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

Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • Former News-Herald editor documented early Owen Co. life

    John Forsee, an early editor of the News-Herald and native Owen countian, wrote a history of the county in 1936 under the Federal Writers’ Project. This project was created in 1935 as part of the United States WPA program to provide employment for historians, teachers, writers, and librarians. Its purpose was not only to help these white collar workers but to focus on the historic and cultural resources of the United States.

  • 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.

  • Owen's confederate soldiers faced large battles, capture

    With dogged and unflinching determination they met the enemy, and many gave their lives for a cause in which they believed.

    A great tragedy unfolded when the enemy was a member of a soldier’s own family, and during the Civil War, this scenario was played out between more Kentuckians than any other people of the United States.

  • Severn Valley once grounds for ancient burial sites

    Early Owen County settlers called it “locust and pawpaw” land. Its rich loamy soil nourished a great number of locust and pawpaw trees and provided bumper crops of tobacco and produce.

    There was a time when Severn Creek Valley was home to mills, a school, a church and a number of households. By 1958 only a few families lived along the five-mile stretch from the mouth of Severn to where it crossed by Highway 35.

  • The old school might be gone but the memories remain

    Perhaps it was nostalgia that bound the people together, or maybe it was the innumerable reminisces, recounted by the elegant white-haired figure standing before them, that linked them to the past.

    Thelma Olds Gibson was the special guest speaker at the historical society meeting last week, and she captured the audience with poignant and sometimes hilariously funny episodes of her school days that led up to her graduation in 1952.

  • Peddler Black once a favorite visitor among locals

    His stooped figure was a familiar sight among the hills of Owen County in the early 1900s. At times he would exit the road and stroll through fields to visit an isolated family. His age was unknown, but his deeply-lined weathered face acknowledged years of exposure to the elements.

    Two heavily-laden packs settled themselves comfortably on his shoulders and boasted of small necessities, along with a few frivolities that brought pleasure to young and old alike.

  • Owen County's history rich with storytellers

    In early Kentucky they were found in the widely-scattered frontier cabins. As towns sprang up, they congregated at trading posts and taverns. By the 19th and 20th centuries, they patronized the local general stores, and as communities expanded, storytelling became a delightful pastime for folks who were hungry to escape the hum-drum of everyday life.

  • Inverness: A reminder of Scottish ancestry in Owen

    A small village located in the Scottish highlands boasts of a long history of castles, battles and the Loch Ness monster. Its name, “Inverness,” traveled with Scottish immigrants across the Atlantic, and was bestowed upon several towns and villages in the raw, new land of America.

    The Gowers immigrated from Inverness, Scotland, to Kentucky in the early 1800s. Their daughter, Lucy Harriet Gower, married an upcoming Owenton lawyer in 1824.