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Owen County Historical Society celebrates dedication day with renovations and additions

By Molly Haines

Dozens of local citizens had the opportunity to take a glimpse into Owen County’s past during the first Owen County History Appreciation and Dedication Day Saturday.
Owen County Historical Society President Jeannie Williams-Baker said 99 people attended the event and each toured the museum.
The event was held following the passing of former Owen County resident Scott Hardin, who died in March. In lieu of flowers, donations in Hardin’s memory were sent to the Owen County History Museum.
Hardin’s wife, Joyce Hardin, and two of their sons attended the event.
Hardin said she didn’t want the historical society to pay bills with the donations, but instead to do something to add to the museum.
The historical society recently constructed a pavilion, which was dedicated in memory of Scott Hardin during the event.
“Scott would really appreciate this,” Joyce Hardin said during the ceremony. “It’s something anyone can use and that’s what he would have wanted. He was a builder so he would have loved this pavilion.”
Scott Hardin was born in 1937 in Ashville, N.C. Following the death of his father, the family moved to Monterey. He attended grade school at Monterey and graduated from Owen County High in 1955 as valedictorian.
Scott Hardin was awarded a Kentucky Department of Highways scholarship and attended the University of Kentucky, majoring in civil engineering. He graduated from UK in 1959.
After graduation he married Joyce Hill Smith from Cedar Hill. They left after the ceremony for Pullman, Wash., where he received a master of science degree in engineering.
They returned to Kentucky where he worked as an engineer in Paducah and eastern Kentucky. During the latter part of his life, he worked in the Springfield area. After retirement he operated his own engineering and surveying business until his death, March 23.
Williams-Baker said the pavilion was not just for the use of the historical society, but for others to have events, too.
Owen County Judge-executive Carolyn Keith and Owenton Mayor Doug West both spoke during the dedication ceremony.
West said the history museum is something that should make all Owen countians proud.
“It will preserve our history for generations to come and one day you might be in it, too,” West said during the ceremony.
Williams-Baker said she wasn’t sure if the society would begin having a yearly history appreciation day, but plenty of events will be held in the coming months.
“We’ll have another dedication when we get our calliope that’s being donated to us by the Cincinnati museum,” Williams-Baker said. “The vice president of the museum is coming and bringing the Cincinnati press with her. We’ll have cake and punch and the guy that plays the calliope in the museum is going to come down and play ragtime music on it for our dedication.”
Williams-Baker said the six-county historical society picnic will be held in August and it is Owen County’s turn to host the event.
In September, the Owen County Historical Society will hold its own annual picnic under the new pavilion.