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

Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • Fond memories of one-room schoolhouses

    The little girl hadn’t quite reached school age when her mother, a school teacher, suggested she join the students for lunch at the school next door. The child was ecstatic at the prospect of not only attending school but of spending cherished moments with her mother.
    Monterey historian and genealogist, Margaret Murphy, lost her mother, Mattie Smith Karsner, at a young age but continues to treasure those early school day memories.

  • Several unique root cellars nestled in Owen hills

    They were a common sight on most Owen County farms in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some were built below the ground, but it wasn’t unusual to see many on ground level with dirt mounded up to form a roof.
    Before the age of refrigeration and canning, root cellars were built under homes or in a separate structure on the property; and into the mid-1900s they played a vital role in American life.

  • Many early Owen countians called New Columbus home

     The stream was named after Revolutionary War veteran John Guill. It emptied into Big Eagle Creek, and although most of the time it displayed a serene demeanor, torrential rainfalls could transform its sleepy countenance into a rugged raging deluge.
    John Guill settled in the New Columbus area in 1780, and it was here he built his cabin and raised his family near the stream that bore his name.

  • Many centenarians have called Owen Co. home

    What is the secret to a long life?
    According to one recent study there are currently over 500 centenarians in the state of Kentucky, and when many were asked the secret for their longevity, their answers varied.
    Some declared long life was the result of good food and exercises, while others proclaimed it was their deep abiding faith. One Kentuckian, who at the age of 104 walked two miles a day, attributed three daily beers as the special ingredient that provided her with a long life.

  • Remembering Verna Kathryn Payne, 1916-2017

      Her slight frame suggested fragility, yet beneath a delicate outward appearance was an undeniable strength of character and indefatigable spirit that inspired those who came to know and love Verna Kathryn Kemper Payne. 

  • Spanish Flu claimed the lives of many Owen countians

    It galloped across Kentucky, leaving devastation in its wake, but its destructive power also affected the lives of almost every American.  Many were at a loss as to how to fight this deadly enemy, and before it vanished the following year, 675,000 Americans had succumbed to its attack.

  • Written memories provide insight to Owen County’s past

    Images of Owen countians were captured in photographs, their daily lives recorded in letters, diaries and family histories, and stories of their undaunted spirit were shared by one generation to the next.

    It is these vital pieces of long ago that bind the past to the present and give us insight into our history.

    In a 1950 News-Herald insert, articles written by several Owen countians created a nostalgic journey to bygone days.

  • Lead once extracted from Gratz and Moxley communities

    Sought after by both the American Indians and the early frontier settlers, it was necessary when hunting game in the wilderness, and a means by which an army attained victory on the field of battle. 

    Round balls, molded from lead, was the ammunition of early America. They were used in muskets and the famous Kentucky rifle, and this vital commodity helped conquer the American frontier.

  • Mad stones have been known to cure what ails

    For centuries blisters, bunions and boils were treated with home remedies, as were more serious illnesses. From purging to blood letting to herbal poultices, folks treated themselves, their families and their neighbors, using remedies passed down through generations.
    With the advent of antibiotics, many old remedies went out of vogue. Although leeches and maggots were used since ancient times, by the 20th century they became a treatment of the past. That is, until recently.

  • Secret tunnel may have provided safety for local judges

    It was said the secret tunnel snaked its way underneath the streets of Owenton from the Owen County Courthouse to one of the nearby banks.
    While attending Owen County Schools, Owen County Senior Center Manager Stacy Sipple Long, heard about this underground passage. The story goes that it provided a safe way for a judge to leave the courthouse if he rendered an unpopular verdict.