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Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • Owen Historical Society News: Flooding would bring county to standstill

    “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.”
    This was a common phrase used by folks in Kentucky. It referred to the belief that the Lord was in charge, and barring unforeseen circumstances such as rising creek waters, one would go ahead with their plans.
    This adage was particularly applicable to early settlers in Owen County who made their homes near the numerous creeks in the area.
    When heavy rains flooded the waterways, most folks were unable to cross at the creek fords and travel came to a standstill.

  • Owen Historical Society News: Hanging may be better than political talk

    Buffalo traces wound through dense forests leading settlers to a new land. The proximity to the Kentucky River, an abundance of clear creeks and the rolling hills of Owen County gave promise to these early pioneers of an agrarian paradise.
    The area known today as Lusby’s Mill appealed to the Cobb, Clifton, Perkins and Osborne families and they were among the first to create a thriving Owen County community in the 1790s.

  • Owen Historical Society News: Politics always emotional in Owen Co.

    Franklin Roosevelt once said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
    •••••
    When it comes to politics Kentuckians have always been vocal and involved.
    During the 1900s, political issues dominated much of the talk at Owen County social gatherings and front porches of general stores or wood stumps at community picnics offered convenient stages for politicians to gather the support of voters.

  • Owen Historical Society News: Hunting was a necessary skill in Owen County

    When I was about 12 years old my father gave me a shotgun. He decided to do so when he discovered that I had been borrowing a gun from an older boy and gone huntin’ on my own. Game was plentiful in those days and within a half hour after school was out I could be scaring up rabbits. I also had a trap line. I used snares and deadfalls, which I made myself and baited with apples.

    (Reminisces of Kentuckian William Dorman)
     

  • Owen Historical Society News: Grandpas made a difference in Owen

    The little girl’s eyes danced at the sight of the bright red dress. No princess could have been more pleased nor could she have dressed more elegantly than in that scarlet wonder. As the light gently skipped over the soft folds of the dress, it captured the little girl’s heart; and she was delighted with this special gift from her grandparents.

  • Owen Historical Society News: Family tree has deep roots in Owen

    When schools closed that bad winter, a young boy spent his days in the stripping room on the farm.
    Amid the pungent odor of tobacco, the lad listened to his granddad’s stories.
    Those narratives, along with a love of farming, created an intense yearning in the young man; and he followed a life-long dream which included his supportive wife, his family and his beloved Southdown sheep. 
    Kentucky has embraced the Forsee family for eight generations.  Owen countian Brian Forsee, who is a seventh generation Forsee, was the special guest speaker at the historical society meeting last week.

  • Owen Historical Society News: Churches made it easy to attend

    The smooth wood of the newly constructed structure stood forlornly beneath the trees near the church. Its surface displayed  no evidence of use. No worn away areas suggested years of diligent watch over those under its care.
    But the hitching post erected at Long Ridge Baptist Church several weeks ago served as a reminder to many Owen countians of years ago when horses throughout the county spent their Sunday mornings in front of community churches.

  • Owen Historical Society News: Treasured powder horn returns to Owen

    Engravings snaking their way around the aged powder horn reflected the soft lights of the room; and their story embraced over 200 years of American history.
    The horn belonged to Jacob Hesler of Heslerville, the first county seat in Owen County.
    Traveling to the territory of Texas with Jacob’s descendants, it was eventually  purchased by broker of fine Americana, Kentuckian Mel Hankla.

  • Owen Historical Society News: Author shares tales of Native Americans

    A fringed linen frock wrapped itself around his lean, lanky frame. A decorated sheathed knife, suspended from a cord around his neck, and a powder horn cradled along his side produced an image of the early American frontier.
    His diminutive Shawnee wife, her calico shirt displaying trade silver, accompanied her husband; and 250 years of history surrounded these two figures of the past as they made their way into the present

  • Owen Historical Society News: Small communities had a big impact

    Most Owen countians are familiar with the names of Claxon Ridge, Pink Ridge, Stewart Ridge, Buffalo Ridge, Riddle’s Ridge, Divided Ridge, Fortner Ridge, Ball Ridge, Harris Ridge, Bethel Ridge and Long Ridge. Some of these hilltops took on the names of the families who first settled along their crests, while the origin of the names of others may have been lost over the years.