Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • Early Owen countians lived frugally, persevered during hard times

    The currency commonly used in Colonial America was the British pound or Spanish coins called “pieces of eight,”so named because the coins could be cut into smaller denominations of eight pieces.

  • Old newspaper articles give glimpse into Owen’s past

    They were just ordinary everyday folks. Some lived in large cities; others resided in small towns or on isolated farms. Yet, for one brief moment in time they stood in the limelight, and their stories, some delightfully crafted to evoke laughter, others to awaken memories of long ago, became memorialized in newspaper articles, family histories and community narratives.  

  • 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.