.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • Brothers fought and died alongside one another in War of 1812

    His slender long-fingered hands rest atop a cane. Yet, the stately white-haired gentleman in the picture sits erect, and his finely chiseled features reflect a strength that seems to deny his frailty or the need for a walking stick.
    The handwritten caption below the picture identified the Owen countian as “Uncle George 98 years,” and this image of George S. Forsee has become a treasured piece of Owen County history.

  • A glimpse into the past: Former N-H publisher visits New Liberty

    In the 1700s families from Virginia and the Carolinas traveled with friends and neighbors into the wilderness of Kentucky. They joined together in large groups for defense against Indian attacks and frontier brigands, and to offer each other assistance in clearing the forest and building homes. Before long communities dotted the landscape of the Commonwealth and these small villages and towns created an unforgettable and enduring history which helped define the character of Kentucky

  • Walking wonders traversed the back roads of Owen County

    They walked to their fields, they walked to their neighbor’s home, they walked to the local general store and their children walked to school. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was this daily walking that contributed to the good health of many Kentuckians.

  • Remembering the ‘pie ladies’ of Dog Hill

    They were called “the pie ladies,” and a child living on Dog Hill (East Adair) in the late 1950s and early 1960s most likely purchased one of the flaky muffin-size pies that the pie ladies sold for a quarter.

  • Business directories provide insight to early Owen County

    As they migrated from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the Carolinas, early settlers to the Owen County area brought with them the knowledge and the tools of their trade.
    Many were farmers, whose stalwart endurance provided a viable, productive and stable economy. Others possessed skills that were instrumental in creating thriving communities, and by the 1880s, these Owen County villages boasted undeniable prosperity.

  • Early churches pivotal to Owen history

    The first pioneers to settle in Kentucky believed it was as important to bring their spiritual beliefs as it was to bring rifles and muskets for defense and tools to clear the land.
    Early churches met in forts, stations, family cabins and log buildings and as towns were established, churches became the spiritual and social center of community life.

  • ‘Free Frank’ sold gunpowder to free himself, family

    He came to Kentucky as a slave in the 1790s. After his daily work, his master leased him to other farmers and permitted the young man to earn a little of his own money. This young slave, Frank, was also an entrepreneur. He explored local Kentucky caves, collected niter, boiled it down to make salt peter and combined it with sulfur and charcoal to produce gunpowder.
    Frank sold his gunpowder on the streets of Lexington, and was able to make enough cash to not only buy his freedom but that of his wife and a son.

  • Community correspondents played important role in history

    They migrated across the Appalachian mountains to Kentucky. Most hailed from Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Families and friends traveled together, and upon their arrival to a new land, they built homes, churches, schools and communities. Groceries, blacksmith shops and other businesses settled in these small towns that dotted the landscape of Kentucky in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; and communities, fueled by the efforts of close-knit and self-reliant people, grew and prospered.

  • Orphan Brigade has storied local history

    He was only 16, but a war was being fought, and in the 1860s his manhood was never questioned. He was born in Owenton, Ky., raised by his grandmother, and eventually was apprenticed as a cabinetmaker in Wheatley.
    When the Civil War touched Owen County, J.C. Hartsough joined the Confederate Army and became a soldier of the Orphan Brigade. Though Kentucky claimed neutrality at the beginning of the war, loyalties were divided throughout the state, and most Owen countians eventually chose to fight for the Southern cause.

  • Owen countians helped build, maintain toll roads

    He was perhaps best known for his stories of riverboat life on the Kentucky, but for decades Charlie Johnson preserved the history of Owen County in countless articles, which today give insight into our past.
    From river life to the Civil War to local lore, Charlie shared his vast knowledge of Owen County, its communities and the folks who settled its land.
    One of Johnson’s early articles, submitted to the News-Herald in the 1960s, described the rise and fall of Owen County toll roads, and the vital role they played in the development of the area.