Extensive Paint Analysis En Route to Restoration at Georgetown’s Ward Hall

The Ward Hall Preservation Foundation is pleased to announce that Matthew J. Mosca of Baltimore has been selected to conduct a historic paint finishes study on the external surfaces of Ward Hall. The results of this study will be used to develop historic specifications for the restoration of Ward Hall.

“I am thrilled that Mr. Mosca is interested in working with us at Ward Hall,” said David Stuart, Chairman of the Ward Hall Preservation Foundation. “In the world of historic paint analysts, he is truly among the very best. His work will enable us to move forward in the restoration process in the most historically accurate way possible.”

Matthew J. Mosca is a nationally recognized consultant in the field of historic paint research and restoration. He has over 40 years of experience in the field, focusing on identification of materials by microscopic and chemical means. He formerly worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and has served as an independent consultant since 1979. He has conducted complete research and restoration programs at nationally significant sites that have been recognized as major accomplishments by the American Institute of Architects, that National Park Service, and various other organizations. Previous locations of his paint research include Mount Vernon (VA), The United States Treasury Building (DC) and The Hermitage (TN).

“My first visit to Ward Hall, years ago, left me literally speechless,” said Mr. Mosca. “I have been really delighted to have worked on a number of great historic houses in Kentucky and am unabashedly excited by the prospect of working at Ward Hall!”

Funding for this project comes from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, as mitigation for the recent widening of US 460. The City of Georgetown will oversee the project and transfer of all funds.

“There may be no greater treasure in our city than Ward Hall,” said Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather. “We are pleased to be affiliated with this project and hope that it will aid in continuing to develop both Ward Hall and Georgetown a destination for those seeking to learn more about the history of our region.”

The foregoing is a press release prepared by the Ward Hall Preservation Foundation.

You can check out my earlier post on Ward Hall by clicking here.

DEMO WATCH: Kentucky’s Equine History Embodied in the Robert Sanders House of Scott County

Robert Sanders House in Scott County. National Register

In 1785, at the age of 6, Polly Shipp Hawkins immigrated to Kentucky. Much later in life, she recollected her journey through life. The memoirs, written in 1868, recalled a “large brick house ‘standing near the Cane Run bridge on the turnpike to Lexington.'” It stood out in Polly’s mind as it was the first brick house she ever encountered.

And stood out it should. The home encountered by young Polly was probably the first brick structure in Scott County and one of the earliest and finest such structures in all the bluegrass.

In 1904, Scott County historian B. O. Gaines observed that the Robert Sanders house “would last forever.” But that suggestion may soon be untrue.

Although preservationists are actively working to save this two-and-one-half story piece of history, the Robert Sanders house is truly in its eleventh hour.

The home’s inclusion on the 2009 edition of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation’s endangered property list observed both that “the exterior of this building is large and impressive” but also that “the interior is the real treasure.”

But according to the Georgetown News-Graphic, “work has already begun to strip the interior of the house.” These treasured interior elements include, according to the BGT:

The first story room to the east of the central stair hall contains the original walnut mantelpiece and paneling. Detailing includes scallops, large reeding, fretwork, cornice, and chair rail all in the original, unpainted walnut. To the right of the fireplace is a bookshelf with doors containing small panes of glass and to the right is a closet which once housed an early stairway. The rest of the house preserves original mantels, trim, and floorboards.

Even more spectacular, still, may be the importance of this house and property on Kentucky’s equine industry.

In her essay “A richer land never seen yet” contained in the book Bluegrass Renaissance, Maryjean Wall wrote that “a house that Colonel Roberts Sanders built in 1798 near Georgetown in Scott County became part of a complex that was said to include a five-hundred-bed hotel, a race track, and a farm for Thoroughbreds.”

Wall went on to note that efforts by those such as Sanders “eventually would combine to make an industry.” An action setting Sanders apart from the others was his purchase and import to Kentucky of Melzar – a stallion whose short time at stud produced a prized offspring which led toward Kentucky’s first sweepstakes.” Sanders also imported to Kentucky the first Thoroughbred from England; he was a stallion named Blaze.

Sanders truly contributed to Kentucky and Kentucky stands at risk of losing its physical connection with “the wealthiest pioneer in the state” (as family histories indicate).

