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 @ http://masoncountyky.blogspot.com

Friday, March 31, 2006

Lewisburg Kentucky Circus This Weekend

The Star Family Circus will be in nearby Lewisburg, Kentucky this weekend, Saturday April 1st 4:00 and 7:00 pm, and Sunday April 2nd at 3:00 pm (Don't forget to adjust for daylight savings time!), at the Lewisburg Lions Club Gym on Highway 11 South.

The activities are listed as rain or shine with indoor family enterainment and include "Rocky" the Boxing Kangaroo, Globe of Death Motorcycle Madness, Acrobats, Trained Animals, Aerialists, Jugglers, Clowns and more!

Admission is $10.00 for adults, students 15-17 yrs. old, $5.00. Children 14 and under get in for free when accompanied by an adult.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Maysville Export Photograph, Early 1900s

A shipment of Maysville Kentucky poultry to Australia sometime in the early 1900s. Poor chickens. I can imagine that being a long ride.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

American Idol Star to Play in Manchester

Spotlight Manchester, Ohio! American Idol 2 star, Josh Gracin, will performing April 1, at the Manchester High School gymnasium, just a few short miles, up river. The venue seats about 2,000 people and there's plenty of room available but you may want to show early. The doors open at 6 pm.

From his web site:

For country music fans, one of the highlights of the Fox network's "American Idol 2" was the success of a young Marine named Josh Gracin, a dyed-in-the-wool country singer whose electrifying performances won him hearts and votes across the country.

His debut CD, Josh Gracin, captures the world-class voice and performing magic that made him such a star on American Idol 2. Songs like his debut single, "I Want To Live." The CD's energy draws directly from the fire Josh displays on stage, a place that has long felt like home to him. "When I'm up on stage," he says, "it's like a whole new world for me. I love performing. I'm a firm believer that it's really great for a singer to have a good voice, but to bring it to another level you have to draw the audience in and make them part of the music, make them feel what you're feeling."

For more about the event, visit this Ledger Independent article.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

How Bourbon Got It's Name

An interesting question borrowed from the web page we link to today is, "Why is America's best known and most popular whiskey style called bourbon, a name borrowed from French royalty? The French, after all, don't even make whiskey or any other significant grain-based spirit, preferring to mess around with grapes instead."

Here's the answer, from StraightBourbon.com:

One of the first important Ohio River ports in Kentucky was at Maysville, which was then called Limestone. This port was already in use by 1784 when the Virginia legislature assigned "two naval officers or collectors" to the Falls of Ohio (now Louisville) and the "mouth of Limestone" (now Maysville) to supervise river traffic and collect tolls.

Bourbon County, which included the port at Limestone, was established the next year. The new county encompassed a vast region. It included virtually all of modern Kentucky to the north, east and southeast of Lexington. Limestone was the preeminent port for the whole region. Only a few years later, in 1789, Limestone and the rest of northeastern Bourbon County became Mason County, Virginia. Maysville is still the county seat of Mason County, Kentucky, today. After Kentucky became a state in 1792, many more new counties were carved from the original area known as Bourbon County and Bourbon County itself shrunk to its current modest size. In fact, thirty-four modern Kentucky counties were once part of Bourbon.

Because of that common heritage, the entire region continued to be known popularly for several decades as "Old Bourbon." During this same period, whiskey became the region's most important export. Because most people living there still called the whole region 'Old Bourbon,' any whiskey shipped from Limestone was invariably advertised and identified on barrelheads as 'Old Bourbon Whiskey,' no matter where it was actually made. Everyone at the time understood this name as simply identifying where the whiskey originated generally, i.e., somewhere in the region known as 'Old Bourbon.' More specifically, it meant any whiskey shipped to market from the famous port of 'Old Bourbon' at Limestone.

Eventually, this habit of referring to the whole region as 'Old Bourbon' died out and people unfamiliar with the practice began to assume that the word 'old' in the phrase 'Old Bourbon Whiskey' must have referred to the age of the spirit. It never did. In fact, the routine aging of whiskey was still several decades in the future.

