Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • Stories from Sparta’s past sure to delight

    In 1800, several families from Virginia, led by John Carlock, William Swango, Jacob Walters, Sr. and John and David Alcorn settled in the valley near Two Mile and Eagle Creeks. These pioneers built their homes and businesses on the south side of Eagle Creek and called their community Ross’s Mill. A few years later, the growing village was known as Brock’s Station, possibly because a small fort (station) was erected in the area for protection against Indian attacks.

  • Ky. tradition of pulling candy gives families a chance work together

    As winter settled in on the early 20th-century rural farm, and cloudy bleak days brought the promise of snow and more snow, Owen County housewives took out their heavy cook pots, set in cream and checked their larders to make sure there was plenty of sorghum, molasses and sugar on hand. Twas the season to chase away the winter doldrums and sweeten life with a little (or sometimes a lot) of sugary confections in the form of candies, caramel corn and popcorn balls.

  • History of local churches creates a link to the past

    The spiritual fervor and religious enthusiasm on the early American frontier profoundly influenced our nation. Coming out of the Revolutionary War, the American people also revolted against the traditional Anglican church of England, and Methodist and Baptist itinerant evangelists offered a grass-roots Christianity that appealed to the everyday folks settling in the backwoods of Kentucky.

  • At 99, local historian continues to document past

    In 1918 a pound of butter cost 56 cents. Milk was 28 cents a half gallon, five lbs. of flour could be bought for 34 cents and food was certainly a priority in the fierce winter of 1917-’18.

  • Local heroes come in all shapes and sizes

    They come in all shapes and sizes. Some receive national attention while others just exhibit an inner strength that makes a difference in someone’s life. They are known as heroes, and their actions inspire others and make an indelible imprint upon the pages of history.
    Some heroes are everyday folks who overcome a tragedy or survive a calamity, and whose determination leads them to triumph over tribulation.

  • Kentucky towns have acquired unusual names

     Names are significant, whether they are individual or family names or whether they are names of rivers, creeks, communities or towns.
    As settlers made their way into Kentucky, they erected forts and stations for protection against Indian attacks. These wooden stockades were given the names of their founders. Daniel Boone oversaw the building of Fort Boonesborough, James Harrod established Fort Harrod and Logan’s Fort was named for Benjamin Logan.

  • In ‘grandmammy’s’ time, every season offered a special reason to celebrate life

    Every family has keepsakes. Some are tangible items such as books, furniture, pictures or glassware, and these heirlooms have passed down through the generations.
    Perhaps, though, more valuable than these treasured objects are genealogies, traditions and family stories that linger in our memories and create an enduring link to the past.

  • Inventor received little credit for brilliancy

    It’s the little-known stories of everyday folks that create entertaining chapters of history. Kentucky claims many of these stories, and though some Kentuckians became famous, the accomplishments of many others were unknown outside their local area.
    Although Marconi claimed to have invented the radio, Nathan B. Stublefield, a farmer, fruit grower and electrician from Murray, Ky., was the first to invent this piece of technology that changed the world.

  • Lusby’s Mill past rife with colorful characters

    Assac Cobb is believed to have been the first white child born in Owen County. He was the eighth child of Samuel Cobb and his second wife, who were among the first settlers in Lusby’s Mill. Samuel Cobb fought in the Revolutionary War, and his first wife and two daughters were scalped and killed by Indians in South Carolina. In the late 1790s, the Cobbs and three other families settled on the banks of Eagle Creek behind present-day Mussel Shoals Church.

  • Owen County life once centered around the church

    Church suppers have deep roots in American tradition. The practice of gathering for a shared meal after Sunday morning worship originated in European countries that had a deep Christian heritage, and the custom continued as the first immigrants settled in America.
    There are historic documents which relate stories of squires in Medieval Europe rewarding their serfs on Sunday with a roasted meal which was placed in the oven before families headed to church and eaten upon their return home.