His 1,000 acre land grand offered Sanders the space and opportunity to develop his empire. According to the application to the National Register to which the property was added in 1973, the “Sanders estate also included a spring house, ice house, smoke house, loom house, blacksmith shop, and a stone barn. The stone barn, which was laid without mortar, originally had tiny port-holes for mounting rifles.”

The rifles would have been necessary to thwart attacks from Indians. Other defenses built in the event of an Indian attack included thick walls (up to 3.5 feet in places). The basement was apparently designed as a safe place to go in the event of attack as well. The well-built house utilized 8×12 sleepers in its construction (compared with today’s conventional 2×4 … a clear reason this house was thought to “last forever.”) which, among other things, offered additional headroom for those seeking shelter during a raid. Later, a portion of this basement became “one of the finest wine cellars in the state” according to the National Register application.

An obituary running in the Kentucky Gazette in May 1805 reported the “death of Colonel Robert Sanders of Scott County ‘after illness of 4 weeks.'” Hopefully, the physical space he once inhabited will not too perish.

A friendship pledge between two Georgetown, Ky. girls

Friendship pledge found in Scott County. Charles Bertram, H-L

Earlier this week, the Lexington Herald-Leader‘s weekly unCommonwealth series, written by Cheryl Truman, told the story of a decades old correspondence uncovered in a Georgetown home. You can read that story here.

A friendship pledge found under a fireplace tile piqued my interest. Signed by Loretta Thomas and Gwen Cranfill, it read:

Until the night of our graduation, we, the undersigned, hereby solemnly swear not to remove the rings placed on our finger. These rings are a token of our friendship.

The friendship pledge was interesting, in part, because of the observation that “what happened to Loretta Thomas is unknown.” The Herald-Leader story said that Gwen Cranfill became a professor and chair of English at Georgetown College; in 2013, she died at the age of 77.

With a few minutes on ancestry.com, I didn’t have the answers to the fate of Loretta Thomas … but I did have something.

By backing out Gwen’s age from the year in which she passed away, I guessed that she was born around 1935.  On a hunch, I guessed her friend Loretta was approximately the same age.

Within seconds, I was looking at the 1949 yearbook from the “Green & White” which was the yearbook for Garth High School.

The two girls were freshmen.

And though in different rows, they appear next to one another in the class photo.

Above, is the full page of the yearbook as extracted from ancestry.com. And to the right is close up of the two girls with Loretta Thomas standing immediately in front of her best friend, Gwen Cranfill.

There still lingers that question, though, of what ever became of Miss Loretta Thomas?

The girls’ school, Garth High School, remains standing on South Hamilton Street in Georgetown, Kentucky. The school ” is a 250-by-110 foot symmetrical irregularly shaped red brick building of the Collegiate Gothic and Arts and Crafts styles … decoratively detailed with stone,” according to the National Register file on the structure.

Garth School was built in 1925 and added to the National Register in 1971. Today, the building continues to serve an educational purpose as the Garth Elementary School.

Garth School, Georgetown, Kentucky. Russell & Sydney Poore.


Ancestry.com. U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

National Register of Historic Places, Garth School, Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky, National Register #88002187.

Regional Look to Blue Grass Trust’s 11 Endangered List

Photographs of Select Sites on the Blue Grass Trust’s Eleven in Their Eleventh Hour List

Each year, the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation assembles a list of historic central Kentucky properties which are threatened. For the 2015 edition of the “Eleven in Their Eleventh Hour” list, the BGT has looked primarily beyond Fayette County to sites across 11 central Kentucky counties.

The list of counties largely resembles those included in the 2006 World Monument Fund’s designation of the Inner Bluegrass Region. The Blue Grass Trust included Madison County on its “11 Endangered List” while omitting Anderson County. All Kentucky counties, however, have “at risk” structures and deserve the attention of preservationists.

The BGT’s list is a great step toward recognizing that preservation can and should occur throughout Kentucky and not only in our urban cores. The 14 structures within the 11 counties also reflect that theme.

According to the BGT, “the list highlights endangered properties and how their situations speak to larger preservation issues in the Bluegrass. The goal of the list is to create a progressive dialogue that moves toward positive long-term solutions. The criteria used for selecting the properties include historic significance, lack of protection from demolition, condition of structure, or architectural significance.”

The sites are listed below.