More on the story of bourbon

Maysville is still known for its bourbon thanks to the Pogue family who operated a distillery in the area until 1955 and recently reopened in Bardstown, Kentucky. For more about them, visit: Old Pogue Bourbon

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Strange Death of Capt. Thomas Mantell

I'm sure everyone's heard of the alleged crash of a UFO in Roswell New Mexico during the summer of 1947. What some of us may not know is that an equally puzzling mystery occurred right around here in January 1948 and involved a UFO as well.

Captain Thomas Mantell was an Air Force pilot born in Simpson County, Kentucky, June 30, 1922. On a routine flight from Georgia to an air base in Kentucky, he was asked to change course and check out reports of a strange object in the skies, sighted by people across Kentucky. What he encountered was described by Mantell in a radio message to base as, "a metallic object or possible reflections of sun from a metallic object, and it is of tremendous size." Several people from Maysville, Kentucky, reported seeing the "strange craft." Twenty minutes later, people from Irvington and Owensboro reported a "circular craft about 250 to 300 feet in diameter" and "moving westward at a pretty good clip." It's about 190 miles from Maysville to Owensboro: 190 miles in twenty minutes is 570 miles per hour.

Captain Mantell pursued the object and later lost radio contact. After a period of both visual and audio silence, a search was conducted for the missing pilot. Tragically, Mantell was found crashed in... oddly enough, Simpson County, the place he was born. Although lack of oxygen or a possible collision with a weather balloon were offered as possibilities for the crash, no sensible explanation was ever given.

Captain Mantell was an experienced wartime pilot, with over three thousand hours in the air.

Full Story

Sunday, March 26, 2006

1930s History of Maysville Book on Ebay - Ends 3/27

Almost missed this one, so that's why there's two posts today. It ends tomorrow (3/27), so get your bid on!

Apparently this is owned by a seller in Russellville, Ohio. He believes the date of the book is sometime during the 1930s. It's a collection of history about Maysville and Mason County with a prologue written by Andrew Clooney, mayor of Maysville at that time. Andrew Clooney was the grandfather of Rosemary Clooney, and great grandfather of the George Clooney.

Ebay auction link

1902 Maysville Bank Note on Ebay - Ends 4/18

I'll be honest in saying I didn't expect to find this one on the web, but check out this eBay auction for an authentic $10 1902 Maysville Kentucky National Bank Note. Lucky I came across it, because the auction ends April 18, 2006. Strange what you find out there related to your home town. The seller is from New Jersey, after all.

The bid price is currently $349.00! Whew talk about inflation : )

Ebay auction link

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Must See in Maysville and Surrounding Areas

One of our readers wrote:

My family and I are planning a trip to Maysville next month. I need to print out your whole blog so that I we will know whats going on and where we should visit. Do you recommend anywhere in particular that is a must see?

Yes! Definitely. Although many of our star attractions are in various stages of reconstruction, like the Russell Theatre, Washington Opera House, and the new Museum Center that is being constructed, there's still much to offer your family in entertainment and you may even leave with a bit of history as well.

The first must see, of course, are the murals along the floodwall separating the city from the Ohio River. You can't really miss them if you head downtown. The murals display the early history of Maysville from its beginning up to the early 1900s. Scenes include Native Americans hunting bison, late 18th Century Limestone Landing, Lafayette's visit in 1825, mid-19th Century steamboat traffic and escaping slaves, early 20th Century Front Street, a tobacco harvest and an early Market Street scene. The murals were created by artist Robert Dafford who has created similar murals in other cities along the Ohio River and across the country.

