Maysville Kentucky Blog

The Maysville Kentucky Blog is your guide to the beautiful and historic small town of Maysville Kentucky, snuggled into the rolling hills along the Ohio River. Though this blog has been discontinued, you can get your Maysville Kentucky fix over at Ken Downing's Mason County Kentucky Blog @

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Louisville Bridge May Mirror Simon Kenton Bridge

Bridge designers in Louisville, Kentucky, recently showed off 31 different bridge styles so that people could choose a design for a new bridge to span the Ohio River linking Louisville and Southern Indiana. Among those designs was the Simon Kenton Bridge in Maysville, which was described as being "designed with a distinct flourish." The Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge was built in 1931 and spans one mile across the Ohio River from Aberdeen, Ohio, to Maysville, Kentucky. It is named in honor of Simon Kenton, "founding father of Mason County." Full Story

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sunflower Sundries Open House

Sunflower Sundries, a local business that makes hand crafted soaps, jams, and other unique gifts is having an open house December 3rd, 10-6 and December 4th, 11-5. "We make special preparations for visitors to our Open House and offer homemade soup and cornbread from our heirloom cornmeal," said owner Jennifer Gleason. During the open house, you can take tours of the soap cottage and farm kitchen to see where they make all of their farm goods. There'll be walks through the organic gardens and a hike around the farm at 2 pm if the weather is nice. They will also have the shelves stocked full of the season's offerings in jam, soap and mustard. More information can be found at their web site or you can call Jennifer for more info. 606-763-6827

Monday, November 28, 2005

Landmark Washington Opera House Renovations

The 100-year-old Washington Opera House was open this past Friday for one final look before renovations begin. During the open house, artist renderings were on display showing what the theater will look like after. Among the enhancements planned include a lowering of the pit to make it more usable, re-installation of the trap door to the stage, and all of the dressing rooms will be redone. There will also be more doors added and a concession area and restrooms placed on either side of the lobby. Seating for the lower area and first balcony was sent out for reupholstery today. A section that will not be redone is the famous "Loretta's Grave", a brick section of the dressing room where the Washington Opera House's actress-turned-ghost is said to reside and haunt the building. The complete overhaul of the theater is expected to cost $2 Million and take nine months to a year for completion.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Historical Movie Being Filmed in Ripley and Maysville

A new movie about a slave couple's struggle to be properly married, and set during the 1850s, is being filmed in Ripley, Ohio, and Maysville, Kentucky. The movie will be called "Mattie, Johnny and the Smooth White Stones" and is directed by Cassandra Hollis, who also stars as the character Mattie. Part of the movie was filmed recently in the basement of the Phillip's Folly on Sutton Street and shows the scene where two characters are hiding from slave chasers. The first part of the film has already received acclaim from the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program for its authentic rendition of this part of the nation's history. More information about the film and its production crew can be found at the director's web site:

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Weingartner Studio Home Again in Old Washington

After several years on the road selling his jewelry at art shows, Rob Weingartner is back home again in Old Washington. Weingartner is a local silversmith, artist, stonecutter and jewelry designer whose work has been featured in several art shows. Visitors entering his shop can watch him working on his fine art jewelry while shopping for one-of-a-kind pieces. "My philosophy is that when I make a piece, the right person will find it. Every piece I make I know will sell, and it will go to the person it was made for," Mr. Weingartner said in a recent interview.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Broom Making Presentation at the Homefront Cafe

Step back into the 1800s for a demonstration of how things were done during the Victorian era with a broom making presentation to be held at the Homefront Cafe, Friday Nov. 25th at 11:00 AM. Living history enthusiast Ernie Parnell will be giving the presentation designed to show how brooms were made during the 1800s using a 19th century broom making machine, also to be on display. Question and answer session will follow the presentation. Visit the Homefront Cafe at