Bourbon County – Cedar Grove & John T. Redmon House 

Both Cedar Grove and the Redmon House are architecturally significant houses from the early 19th century. The circa 1818 John & John T. Redmon House has a steep roof more often found in Virginia than Kentucky and has lost its original one-story wings. Though both buildings are vacant, they have undergone partial renovations recently and the BGT believes these structures could be still restored.

Boyle County – Citizens National Bank & Dr. Polk House

Mostly empty for two-plus years, the Citizens National Bank building at 305 West Main Street in Danville was built in 1865 with a double storefront that housed First National Bank of Danville and a drug store. Bank-owned and listed for sale, a demolition (or partial demolition) of this structure could affect adjacent structures with which the building shares walls.  Dr. Polk House at 331 South Buell Street in Perryville sits across from Merchants’ Row and is arguably the historic landmark most in need of restoration in the downtown. Built in 1830 as a simple Greek Revival house with two chimneys and two front doors, the structure was purchased by Dr. Polk in 1850. A graduate of Transylvania University, he was the primary caretaker of wounded from the Battle of Perryville and his 1867 autobiography details the gruesome battlefield.

Dr. Polk House in Perryville, Kentucky. Photo courtesy of the BGT.

Clark County – Indian Old Fields 

Indian Old Fields in Clark County was the location of Eskippakithiki, the last known Native American town in what became Kentucky. Located on Lewis Evans’ 1755 map of Middle British Colonies, this highly important site was significantly impacted during construction of a new interchange (which opened September 2014) for the Mountain Parkway crossing KY 974 near the center of the Indian Old Fields.

The Kentucky Heritage Council noted in 2010 that “’Indian Old Fields,’ is a historic and prehistoric archaeological district of profound importance,” with 50 significant prehistoric archaeological sites identified within 2 kilometers of the interchange. These sites cover the Archaic Period (8000-1000 BC), Woodland Period (1000 B.C. -1000 AD) and Adena Period (1000-1750 AD), with several listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These include villages, Indian fort earthworks, mounds, sacred circles and stone graves. The site also has substantial ties to the famous Shawnee Chief Cathecassa or Black Hoof, Daniel Boone, and trader John Finley.

With the new $8.5 million dollar interchange now open, there are significant concerns that these sites with be under threat from pressure to further develop the area.

Fayette County – Modern Structures 

The Blue Grass Trust’s 2014 “Eleven in Their Eleventh Hour” focused on the historic resources at the University of Kentucky. Many of those included on the list (and most of those demolished) were Modern buildings designed by locally renowned architect Ernst Johnson. Research into Johnson’s work by the BGT and others such as architects Sarah House Tate and Dr. Robert Kelley was joined with education and advocacy programming focused on his architecture and legacy as a master of Modernism. This research and programming led to other efforts by the Blue Grass Trust, namely working to educate the public on the historic value of mid-century architecture.

In our continued education and advocacy effort surrounding these structures, the Blue Grass Trust lists Fayette County’s mid-century Modern architecture as endangered. Often viewed as not old enough or not part of the traditional early fabric of Lexington and surrounding areas, the Modern buildings of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s are being substantially and unrecognizably altered or demolished. It is important to recognize that buildings 50 years of age are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, a length of time deemed appropriate by the authors of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 for reflection on an era’s importance. Read more from the Kaintuckeean’s earlier post on the People’s Bank branch on South Broadway.

People’s Bank in Lexington. Photo by Rachel Alexander.

Franklin County – Old YMCA & Blanton-Crutcher Farm

Both the Old YMCA in downtown Frankfort faces potential demolition and the Blanton-Crutcher Farm in Jett are slowly deteriorating from neglect and both structures are worth saving. The 1911 Old YMCA at 104 Bridge Street in Frankfort, designed in the Beaux Arts style by a a Frankfort architect, was a state-of-the-art facility featuring a gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, meeting rooms and guest quarters. While a local developer is hoping to transform it into a boutique hotel, there is also a push by the city of Frankfort to demolish this structure. If saved, this could be a transformative project in our capital city. 

The Blanton-Crutcher Farm in Jett includes an architecturally and historically significant circa 1796 house built by Carter Blanton, a prominent member of the Jett farming community. In 1831, Blanton sold the farm to his nephew, Richard Crutcher, the son of Reverend Isaac Crutcher and Blanton’s sister, Nancy Blanton Crutcher. The 1974 National Register nomination for the farm notes: “The Crutchers were excellent farmers. Three generations of the family farmed the land and made improvements on the house until 1919 when the property was sold. It has remained a working farm with a large farmhouse, at its center, that has evolved over 180 years of active occupation.” In the 1880s, Washington Crutcher significantly increased the size of the house, turning it into the Victorian house that stands today (although the porches were removed due to deterioration and other modern features have been added).