Maysville is also host to over 150 buildings that are listed on the National Historic Register. These buildings are in varying styles including French, Irish, Dutch, Spanish, and German influences. Each one has distinctive features. One particular feature to look for on Third Street are the chimney pots. Many of the original ones that are remaining were made to look like chess pieces, with rooks and bishops and the like. You can have quite a bit of fun just trying to identify all the varying styles of chimney pots that adorn the rooftops in Maysville. You can pick up a pamphlet of these buildings with a background for each one at many of the local shops downtown, including the Homefront Cafe on Second Street.

I would definitely check out Old Washington as well. It's about 4 miles up the hill along 68. Washington is an old pioneer village that has existed since the 1700s and contains many of the original log cabins. It's also home of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Museum.

Speaking of museums, you must stop in at least one of the many local museums. There's the Museum Center in downtown Maysville; the Harriet Beecher Stowe Museum in Old Washington; the newly opened National Underground Railroad Museum, also downtown Maysville; the Rosemary Clooney Museum in nearby Augusta Kentucky; and in Ripley Ohio (just a short ways down river), there's the John P. Parker Museum (also Underground Railroad related) and the Tobacco Museum.

I especially recommend visiting the Civil War Museum at the Homefront Cafe on Second Street. There you'll not only get a glimpse into the vast amount of history that is the American Civil War and what Maysville had to do with it all, but you can also get a Latte : ) If you stop in, ask for Lanette or Ernie. They'll talk your ear off about life during the mid-nineteenth century, and Ernie might be persuaded to take you on a tour of downtown Maysville that fills in the blanks above. Tell them Jeremy sent you.

Friday, March 24, 2006

New Art Studio Opens in Flemingsburg

We were talking the other day on this blog about the usefulness of old buildings and how they can be repurposed into something that has no resemblance to what they were built for in the first place. In doing so, it helps to keep history alive while adding something new to the local community. Take for example the Old Tobacco Factory on Electric Avenue in Flemingsburg. With damage from a fire many years ago, it was unlikely that it would ever be used as a tobacco factory again, and chances are that it would sit neglected before eventually being torn down in favor of new construction at the spot.

Kudos then to Kathy Macht and her husband for finding a new vision and a new life for the old building (as reported in this Ledger Independent article). Reportedly, the Machts have transformed the second floor of the Old Tobacco Factory into a big city-style loft (make sure you check out the picture at the article link, it's beautiful what they've done with the place). Even the flooring was taken from an Augusta Kentucky home that was built in 1810 and later torn down. On the first floor, they've added an art studio and gallery, called Banana Tree Studios, where they plan to showcase their work and that of local artists.

The entire project is one for the books and hopefully will inspire others who have had crazy plans of New York-style lofts but enjoy the quiet country setting Kentucky has to offer. I know I'm inspired ; )

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Best View of Maysville Kentucky

Rather, I should say its the best publically accessible view of Maysville - falling short of standing on the bridge towers or hanging off the side of a church steeple : )

How to get there
Some locals don't even know about this view, so here's how to get there:

Go up this street (Wadsworth) until it dead ends...

Then head up these stairs...

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

World Reknowed Pianist at Maysville Concert

On, Sunday, March 26, 3 pm, at the Presbyterian Church, the Maysville community will have the rare opportunity to attend a piano concert performed by internationally known piano virtuoso Christiaan Kuyvenhoven.

From his Christiaan Kuyvenhoven's bio on his web site:

In April 2005, Dutch pianist Christiaan Kuyvenhoven (b. 1985) won Third Prize at the prestigious International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, which took place in Utrecht for the seventh time. By winning the prize, Kuyvenhoven became the first Dutch pianist in sixteen years to win a prize at the competition. As part of the prize, Christiaan Kuyvenhoven had numerous appearances as a concert pianist, both in and outside the Netherlands. In addition to concert engagements at all major Dutch concert halls, he was also invited to appear in Algeria, Germany, France, Trinidad & Tobago, Curaçao, Tunesia and the United States. In January 2006, Kuyvenhoven went on tour with the National Students’ Orchestra of the Netherlands under the baton of Otto Tausk. The tour concluded with Christiaan's debut performance in the large hall of Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. In May, 2006, he will be appearing in Paris and Algiers several times with the Dutch Matangi Quartet. For June 2006, an extensive recital tour has been planned through China, followed by appearances with the Orkest van het Oosten (Orchestra of Eastern Holland) and The Hague’s Residentie Orkest. He has appeared several times on the television programme of Dutch entertainer, Paul de Leeuw and Barend & Van Dorp.