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving: Maysville Charities

Thanksgiving is obviously about giving thanks for the many blessings each of us have in our own lives, but it is also about helping others who may not be as fortunate. This holiday, please open your hearts and support one of the many Maysville-area charities. There are dozens of them, but new to the area this year is the Maysville Mission, a non-profit organization that seeks to help others in their time of need. They are asking for donations of any kind, but especially canned foods including vegetables and soups, toiletry items, linens new or used, and miscellaneous supplies such as paper plates, laundry items, etc. The Maysville Mission operates solely on donations and would like to remind everyone that their donations and prayers are important to them and those they serve. For more information on how you can be of service to the poor and homeless in Maysville, call (606) 563-7834 or (606) 564-3720 or visit them at 4 East 3rd. Street, Maysville, KY 41056.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Maysville Victorian Christmas Begins This Weekend

Maysville merchants will be hosting the Victorian Christmas celebration beginning this weekend in downtown Maysville. The celebration kicks off the day after Thanksgiving with an old fashioned breakfast at the Homefront Cafe on West Second Street where children can meet an old fashioned Santa Clause from the 1800s. The breakfast begins at 8 AM on Nov. 25th. Throughout the day there will be other events and attractions including Santa's Gingerbread House , a Christmas Sweets Contest at the Maysville Conference Center, a Victorian Christmas Tea at the Return to Balance Wellness Center, and an open house at The Washington Opera House before rennovations begin later this month. After dark, the town will be alive with Christmas music and a living nativity brought to you by the Maysville Church of the Nazarene. Local shops will remain open until 8 PM.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Of Woods and Waters: A Kentucky Outdoors Reader

A new book, "Of Woods & Waters: A Kentucky Outdoors Reader", was recently released and is on sale now in bookstores. The book was edited by Ron Ellis who was born in Maysville, Kentucky, and is a collection of 74 pieces - essays, fiction, poetry, art work - and is the work of 56 writers and three artists. Full Story

From the Book's Description:
Since the opening of the American frontier, Kentucky's vast wilderness has cast a spell over those who have walked among the trees of its majestic forests or alongside its creeks and rivers brimming with catfish, bass, and trout. The influence of the land and the outdoors has had a significant impact on the course of the history and culture of the Bluegrass State, from the rugged mountains in the east to the calm deep waters of the western part of the state.

Kentucky's forests and streams are some of the most pristine in the nation, and they have inspired artistic and literary works by such famous Americans as Daniel Boone and John James Audubon. Similarly, Kentucky writers have often expressed their attachment to their native or adopted state through their love of the land.

Bringing together fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from many of the state's most famous writers, Of Woods and Waters is the first book of its kind to celebrate the Kentucky outdoors. It collects the authentic written and visual experiences of Wendell Berry, Bobbie Ann Mason, Barbara Kingsolver, Thomas D. Clark, Jesse Stuart, James Still, Harriette Arnow, Harry Caudill, Silas House, George Ella Lyon, and Robert Penn Warren, among others. A number of the pieces are original to this volume, which also includes art by Harlan Hubbard, Rick Hill, and Paul Sawyier.

Featuring both established and emerging authors, Of Woods and Waters blends a range of writing styles and outdoor experiences to create a truly unique vision of Kentucky's land and life.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Maysville Mayor to Head Ky Brownfield Chapter

The National Brownfield Association has established a Kentucky chapter to promote the development of brownfields in the state. Brownfields typically are abandoned or underutilized industrial or commercial properties where development is hampered because of environmental hazards. The Kentucky chapter president is David Cartmell, mayor of Maysville, Ky. The chapter provides a forum where property owners, government representatives, developers, investors and professional service providers can meet and facilitate brownfield transactions in the state. Full Story

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Replica of Columbus Ship the Nina in Maysville

In 1492, Columbus may have sailed the ocean blue, but his ship, the Nina, is back, or at least a replica of it. The ship will be docked at Limestone Landing, at McDonald Landing & Limestone Street, until departing Nov. 16. The Nina was built in Bahia, Brazil, by the Columbus Foundation. which is based in the British Virgin Islands. The ship will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $3 for students. Call (787) 421-0402 or visit Full Story