Harrison County – The Handy House aka Ridgeway 

The Handy House, also known as Ridgeway, is located on US 62 in Cynthiana, KY. The nearly 200-year-old house was built in 1817 by Colonel William Brown, a United States Congressman and War of 1812 veteran. The farm and Federal-style house were also owned by Dr. Joel Frazer, namesake of Camp Frazer, a Union camp during the American Civil War. In the 1880s, the house underwent significant renovations by W. T. Handy, the owner from 1883-1916 and for whom the house remains named.

The Handy House checks almost every box when it comes to saving a structure: an architecturally and historically important house in good enough shape to rehabilitate, a listing on the National Register of Historic Places, qualification for the Kentucky Historic Preservation Tax Credit, and a group, the Harrison County Heritage Council and a descendant of the original owner, willing to take on the project. Unfortunately, the Handy House is jointly owned between the city and the county. County magistrates voted to tear it down, and the city opted not to vote on it with the hopes that the new council will come to a deal with the Harrison County Heritage Council, which has offered to purchase and restore the house as a community center. Read more from the Kaintuckeean’s earlier post on Ridgeway.

Jessamine County – Court Row 

Completed in 1881, Nicholasville’s Court Row is located right next to the Jessamine County Courthouse. Italianate in design and largely unchanged exterior-wise, Court Row is one of the most significant and substantial structures in downtown Nicholasville.

In a broad context, the listing of Court Row is a comment on the status of all the historic resources in downtown Nicholasville. Several threats exist that are culminating in drastic changes to the fabric of the town. Foremost, Nicholasville failed in 2013 to pass its first historic district, an overlay that would have encompassed the majority of the downtown and helped to regulate demolition and development. Then, within the past month, two historic structures were demolished, including the Lady Sterling House, an 1804 log cabin very close to the urban core. Additionally, Nicholasville is on the ‘short list’ for a new judicial center, the location of which has yet to be determined but will almost certainly have an effect on the downtown. Together, these threats present the potential for the loss of significant portions of Nicholasville’s charming downtown.

Madison County – Downtown Richmond 

Preservation has had a lot positive movement in Richmond. The Madison County Historical Society is active; the beautiful Irvinton House Museum is city-owned and the location of the Richmond Visitor’s Center; and the downtown contains a local historic district. Like most local historic districts (also known as H-1 overlays), though, the Downtown Richmond Historic District protects historic buildings and sites that are privately owned. That means that city- and county-owned sites are exempt from the H-1 regulations.

The potential damaging effects of this can already be seen. In February 2013, downtown Richmond lost the Miller House and the Old Creamery, two of its most historic buildings. Both were in the Downtown Richmond Historic District and on the National Register of Historic Places. Owned by the county, the buildings were demolished with the hopes of constructing a minimum-security prison on the site that would replicate the exterior façade of the Miller House, according to Madison Judge/Executive Kent Clark. There are several other historic sites in the urban core that are owned by either the city or the county, leading to worry about the state of preservation in Richmond’s downtown.

Mercer County – Walnut Hall

Built circa 1850 by David W. Thompson, Walnut Hall is one of Mercer County’s grand Greek Revival houses. A successful planter and native of Mercer County, Thompson left the house and 287 acres of farmland to his daughter, Sue Helm, upon his death in 1865. In 1978, Walnut Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with two other important and similar Mercer County Greek Revival houses: Lynnwood (off KY Highway 33 near the border of Mercer and Boyle Counties) and Glenworth (off Buster Pike).

The James Harrod Trust has notified the Blue Grass Trust that the house may be under threat of demolition, as it is owned by a prominent Central Kentucky developer known to have bulldozed several other important historic buildings.