In 1998, Christiaan Kuyvenhoven won first prize at the Princess Christina Competition in The Hague; two years later he was named Young Musical Talent for 2000. In the same year, he had his debut with the Residentie Orkest under conductor Jaap van Zweden. In 2004 he became winner of the XII Concurso Internacional de Piano Maria Campina in Faro, Portugal. He studied with Michail Markov at the Twente Music School, the Van Zweden School of Music and Enschede Conservatory. Subsequently, he had masterclasses with, amongst others, Menahem Pressler, Jerome Rose, Ton Hartsuiker, Mitsuko Uchida, and later this year, he will be taking part in a masterclass of Leslie Howard.

More information about the concert can be found in this Mason County Beat article.

More about Christiaan Kuyvenhoven can be found at his web site, ChristiaanKuyvenhoven.nl, if you can read Dutch, that is ; )

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Harriet Beecher Stowe Museum Photograph

Harriet Beecher Stowe visited this home in Washington, Mason County, Kentucky (Photograph date some time between 1900-1954). While visiting in Washington she saw slaves sold at public auction which was the basis of her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. Now the Harriet Beecher Stowe, Slavery to Freedom Museum, open all Festivals and most Saturdays 12-4, Sundays 1-4.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Three Investigators Movie Starring Maysville Native

 
First Printed 1964 
I am a huge fan of The Three Investigators book series. I remember being given The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot when I was still in grade school and I didn't realize until I starting writing this article how much the exploits of Jupiter Jones, Bob Andrews, and Pete Crenshaw influenced my childhood. What child didn't want to start an amateur detective agency after reading these books?

Imagine my surprise, then, to find that the series is being adapted to film and that the lead detective character of Jupiter Jones will be played by 12 year-old native Chancellor Miller.

Chancellor was born in Lexington and raised in Maysville Kentucky. At the age of seven he began dancing and entered a local talent contest. In 2002 he booked his first major job doing print work for Procter and Gamble, in Cincinnati Ohio. From there it was a short time before he was starring in television shows and winning awards for his many talents. His most recent appearance was on Fox's Malcolm in the Middle, just yesterday : ) Full Bio / Interview with The Ledger

The first film being made is The Secret of Skeleton Island (two others are being made as well). I can't wait for the films to arrive in the United States. They are being produced by a German studio and will be shown there first before coming to the U.S. Expected release date here isn't until around Easter 2007. Grrrrr. Hollywood dropped the ball on this one but hopefully the German studio will come through for us fans.

The complete story on the movie can be found here.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Usefulness: Preserving Old Buildings

Maysville, Kentucky, like many small towns in the United States, has quite a few older buildings in varying states of disrepair. We've mentioned a few in this blog like the Russell Theatre, the Washington Opera House, the Lee House and several others that are finding new life because people realize that these structures are an important legacy to the local community and future generations.

Some buildings haven't yet made the list, like the saltbox house in Old Washington that is literally on its last leg. Still, I believe it is safe to say that we are a community that cares about its past. We are concerned about old buildings like the Hayswood Hospital and the Earl D. Jones Elementary School, both of which have been brought up recently in community discussions. We wonder, what will become of these buildings?

For those who have doubts as to whether old buildings can be saved, or why it would it be useful to do so, we offer these pages we found on the web:

First, why preserve?
http://www.nationaltrust.org/primer/advantages.html

Ask yourself, "A flat-faced modern office block or an elegantly detailed pre-war commercial building? A strip mall fronted by a parking lot or a pedestrian-friendly retail district? A McMansion with a huge garage or a Victorian with a wraparound porch?" Appearance, Economics, and History and Culture are some of the prime reasons old buildings should be looked at first before new construction is considered.

