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Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • Mills have rich history in Owen County

    For 90 years they have nestled against the home of Monterey resident Margaret Murphy. Over time the elements pummeled their surface in an attempt to claim them, yet the mill stones of Branham’s mill have survived; and their presence reflects the enduring history of Owen County grist mills.

  • Historical Society News: Canby community lives on in Sylvia Perkins' memories

    Today the scope of the landscape has changed. The few remaining large family farms stand as sentinels serenely as Canby grows, offering newcomers a chance to settle amid the rolling hills of Owen County.
    Sylvia Perkins is a lot like Canby. She has lived in the community most of her life; and though age has slowed her a bit, her steadfast presence remains as an unmoving witness to the ageless nobility of land and people.

  • Owen County Historical Society News: Oct. 29, 2014

    Morgan’s presence touched the soul of the people.
    He was a folk hero of the South and won the admiration of many as he wrought havoc upon the Union Army. He was a master of guerilla warfare and against overwhelming odds John Hunt Morgan left an indelible mark upon the hearts of a nation.

  • Owen Historical Society News: Sitting up with the dead was a tradition

    She knew her heart was weak, and that if she bore another child the stress of labor might prove fatal.
    In June of 1925, this young Owen County woman’s heart gave out as she attempted  to deliver her fourth child; and Mattie Agnes Smith Karsner and her unborn baby were buried together on the gentle rolling slope of Monterey cemetery.

  • Owen Historical Society News: Chicken dinner was once a status symbol

    A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.

  • 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.