Scott County – Choctaw Indian Academy 

Located in Blue Springs, KY, off Route 227 near Stamping Ground, the Choctaw Indian Academy was created in 1818 on the farm of Colonel Richard M. Johnson, who served as Vice President of the United States under Martin Van Buren (1837–1841). The Academy was created using Federal funding and was intended to provide a traditional European-American education for Native Americans boys. (It was one of only two government schools operated by the Department of War – the other being West Point.) Originally consisting of five structures built prior to 1825, only one building – thought to be a dormitory – remains. By 1826, over 100 boys were attending the school, becoming well enough known to be visited by the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825. The school was relocated to White Sulphur Springs (also a farm owned by Colonel Johnson) in 1831. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Read more about the site from the Kaintuckeean’s earlier post on the Choctaw Indian Academy.

Remaining structure of Choctaw Indian Academy. Photo by Amy Palmer.

Woodford County – Versailles High School 

 Located on the corner of Maple Street and Lexington Pike in Versailles, the Versailles High School is a substantial structure built in 1928. The building operated as a high school for 35 years before becoming the Woodford County Junior High in 1963, operating as a middle school until being shuttered in 2005. After 77 years of continuous operation, the building has been empty for nearly 10 years.

With no known maintenance or preservation plan, concern exists that the historic Versailles High School will deteriorate from neglect and, ultimately, be demolished.

You can learn more about the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation on its website, www.bluegrasstrust.org.

Before the Vice-Presidency, Richard M. Johnson Started the Indian School at Great Crossing on his Scott County Farm

During tonight’s (April 19, 2013) Lexington Gallery Hop, the photography of Amy Palmer will be on display at the Susan Gilliam Gallery, 312 East High Street. Amy’s photography focuses on nature,  equine and architecture, including the below photograph of the historic Indian School at Great Crossing. Visit her tonight!

Remaining Stone Dormitory from the Indian School at Great Crossing – Georgetown, Ky.
Photo: Amy Palmer (2013)

To the west of Georgetown, near the banks of the North Elkhorn Creek stands the stone remains of last remaining structure from the old Indian school established in 1825 by then-Colonel (later Vice President) Richard M. Johnson. The Indian School at Great Crossing, today referred to as the Choctaw Indian Academy had five buildings, four of which were constructed of stone; it is believed that this remaining building was a dormitory.

Roadside Historic Marker

Built into a hillside, the dormitory faces northwest. Built on three levels, the lowest level and main floor both have fireplaces and there is an ‘accessible’ upper third level to the three-bay.

As part of America’s attempt to assimilate Native Americans into American culture, the school was founded with federal assistance going to Col. Johnson to the sum of approximately $6,000 per annum – funding agreed to by a treaty between the Americans and the Choctaw Nation for the education of Choctaw children “at some point distant from the nation.” Although we look back at this era in American history with regret as it removed young Native Americans from both their lands and their traditions, the immediate reaction to the Academy was favorable as young Indians returned to their tribes educated in a trade.

When the Marquis de Lafayette visited the Bluegrass in the same year as the school opened, a large barbeque was held in his honor with an estimated 5,000 attending.

Dormitory, ca. 1972. Photo: Ann Bevins (NRHP File)

Attendance after just one year exceeded 100, including members of the Choctaw, Pottawatomie, Creek, and Chickasaw nations (as well as some local farm boys). An 1838 student log indicated that the Cherokee, Seminole, Prarieduchien, Chicaga, Miami, and Quapaw tribes were also represented at the Academy.

Ultimately, the school closed in 1843. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The black-and-white photo, taken by Ann B. Blevins and extracted from the National Register application, shows the condition of the property in 1972, when cattle freely roamed into the lower level while hay and farm tools were stored in the upper floors. A side-by-side comparison of the 1972 photo with Amy Palmer’s 2013 photo shows some significant structural decay during the intervening forty years.

The Kaintuckeean previously visited only the historic marker of this old Academy, not believing that anything could be found two miles from the marker. Now we know. 

Scott County Pioneer Station Established in 1790 by Jesse James’ Ancestor

Lindsay’s Station Historic Marker – Stamping Ground, Ky.

About a mile north of Stamping Ground, at the junction of KY 227 and 368 stands a Kentucky historic roadside marker bearing information about an early Kentucky settlement established along a buffalo trace near Lecompte Run in 1790. It was there, in three log cabins and a stockade to hold livestock, that Anthony Lindsay created a small settlement and from where he would grow to be a successful farmer in his day. Prior to his settlement, he was a veteran of the French & Indian War and a Revolutionary War Patriot.