Second, can preservation succeed?
http://www.nationaltrust.org/primer/list.asp

"The advantages of preservation come through most clearly in examples, and so the National Trust has collected case studies from around the country that show what happens when a community preserves - and when it doesn't."

Take some time to browse the case studies to see how communities like ours were able to build the future by protecting buildings of the past.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Odd: Black Vultures Swarm on Livestock

One of the things we like to do is scan headlines for mentions of our local area. On one such excursion into the underbelly of the web, we came across a story that could have been appropriately saved for Halloween. As Heather MacWilliams at WTVQ in Lexington said, "It's a page out of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds... swarms of black-headed vultures feeding on living things." I could have saved this story for Halloween, but after watching Stephen King's The Dark Half the other day, in which a swarm of sparrows devour a person whole, I thought I'd get the warning out sooner.

Recently it was reported that some 40 black-headed vultures swarmed in and attacked a farmer's newborn calf in the Maysville area.

"I'm not afraid of much but it sent a cold chill up your back just to see them ... They were in a semi-circle and just watching me," remembers Maysville farmer Eddie Gerhard.

"They were just all over the calf... on it's back and body. When I went to them they'd already pecked that calf's eyes out and had a hold in it's side."

Weird.

Full Story

Friday, March 17, 2006

Saint Patrick's Day Celebrations

It's Saint Patrick's Day my friends and if you are looking for something to do, hop on over to O'Rourkes Pub on Market Street for a one of a kind St. Patrick's Day party.

To celebrate the patron saint of Ireland, O'Rourkes Pub hosts an annual party full of entertainment, good company, and friendly staff.

More information on O'Rourkes Pub can be found at their web site.

Coming up on Saturday, the Homefront Cafe will also be having a celebration with authentic Irish fare (see previous post).

For more about St. Patrick's Day and Irish Culture, visit www.IrishAbroad.com. It's a great resource for those who don't actually live in Ireland, but are either Irish themselves or interested in Irish culture.

Saint Patty's Day Quote: If you can see this page clearly, you're not Irish.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Kentucky Edition

Put together one very run-down house, a deserving family, several opinionated designers, seven days and what do you get? The answer is - Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The show's successful first season garnered an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Reality Program, and awards garnered during the second season include the People's Choice Award for Favorite Reality Show/Makeover and the Family Television Award for Best Alternative/Reality Program.

Recently, the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew was in Sunrise, Kentucky (two counties over) completing renovations on the Hassall Family home. It was reportedly a community event with volunteers helping where they could and local businesses helping to pick up the tab for construction costs. More Info Here

The episode is expected to air later this year on ABC (Sundays at 8 pm). More about the show can be found at the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Web Site.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

New Signage Points to Places of Interest

You may have noticed new signage around town pointing to places of interest like the one below:

The signs were made by city employees and represent a much needed upgrade of information. They also help people on walking tours realize where they are and why that place is interesting. Along with the new signs, the Maysville Tourism Commission has developed a new brochure to assist those on walking tours. In an interview with the Ledger Independent, Tourism Director Duff Giffen said, "Our goal was that we wanted to take our marketing material and create a much user friendly brochure. We wanted tourists to look at the picture and know they were at the right place."

More information about the new signs and brochure can be found in this article.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Free Download: Rescue the Russell Theatre E-Card

Recently I had the honor of designing the new official Rescue the Russell Theatre web site. The Russell Theatre is the Spanish-inspired building that premiered 's first movie "The Stars Are Singing" in 1953 and is a historic landmark of national importance. Because I believe strongly in their cause, I took the project a step further and donated my time to making an interactive e-card that can be distributed via the web and hopefully bring some awareness to the project. I am hoping also to get the card into circles outside the Maysville area because the building is really unique and hopefully architecture lovers elsewhere may realize the importance in preserving this treasure.

