Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • Owen residents fought for freedom

    If age determined manhood, perhaps they didn’t qualify. Many were eighteen or nineteen, some younger. Yet, that fact was insignificant in battle. In all the wars which our country fought, young men served as a testimony that age is not a qualifying factor that determines honor, sacrifice, or heroism.
    The Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 tested the mettle of our nation, as a new breed of Americans fought and won their independence.

  • Sept. 23, 2015: Old-time tunes have long been a local tradition

    Hans Christinan Anderson once asserted, “Where words fail, music speaks.”
    As settlers climbed across the Appalachian Mountians to create homes in Kentucky, they brought with them the culture, traditions, and music of their forefathers.
      Songs they brought from distant lands marked the history of their people. Their music chronicled their fight for freedom, their moments of sadness and joy and brought solace into lives which at times were impacted by danger and despair.

  • Historical Society News, Aug. 19, 2015

    “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”
    In the Shakespeare play, “Romeo and Juliet,” these words are spoken by Juliet and imply that a name doesn’t define the character of something. However, just the name “rose” conjures up the image of a lovely flower with a light delicate fragrance. So, perhaps names are significant and play an important part in our lives.

  • Historical Society News, July 8, 2015

    For thousands of years the Kentucky river has sung its ancient song in whispers, gurgles, and at time in furious tirades. It makes a wide sweeping bend at Gratz; and according to the “Owen County 1883 Atlas,” the river collected the waters from two creeks on either side of the town. The names assigned these tributaries were “Clay Lick Creek” and “Lowdenback or Hogs Thief Branch.”

  • Historical Society News, May 6: Stories of panthers not uncommon in Owen County

    They roamed the hills of early Kentucky in great numbers and sightings of their sinewy forms on nightly forays in Owen County have been recorded  throughout the years.
    Their eerie midnight screams have sent goose bumps scrambling along the arms of even the most brave and family stories of confrontations between man and these fierce predators have been passed down through generations.

  • Historical Society News, April 22: News determined to keep history of Gratz alive

    Although technology contributed much to the advancements of the 1940s-1960s, it also changed the fabric of rural America.
    In the wake of progress, small Owen County communities were forever transformed.
    Gratz is nestled amidst the hills of Owen County and is poised along a stretch of the Kentucky River.

  • Historical Society News, April 15: Square dancing down through the generations

    It traveled  with immigrants from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and France. Pioneers who journeyed across the mountains added their own unique movements, and  by the end of the 1800s it had a distinct American flavor.
    Gaining popularity in Appalachia it traveled throughout Kentucky; and today it is making a comeback as American feet are reintroduced to their toe-tapping, feet-stomping roots.

  • Historical Society News, April 1: Sunday morning memories part of cherished history

    The floor was dirt, packed tightly with the clay-laced soil of Owen County.
    The one room cabin erected above the floor was constructed of logs, notched and joined together with wooden pegs. Long wooden benches filled the large room and guaranteed to be so uncomfortable that even the drowsiest parishoner would find it difficult to doze off during the sermon.
    The Beech Grove Baptist Chruch, built in 1852, sat in the midst of a cemetery and it served the community not only as a church but also as a schoolhouse.

  • Owen County Historical Society, Feb. 4: Community doctors played important role in county

    In the early 1900’s they visited Owen County homes traveling by horseback or horse and buggy over dirt-packed roads that were enveloped in snow during the winter and turned into quagmires during spring.

  • Stories of courtship and love abound in Owen County

     The tiny-waisted dress cascades to the floor in sheer delightful layers of light blue. The mannequin which highlights this elegant piece stands on the second floor of the Owen County Historical Society Museum and displays this poignant reminder of love, courtship and marriage.