Friday, November 18, 2005

Driving Tour Explores Underground Railroad

Recently the Cincinnati Enquirer published an article that outlines three short drives that explores many of the stops along the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a network of clandestine routes by which slaves in the 19th century United States attempted to escape to free states, or as far north as Canada, with the aid of abolitionists. Among the drive's stopping points are Maysville, Old Washington, Germantown, Minerva and Dover in Kentucky and Williamsburg, Bethel, Felicity, Moscow, New Richmond, and Ripley in Ohio. Full Story

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Kentucky Had its Own Rosa Parks

Recently, Rosa Parks, the woman who kept her seat on the bus in 1955 and became a symbol for civil rights, became the first woman and second black American to be buried in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Many people don't know, however, that Kentucky had its own Rosa Parks in the form of Rev. Elisha W. Green, who 70 years before Parks, also stood up, or rather remained seated, for his rights. On June 8, 1883, Rev. Green, a former slave, declined to give up his seat on a train to Paris from Millersburg, and was assaulted by several white men. Green was one of the first African-American ministers in Kentucky and founded the First African Baptist Church in Maysville (now Bethel Baptist Church) in 1848. Full Story

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Maysville Produced Two of Kentucky's Poet Laureates

An article published by the Ledger-Independent in 1975 points out that Maysville was the home of two of Kentucky's poet laureates. Both Henry T. Stanton and Mrs. Eleanor Duncan Wood immortalized Kentucky scenes through their writings. Stanton was the editor for two early Maysville papers and contributed many articles to periodicals printed during the 1850s before becoming an Adjutant General under John C. Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan. In the last years of his life, he devoted much of his time to writing poetry. Mrs. Wood, who wrote in the early 1900s, won a state award for her poem about soldiers during World War I. Her words are cast in bronze at the University of Kentucky. Ledger Independent Article

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pogue House Renovations Almost Complete

The historic Pogue family home in Maysville Kentucky on West Second Street has been nominated to be added to the National Register of Historic Places, and renovations of it are almost complete. The home is owned by Philip Breen of Cincinnati currently, though the home was occupied by members of the Pogue family until 1955. The Pogue family is most known for the nearby distillery which they also owned. Built in 1845 in the Greek revival style, it boasts many distinctive architectural features. The Pogues family, who is still in the distillery business to this day, were the owners of one of three distilleries in Maysville before the prohibition in 1919. They were instrumental in the economic development of Maysville because of the amount of people they employed and the amount of corn the distillery consumed.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hutchison's Grocery Celebrates 155-Year Anniversary

Hutchison's Grocery is a small country store which started in the 1830's in Maysville Kentucky, with the current building being built in1850. According to their web site, family members can still remember deliveries being made by horse drawn wagons, and supplies being brought in by barges on the mighty Ohio River. The building survived the 1937 flood that destroyed much of Maysville's waterfront, and the business has continued to thrive. They are most famous for their country hams. Approximately 700 hams are cooked, boned, sliced and sold throughout the holiday season. Recently, they celebrated their 155th Anniversary of being open at their 1201 E. Second Street location. Congratulations Hutchinson's! Visit their web site for more information. Hutchison's Grocery

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Local Tourism Heats Up

Even as the weather is cooling down, local tourism is heating up. Duff Giffen and her assistant, Marla Baxter, were honored along with graphic artist Obie Williams by the Kentucky Tourism Council for their recent tourism marketing efforts. Maysville continues to grow in stature among the state's tourism destinations. Also, the local communites of Augusta and Ripley vie for the distinctive title of American Dream Town 2006 in a competition that runs through Dec. 1. 150 towns from across the country were chosen to battle for the distinction. The winner will be featured on the American Dream Show on Hamptons TV. Currently Ripley, has received nearly 900 votes, putting it in third place behind two Virginia and Florida towns that have over 2,000 votes each.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Local Businesses Prepare for Sunday Alchohol Sales