Please download the free Rescue the Russell Theatre E-Card by clicking the link below. Pass it around to whomever you like. Together we can make some progress.

Download the Rescue the Russell Theatre E-Card (1.02 MB)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Albert Sidney Johnston's Birthplace Photograph

Albert Sidney Johnston's birthplace at Washington, Mason County, Kentucky, some time between 1920 to 1940. Looks a lot different now if you get a chance to visit Old Washington just south of Maysville.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Isaac Hall Murder Case

The Maysville Republican, of Feb 29, 1868, published an article which read "Murder: In Morgan Co., Ky, recently a man named Isaac Hall was called to the door and shot. He retreated, was pursued into the house, and again shot, and killed. Several men arrested. Among them were Hall's own brother, brother-in-law, and all others are related by blood or marriage."

It's an interesting tale of murder and vengence occuring in a nearby county, published in an early Maysville newspaper, and related to us via the web by a descendant of the the man's father. From the story:

Twenty-seven years old at the time of his death, Isaac Hall Jr. was the fourth son of Isaac Hall and Anna Martin. He was a Confederate veteran, and apparently gained a taste for robbery from his wartime raids. He had been prosecuted several times for robbery and even murder (from an incident in which a jail guard was killed during an attempted jailbreak of a member of his gang), but never convicted. Some months before the events covered by these hearings, he had driven from the family home his widowed mother, his two youngest brothers, his sister, and his brother-in-law, and was using the home as a place of refuge for his band of robbers and their women.

When they despaired of getting back into their house by spring, the younger hot-heads in the family cooked up a plan to "arrest" Ike Jr., and shoot him if he resisted arrest. When the actual confrontation came, though, they simply called out to Ike to give up as he walked unarmed to the barn to tend to his horse and mule. When he ran back towards the house (presumably to get his gun), they interpreted it as "resisting arrest", and opened fire from under cover of the woods. Ike was not killed immediately, but was able to retreat to his house, gravely wounded and unable to return fire. Towards midnight the vigilante band returned and shot him again in his bed, killing him. His girlfriend Eliza McDaniel was staying with him and witnessed both shootings.

More on the Isaac Hall Murder Case can be found here.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Founder's Day Celebration - Manchester, Ohio

According to ManchesterOhio.org, in 1790 a young surveyor from Virginia crossed the Ohio River hoping to found a colony. His name was Nathaniel Massie. He offered the first 25 persons who would join him in making a settlement one inlot and one outlot in a town he proposed to lay off, and one hundred acres in the vicinity of the new settlement.

Thirty people joined Massie and by March, 1791, the settlement was enclosed in a stockade.

Massie called his settlement Manchester, after his hometown in England. This became the first settlement within the Virginia Military District and the fourth permanent settlement in Ohio.

Manchester, Ohio will be having their Founder's Day Celebration March 12th, a few miles up river. For more information, call 937-549-2149.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Saint Patrick's Dinner at the Homefront Cafe

Looking for something to do to celebrate the life of the patron saint of Ireland? Enjoy an evening of live entertainment and a seven-course meal at the Homefront Cafe downtown, with your choice of either mushroom stuffed beef tenderloin or salmon with honey whiskey sauce as your entrée, all cooked with an Irish flair. Tickets for the St. Patrick's Day celebration must be purchased by March 15th. Call 1-606-563-1009 for reservations or visit their web site at www.homefrontcafe.com

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Maysville in the Harley Davidson Travel Blog

Last summer the author of the Harley Davidson Travel Blog, "Julius M. Ceasar", stopped in our neck of the woods during a cross-country trip on, you guessed it, a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Our town got a glowing review:

Maysville welcomes you with her charming old buildings and partially renovated downtown.

One of the highlights of his visit to Maysville was a stop in at the Homefront Cafe downtown.

