited the Owen County Historical Society Museum, and offered much praise as President Jeannie Baker proudly explained all the accomplishments the Owen County Historical Society has achieved. Due to the dedication of society members and the people of Owen County, a lasting legacy of history will be assured for future generations.
Ron Devore provided melodious music during dinner, and I supplied a few “country stories,” which at times brought laughter from the audience. As the evening drew to a close, a lovely lady from Switzerland county approached me with a chicken story. It seems she, her sister, and a friend decided to cook a chicken for dinner. Having never participated in the rite of chopping off the head of a chicken, they decided that one would hold the head, another the feet, and the third would do the chopping. However, at the last minute the friend “chickened” out. She only took a small chunk out the chicken’s neck, and though the chicken spent the rest of her life with her head tilted to the left, she did survive the ordeal.