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Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • The mule: The original farm technology

    They made a farmer’s work easier, or more difficult, depending on their disposition on any given day.
    Some declared they are quite ornery, though it has been said they are not as obstinate as donkeys. Perhaps that is a matter of debate, yet most Owen County farmers agree that the mule was an indispensable addition to life on the family farm.
    The mule’s contrariness has been expounded upon in stories, poems and songs, and there is no denying patience can wear thin when trying to convince a mule of his duties.

  • The unwelcome guest of Thanksgiving Day 1950

    On Thanksgiving Day, 1950, an uninvited and unwelcome guest made an appearance in Owen County.
    Its arrival took folks by surprise, and its impact upon Owen County and Kentucky was undeniable.
    Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when it departed a few days later, and yet memories of its presence were shared for years to come.

  • Owen residents fought for freedom

    If age determined manhood, perhaps they didn’t qualify. Many were eighteen or nineteen, some younger. Yet, that fact was insignificant in battle. In all the wars which our country fought, young men served as a testimony that age is not a qualifying factor that determines honor, sacrifice, or heroism.
    The Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 tested the mettle of our nation, as a new breed of Americans fought and won their independence.

  • Records of thriving small towns reconnect us to our past

    The solemn faces of four men and two young boys are featured in the photo. Posed in front of the Danish post office and dressed in early 20th century clothing, the group creates a picturesque image of early Owen County life.
    Twin Creek Valley is nestled adjacent to the Kentucky River near the Carroll County community of Worthville. At the turn of the 20th century, folks settled in this area to farm and operate businesses. Before long, several small communities sprang up, and for a time prospered.

  • Tombstones in local cemetery often symbols of deceased’s life

    “Held for a moment. Loved for a lifetime.”
    These words, etched into the tiny white tombstone, had been been pulmetted by the elements and passage of time. Yet, they whispered across the years and told the story of a heart-rendering loss.
    A small cast angel lay upon the ground in front of the small marker, its outspread wings somehow giving the impression of a protective covering for its tiny charge.

  • Advertising gave locals insight to business wares

    BONNIE STRASSELL – Owen County Historical Society

  • Sept. 23, 2015: Old-time tunes have long been a local tradition

    Hans Christinan Anderson once asserted, “Where words fail, music speaks.”
    As settlers climbed across the Appalachian Mountians to create homes in Kentucky, they brought with them the culture, traditions, and music of their forefathers.
      Songs they brought from distant lands marked the history of their people. Their music chronicled their fight for freedom, their moments of sadness and joy and brought solace into lives which at times were impacted by danger and despair.

  • Historical Society News, Aug. 19, 2015

    “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”
    In the Shakespeare play, “Romeo and Juliet,” these words are spoken by Juliet and imply that a name doesn’t define the character of something. However, just the name “rose” conjures up the image of a lovely flower with a light delicate fragrance. So, perhaps names are significant and play an important part in our lives.

  • Historical Society News, July 8, 2015

    For thousands of years the Kentucky river has sung its ancient song in whispers, gurgles, and at time in furious tirades. It makes a wide sweeping bend at Gratz; and according to the “Owen County 1883 Atlas,” the river collected the waters from two creeks on either side of the town. The names assigned these tributaries were “Clay Lick Creek” and “Lowdenback or Hogs Thief Branch.”

  • Historical Society News, May 6: Stories of panthers not uncommon in Owen County

    They roamed the hills of early Kentucky in great numbers and sightings of their sinewy forms on nightly forays in Owen County have been recorded  throughout the years.
    Their eerie midnight screams have sent goose bumps scrambling along the arms of even the most brave and family stories of confrontations between man and these fierce predators have been passed down through generations.