We were eating, looking around at the many civil war artifacts, as the owner Ernie entered the room and immediately welcomed us to his place with his booming, theatrical voice. Ernie started out with the ususal small talk like: Where are going? . . . where are you from? . . What brought you here? But after a few minutes he told us "his story" How he had found the building, his love for history and especially his love for the history of the civil war. Ernie told us about the history of the South. His stories seemed like philosophical dissertation and as we listened to Ernie.

Mr. Ceasar's visit to Maysville and the Homefront Cafe obviously left a lasting impression on him. He ends his article with the following request:

If you go to Maysville you MUST stop at the Homefront Cafe (don't expect a quick stop is Ernie is around), and say "Hello" to Ernie from me.

Harley Davidson Travel Blog

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Goddard Bridge Restoration in Fleming County

The Goddard Bridge in nearby Fleming County carries Kentucky 32 across Sand Lick Creek at Goddard. It is the only town lattice truss bridge remaining in Kentucky and is 90 feet long. The date of construction is not known, but it probably dates from the early nineteenth century. It was moved from its original site on Kentucky 32 when that road was made into what was called the "concrete highway" to its current site just off Kentucky 32 in Goddard. Fleming County was designated “the covered bridge capital of Kentucky” by the 1998 General Assembly.

Recent restoration efforts have reportedly elevated the roof structure and squared the trusses of the bridge. More work is expected to take place this month in the overall $1 Million restoration project. This is the first real work done on the bridge since 1968.

More on the restoration project can be found at The Ledger Independent.

Also, how cool is this model of the Goddard Bridge we found on the web? Apparently, you can buy these models at this web site along with other models of covered bridges from around the country (Note: We have no idea the reputation of this seller, so you should check into them before buying, if interested).

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Mason County Beat Gets New Web Site

As locals know, the Mason County Beat is a new print magazine (first issue 2005) that carries stories of local interest. Just thought I'd mention that for our friends outside the area. This week, they unveiled their new web site available at:

Mason County Beat
www.masoncountybeat.com

They plan to use the new site to increase readership of current issues of their magazine and as a repository for old stories they've covered.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Local Celebrity George Clooney Wins Oscar

Maysville / Augusta native won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role as a weary CIA agent in the movie Syriana. George was also nominated this year in the director and original screenplay categories for Good Night, and Good Luck. This is of course the first Oscar win for the Maysville area, and the first major Oscar to be won in Kentucky in 42 years.

wasn't always the famous movie star he is today, however. He was also a classmate, a friend, you know, normal stuff. After being nominated for the several Oscars, the Cincinnati Enquirer asked local residents to write in if they knew George before he was a star. Here's one of the emails they received:

One weekend in 1976, George was drawing caricatures at the street fair in Maysville. He had a table and easel set up inside the church. He drew my picture for $1 and I still have it! After he drew me I gave him my dollar and he turned to put it in his money box. When he opened the box, it was empty. He yelled to his mom about it and she very quietly came over and told him she had donated the money to the church. He just looked at her and said "All the money?" I thought it was really neat that my dollar was the only one he got to keep that day.

Pam Rice, Edgewood, KY

More from the Cincinnati Enquirer (including a drawing by George)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Maysville Road Marker Photograph

The following photograph is one of the old iron markers that formerly stood at every mile between Lexington and Maysville Kentucky marking the Zanesville, Ohio - Nashville, Tennessee - Florence Road. The Maysville end was the first macadamized road in the United States. Henry Clay had a bill passed by Congress for the first "federal aid" in the U.S., but Andrew Jackson vetoed it. Jackson en route to Washington, was angry over a practical joke played on him: After staying over night at the Phoenix Hotel, Lexington, in Dec. 1829, he found his horses and carriages mired in mud several miles east of Paris. He was soon advised that the sign at Paris pointing to Maysville "had been turned toward the bad road by the Adams' men".