Historic marker #218 reads:

Anthony Lindsay chose this site for his station, built about 1790. lt was located near Lecompte’s Run, a branch of the Elkhorn named for Charles Lecompte, who was here with William McConnell and others in 1775. The station was on old buffalo trace, leading north to Ohio River, and was a regular stop for travelers and traders. Lindsay’s grave is 100 yds. north.

The graves, while not visible form the road, are within a fenced thicket. [*] Lindsay’s Station was not among the first or the most significant of Kentucky’s early settlements, but at each early pioneers and settlers struggled with the elements and the reality of clearing land, planting crops, and risking the threat of Indian attack. Their contributions to Kentucky cannot be discounted.

Neither can this footnote in history: certain of Anthony Lindsay’s descendants moved on to Missouri and his great-grandson, Jesse Woodson James, was one of the most notorious outlaws in American history. Another side note: this isn’t the first time we’ve encountered a Jesse James ancestor in the Commonwealth.

NoD: Where will Newtown Pike take you? Newtown, of course!

Newtown, Kentucky
Newtown Christian Church – Georgetown, Ky.

When visitors (or my wife) get lost in Lexington, I am also befuddled. Lexington is designed as a wheel with spokes. Each of these spokes points to the downtown core passing New Circle Road along its way.

To make matters simpler, each of these roads is named after the next city along the way. Nicholasville Road. Harrodsburg Road. Paris Pike. Winchester Road. Richmond Road. Though some of the towns for which they spoke roads are named are not so obvious unless you are a local cartographer or history buff.

In fact, it was not until recently that I learned the origin of Newtown Pike. Yes, a drive down Kentucky 922 will take you through a beautiful, historic part of Fayette County before crossing into Scott County and depositing you at a junction with US 460. There the little hamlet of Newtown awaits with the same baited breath that it held over one hundred years ago. Which is another way of saying that Newtown has not changed much since it was first settled, which is believed to be in the 1780s. That’s right. There isn’t much “new” about Newtown.

The most impressive structure, the Newtown Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is pictured above. The congregation dates to 1856 and was organized by Elder John Gano; the brick sanctuary was completed in 1857. Newtown also was the home to both Methodist and Presbyterian congregations according to town’s best authority: a history completed in 1882.

Today, the church is in fair condition. Several houses are nearby and an abandoned store is across the Paris Pike (US 460). A short distance toward Georgetown is a well-kept general store to which I hope to return.

But this is the end of the spoke that is Newtown Pike – a completed tale in the wheel of Lexington.

But, to disclose, I do have great sympathy for those visiting Lexington, as well as my wife. No town should have a St. Ann Street that becomes Fontaine that becomes Euclid that becomes Avenue of Champions before becoming Winslow. Yes, Lexington is a confusing mess of roads. But the wheel and spoke design is easy to understand if you just try.

NoD: Georgetown Community Airport’s AirFest

AirFest 2011 at the Georgetown-Scott County Regional Airport - Kentucky
Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 – Georgetown, Ky.

The history of Georgetown’s community airport began in 1987 when the airport board had only $500 dollars. Seven years later, a 4,000 foot runway opened with a single hangar and no income. When last year’s World Equestrian Games was on the horizon, the Georgetown-Scott County Regional Airport underwent a $4 million renovation which involved the construction of a beautiful terminal, expanded hanger options and a longer runway.

AirFest 2011 at the Georgetown-Scott County Regional Airport - Kentucky
Terminal at Georgetown-Scott Co. Regional
Airport – Georgetown, Ky.

Not long ago, the airport board broad even more attention to this community airport with a well-executed airshow called AirFest which both I and the lil’ Kaintuckeean attended.

Although his favorite plane was a two-seat experimental that looked quite similar to Anakin’s craft on Star Wars, we both were also quite impressed with the C-130 Hercules transport brought in by the Kentucky Air National Guard. This behemoth plane is impressive.

Although only there for a little over an hour, we witnessed several takeoffs and landings of experimental, military and historic aircraft.

The Georgetown-Scott County Regional Airport is a great facility located just east of Georgetown on US 460. I hope to return next year for another AirFest (if it becomes an annual event)! You can view more pictures of the Airport (and from Airfest) on flickr.

No Destination: Courthouse Markers in Georgetown

Scott County Courthouse, Georgetown, Ky.