City commissioners voted 2 to 1 recently for the approval of an ordinance that allows alchohol sales in Maysville and local businesses are preparing for the change. There's some paperwork to file and the license is $500 for a state license and $300 each for city and county, but many pubs and liquor stores are jumping on board assuming that Sunday football and basketball games, not to mention weekend tourist traffic, make being open on Sunday worthwhile. The issue came before the commissioners when business owners noticed they were losing business to towns surrounding Maysville that already allowed alchohol sales on Sunday.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Augusta Makes Thomas D. Clark's Top Ten

Noted Kentuckian historian and centenarian Thomas D. Clark, who recently passed away, made a list before he died of the top ten places that everyone interested in Kentucky must see. It was one of the last things he put to paper. Number 8 on that list is our own Augusta, Kentucky. According to the article, Augusta was the site of an ancient Native American village and entered the records of being an official town in the late 1700s, after the state of Virginia gave the land to Capt. Philip Buckner under a Revolutionary War grant. Augusta is a treasure trove of history and the location of many picturesque old homes have become its signature. Full Story

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Upcoming Book Fair in December

An upcoming book fair in December at the Calvert Center, at Maysville Community College, promises to bring more than a dozen local and regional authors for book signings and story telling. Among the authors to be on-hand will be Heather French Henry, David Dick, Ed McClanahan, Sharyn McCrumb and Garry Barker. The event will be Dec. 10 from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Villa de Chantel's Maysville Kentucky Roots

Recently a fire tragically destroyed the Villa de Chantel in Rock Island, Illinois. The building was erected in 1900 as a Catholic school for girls by the Visitation Order, also known as the Sisters of the Visitation, whose founder was St. Francis de Sales, bishop of Geneva, Switzerland (1567-1622). Many may not know of the tie between the majestic building and Maysville Kentucky, however. When the Visitation Order was founded in America in 1865, they chose Maysville Kentucky as the location. They later moved to Rock Island and built the historic building as their home. Incidentally, St. Francis de Sales is the patron saint of journalism. Full Story / About the Villa de Chantel

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Lifelong Friendship of Rosemary Clooney

Blanche Chambers, a lifelong friend of Rosemary Clooney, recently spoke of their friendship and early days running around Maysville's Third and Market streets during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The two girls would often be founding singing to passerbys in the hopes of getting a few coins to buy coneys at the Delight or ice cream at the Traxel or the Elite. In 1953, when Rosemary's film The Stars Are Singing premiered at the Russell Theater, Chambers rode in the convertible with Rosemary during a parade to celebrate the event. Chambers, whom Rosemary affectionately called "Blanchie Mae", is 80 now and still lives in Maysville. The two remained lifelong friends through Rosemary's career as a singer, exchanging thousands of postcards and many phone calls. Full Story

Monday, November 07, 2005

New School for the Performing Arts to be Built

The Rosemary Clooney School for the Performing Arts is in the works with a $25,000 donation to get things started, it was announced at the recent Rosemary Clooney Concert in downtown Maysville. Jerry Lundergan, who organized the event, and who is also a native of Maysville - as was Rosemary - hopes to have the school built in the Maysville area soon. It will, of course, cost much more than the twenty-five thousand dollars to finish the job, but at least things are underway. Full Story

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Wave Hello

One of the more charming things we encountered when my wife and I moved to the Maysville area many years ago is that when you drive along any of the roads in Maysville, and wave to a passing driver, they'll wave back! Most times they will return a smile as well. These are the things that make a small town great. As the years have passed, we have seen our Super Wal-Mart move into the area, bringing with it a small army of chain stores and restaurants. We've also seen many of our neighbors come and go. Just in the last two years, maybe as far back as five, we've seen this small town of neighbors grow like small towns tend to do across America. There's more business in the area, more people, and more traffic. Still, as times change as inevitably as leaves turn in the fall, the heart of Maysville has remained the same. Today we can look back over the seasons and see what we've always seen - people waving hello.

~ Jeremy Parnell, a Maysville Neighbor