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Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • Alfred Cobb's narrative provides glimpse into frontier life

    In the 1830s the Second Great Awakening spread like wildfire across frontier Kentucky planting deep religious roots along the way.
    During the same decade, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson, was reelected president, the Oregon Trail beckoned the out to the western frontier and staunch American patriots were slaughtered at the Battle of the Alamo.

  • Stafford presents engaging program for historical society

    She’s a home-grown girl and her down-home humor danced about the room like a tonic.
    Owen County Mother of the Year is just one of her titles, but on any given day, whatever hat Melody Stafford wears is sure to be overflowing with love and laughter, at times accompanied by lively antics.

  • Local grandmothers leave lasting memories

    Some seem to be made up of all angles and sharp turns, and they never forget good manners. Others are pillow-soft, whose laps are wide and inviting and whose deep laughter somersaults from one end of a room to the other.

    They are known as grandmother, grandma, granny, mamaw, nana or some other term of endearment, and they fill our bellies with treats, our hearts with joy and our lives with a touch of magic.

  • Entertainment in abundance for early Owen countians

    Early Kentucky settlers had little time to socialize. The arduous work of building cabins in the wilderness, providing food for their families and battling Indians and the elements provided limited opportunities for quilting bees, rifle frolics and square dances.

    By the middle 1800s communities had sprung up in the Owen County area, and churches were formed to provide folks a place to hear the Word of God. Church gatherings also gave countians the opportunity to socialize with neighbors and friends.

  • Traveling preachers proved influential in local church history

    After the Revolutionary War until well into the 19th century, a group of dedicated stalwart men traveled the wilderness of America to spread the Gospel throughout the newly formed republic.

    With Bible in pocket and gun in hand, early circuit riding preachers left an indelible mark upon America and the American people; and through their untiring efforts they fanned the flames of religious fervor that spread across the land like a wildfire.

  • Owen's Squiresville had its own notable, noble residents

    With a variety of hair-raising twists and turns, the narrow road snakes along from Highway 22 to Perry Park. On its travels it passes through the once thriving community of Squiresville, and the road itself took on the same name.

    Early Squiresville family names, Arnold, Ligon, Lusby, Minor, Minch, Reeve, Montgomery, Morgan, Nuttall, Thomas, Stivers, and others are still prevalent in the area today.

  • Backyard clotheslines serve as reminder of 20th century life

    In the 1900s it was a common sight in most backyards. During the summer it gleefully skipped through the air, wrapping its ends around sturdy trees or poles secured in the ground.

    Clothespins provided a solid anchor on its expanse, and for many years the lowly clothesline seemed to bask in the attention of the American family.

    A long, forked wooden pole propped in the middle of the line would lift the laundered clothes to just the right height for youngsters to duck under as they galloped about in their pretend world.

  • Cemetery tour tells stories of past Owen countians

    The small granite marker seemed insignificant surrounded by larger, more elaborately carved tombstones. The name etched on top of the stone, Colorado Grant, was unknown to most, yet the man buried beneath the gravestone truly touched the lives of Owen countians in the early 1900s, for he gave them a glimpse of the western frontier.

    On a hot day a few weeks ago, as sunlight bounced off tombstones and baked visitors, the Owen County Historical Society and the Owen County Public Library joined together to visit Owen County’s past.

  • Blue Wing Inn shines light on Ky. history

    Though seemingly endless, the narrow winding road eventually reaches its destination at Browns Bottom, where the historic  Blue Wing Inn welcomes visitors.

    Formerly the summer home of Mason Brown, the inn was built circa 1850. Its Greek Revival architecture is punctuated by  gingerbread trim galloping delightfully around the house, adding character to the exterior.

  • Young Owen countians overcome early childhood struggle

    In the 1800s famine hit Ireland and more than 2 million Irish immigrated to America. The Brown family was part of this seemingly unending wave of starving yet determined people who looked to a new life and a new land of opportunity.

    The Browns settled in Virginia, and not long after the births of their children, both died, leaving behind four young orphans.