Some counties just have a lot of historic markers around their courthouses. Scott County is one of them. Rather than create a post for each, I’m letting the markers speak for themselves the tale of Scott County. The beautiful 1877 courthouse is surrounded by

General Basil W. Duke, CSA (Marker 1861):

Marker 1861: A close associate of brother-in-law John Hunt Morgan, Duke provided tactics, discipline, and spirit, major elements of success of famous 2nd Ky. Cavalry. Wounded in battle twice, 1862; captured July 1863 in Ind.-Ohio raid; exchanged August 1864. After Morgan’s death, Basil Duke appointed to command brigade. Later led part of the escort for Jefferson Davis in April-May 1865.

(Reverse) Basil W. Duke (1838-1916) – Scott County native Basil Duke-attorney, politician, and author-is most noted for Civil War service to Confederacy. Admitted to bar in 1858, he began law practice in St. Louis. After Civil War he settled in Louisville. Elected to Ky. House of Rep. Duke led powerful railroad lobby and was bitter enemy of Wm. Goebel. Writings include History of Morgan’s Cavalry. Buried Lexington.

Georgetown Raided (Marker 701):

CSA Gen. John H. Morgan, on Kentucky raid here, July 15, 1862, camped two days. Destroyed rail bridges, USA stores, dispersed Home Guards. On 17th defeated USA at Cynthiana. Started back to Tenn. On last raid, Morgan was here, July 10, 1864, after taking Lexington. On 12th CSA met defeat at Cynthiana and retreated to Virginia. See map on other side.

Remember the Raisin (Marker 508):

Rendezvous of Kentucky Volunteers, Aug. 15, 1812, ordered to relieve Gen. Hull at Detroit. Kentuckians took Frenchtown (Monroe) on Raisin River Jan. 18, 1813. Four days later enemy attacked-killed, massacred, wounded, or captured all but 30. Of 1050 men not half reached home. Ky. counties named for officers: Allen, Ballard, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Edmonson, McCracken, Meade, Simpson.

Scott County Courthouse (Marker 1454):

Present structure, 4th courthouse of Scott County, erected in 1877 at a cost of $34,600. It is an outstanding example of the French “Second Empire Style,” known in U.S. as “Gen. Grant Style.” Built of materials obtainable in this area. Distance from ground to top of steeple is 185 ft. Designed by Thomas Boyd of Pittsburgh, who served as supervising architect.

(Reverse) Goebel Trial Here – Scott County courthouse chosen by Judge J. E. Cantrill for trials of the 20 persons accused of being involved in the assassination of Governor William Goebel. Although the murder was in Frankfort, the hearings were held in Georgetown to insure fair trials to the indicted. Three of the principal suspects were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Scott County, 1792 (Marker 1248):

Formed out of a part of Woodford County, it was the second created after Kentucky became a state. Named for Gen. Charles Scott, 1739-1813, a Va. native. Officer in Revolution, saw service at Trenton, 1776, Germantown and Monmouth, 1777, Stony Point, 1779. Came to Kentucky in 1785. Represented Woodford Co. in the Va. Assembly, 1789-90. Fourth governor of Ky., 1808-12.

No Destination: St. Francis Catholic Church

St. Francis (de Sales) Catholic Church
St. Francis Catholic Church, Georgetown, Ky.

Between Georgetown and Frankfort sitting to the right atop a small hill rests a beautiful Catholic Church. The St. Francis Catholic Church represents the oldest Catholic congregation in the Commonwealth (first Mass was held on Dec. 1, 1793) and the church building dates to 1820. It is the second oldest Catholic Church west of the Alleghenies. Interior features evidencing the historic nature of the church include the kneeler stretching across the front of the church and doors to the pews. It is named after St. Francis de Sales.

The rural church is not ordinarily left open for contemplative prayer, but is available for scheduled tours. I happened to visit on a day when the church was having a picnic. So I was able to stroll into the church for a little prayer (and photography)! It is absolutely beautiful.

Rev. Stephen Theodore Badin was the congregation’s resident pastor for many formative years; Rev. Badin was the first Catholic priest ordained in the United States. Born in Orleans, France in 1768, he was ordained May 25, 1793 by Bishop Carroll of the then-Diocese of Baltimore. Soon thereafter, Rev. Badin was appointed to the Mission of Kentucky.

A convent was located here until from 1875 to 1896 when it was moved to the Cardome Center, just north of Georgetown.