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

Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • Owen countians made headlines across the nation

    Over the years stories featuring Owen countians have been reported in newspaper articles across America. Some are true, others are a stretch of the imagination, and a few are downright unbelievable.
    One rather questionable story was reported in an Oregon newspaper, the Columbian, in 1882. According to the article, Judge Major of Kentucky was told by many older people in Frankfort and Owen counties that the Mexican dictator Santa Anna, who massacred the Texans at the Alamo, was born in this area. Judge Major elaborated:

  • Owen County Historical Society | Poke salad nourished a generation during tough times

    In his new book, “The Best Cook in the World: Tales From My Momma’s Table,” author Rick Bragg wrote: “In a South that no longer seems to remember its heart, our food may be the best part left.”
    This poignant statement was clearly demonstrated at the historical society picnic last week where a variety of Kentucky old-time recipes, along with a pinch of Owen County flavor, came to life.
    There was no denying member Stella Gibson’s pickled beets took the center of attention, along with Peggy Trinkle’s bean salad.

  • Owen County Historical Society | ‘First frost’ might be the best cure for pesky horseflies

    As they traveled into Kentucky, early settlers brought with them what little household items they possessed, along with their livestock, their recipes and their home remedies that had been passed down from one generation to the next.
    Turpentine and kerosene were two of the most widely used ingredients in home cures. Many Owen countians recall that as children they were given a worm preventative consisting of a  teaspoon of sugar laced with a drop of turpentine.

  • Owen County Historical Society | Kentucky militia took center stage during War of 1812

    They were called the “ragtag and bobtail of creation” and the Kentucky volunteers joining up to fight in the War of 1812  were in no way fashionable. Some wore large floppy hats, while others sported coonskin caps. Their pants were made of various materials from homemade linsy to buckskin, and though many wore shoes, a great number wore moccasins or went barefoot.
    According to Col. Orlando Brown, who was a child when Kentucky’s citizen soldiers rendezvoused at Georgetown, the dress of the Kentucky militia was anything but uniform.

  • Historical Society News | Stories from Owen County's numerous communities linger on

    At one time over 60 communities thrived amid the hills of Owen County. Each one was unique and most shared special stories that have been passed down from one generation to the next.
    An 1886 article in the Owenton Democrat described a rather entertaining story that occurred in Gratz at the dedication of the Gratz Baptist Church.

  • Historical Society | Revivals played an integral part in Kentucky history

    In 1872 the Concord Association of Baptists held a revival in Owen County. It was attended by crowds from Owen, Carroll, Henry and Gallatin counties who met in the woods on the farm of Josephus Vanderen, about a mile southeast of Dallasburg.
    Several local preachers delivered stirring sermons which were accompanied by hymns of praise reverberating throughout the sultry summer air.
    After three days the faithful proceeded to Mussel Shoals where they continued to fellowship and share their faith.

  • Historical Society | Swimming holes provided respite from summer's heat

    “Oh! The old swimmin’-hole! In the long, lazy days
    When the humdrum of school made so many run-a-ways,
    How pleasant was the jurney [sic] down the old dusty lane,
    Whare the tracks of our bare feet was printed so plain.”
    In his poem, “The Old Swimmin’ Hole,” James Whitcomb Riley reminisced about the carefree summer days of his childhood and recalled the old swimmin’ hole that beckoned the young to plunge from the fiery heat of summer into the refreshing respite of invigorating coolness.

  • BONNIE STRASSELL: Death of Kentucky’s first historian shrouded in mystery

    It is a mystery that has remained unsolved for 230 years. Was it a crime committed by an Indian who acted alone or was it an accident?

    The mysterious death in 1788 of Kentucky’s first historian, John Filson, was the subject of the historical society program last week.

    Jason French, curator of collections at the Beringher-Crawford Museum in Covington, presented several possible scenarios for Filson’s death; leaving final conclusions to his captivated audience.

  • Trees, rocks served as boundaries in early deeds

    Early pioneers in Kentucky claimed land by “tomahawk rights.”  These rights were acquired by deadening a few trees near a spring and making one’s mark, name or initials in the bark. This practice was also accompanied by cabin and corn claims. As a result of building a cabin or planting a crop of corn upon a section of land, a person was acknowledged as its owner.

  • Orphans lend powerful narrative to American history

    The first orphanage in America was established in 1729 when Indians massacred settlers near Natchez, Miss. An orphanage was unusual during this time; most orphans in the 1700s were taken into homes of neighbors or relatives. There was no court or government involvement. Families and friends just took it upon themselves to take these children under their wing to be raised as part of the family.