So basically Jackson vetoed the bill for federal aid for roadways because someone sent him the wrong way and he got stuck in the mud. : )

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Bicycle Race Blurs by River

The Ohio River is beautiful by boat during the summer. When the leaves change in autumn, there's nothing more pleasant than driving along the highway and watching the hillsides for bursts of color in oranges and reds. In the wintertime it's nice to take a 70-mile bicycle trek in the 30 degree frost. Huh? That's right, 70 miles in the low 30s on a bicycle, vying for position and trying to win a race against other bikers just as cold as you are.

That's what Joe over at the Peloton Fodder Blog was doing on a recent Sunday. Joe's an amateur racing cyclist from Louisville, Kentucky. Last Sunday his team drove to California, Kentucky, a little ways down river, for the Mentor/Maysville Road Race, a 70-mile out-and-back trip along the Ohio River. The turning around point in the race was downtown Maysville. (Map of the race)

You absolutely have to read his detailed account of the race posted on his blog. It's pretty exciting and makes me wish I had seen it first-hand.

From the story:

"About ten miles in, a break of five got loose, with one of our teammates in the mix. The rest of us did our best to sit on the front and block for him, slowing the pace considerably in an effort to extend the gap. Apparently up in the break, my teammate wasn't making any new friends by sitting on and refusing to work. Good tactics when you have eleven teammates behind you policing the pack, but not good if you prefer to race without hearing personal insults from your break partners." Link

Friday, March 03, 2006

Author Book Signing at Local Bookstore

Brian G. Shellum, author of Black Cadet in a White Bastion, will be at The Written Word Bookstore in Ripley Ohio Saturday, March 4th, at 11 am for a book signing and a meet-and-greet brunch.

Born in slavery in nearby May's Lick Kentucky, Charles Young (1864–1922) was the third black graduate of West Point, the first black U.S. military attaché, and the highest-ranking black officer in the Regular Army until his death. Unlike the two black graduates before him, Young went on to a long military career, eventually achieving the rank of colonel. After Young, racial intolerance closed the door to blacks at the academy, and forty-seven years passed before another African American graduated from West Point.

Brian G. Shellum’s biography of Young’s years at West Point, Black Cadet in a White Bastion, chronicles the enormous challenges that Young faced and provides a valuable window into life at West Point in the 1880s.

Brian G. Shellum is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and retired from the U.S. Army. He is currently a historian at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Signed copies of the book are $16.95 at The Written Word Bookstore.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Eighth Annual Museum Center Antique Auction

The Eighth Annual Museum Center Antique auction will be held March 3rd at the Maysville Country Club beginning at 6 pm with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, leading to dinner at 6:30. The auction itself begins at 7 pm. Dinner is $55 for members of the country club and $60 for nonmembers.

According to the Ledger Independent, some of the items available include: Rings of amethyst, diamonds and sapphires; gold necklaces, bracelets and watches that have been donated by museum patrons; sterling silver spoons, forks and other utensils; select china pieces, including Delphine's Coronation of King George VI and Elizabeth pattern; crystal goblets, vases, pitchers and flower baskets. There are also four cups that are marked 1937 and have been donated by an anonymous supporter among the antiques.

More modern items include: The Magic 8 Ball from the movie "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events"; a signed black and white photograph of designer Calvin Klein; the playbill from the Lynn Redgrave play, "Sweet Sue," and a framed advertisement of Lux soap featuring hometown girl Rosemary Clooney.

Definitely seems like an event to participate in, if you've got the cash. Reportedly, the auction raises nearly $20,000 a year.

Full Story

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Nick Clooney Tells All in Recent Article

We all know Nick Clooney but for our readers outside the area here's a brief recap of why we love him. First, he lives in Augusta, Kentucky and has been very active in the betterment of Augusta, Maysville, and the surrounding areas all his life. Mr. Clooney was born January 13, 1934, in Maysville, and is an American television journalist, anchorman, game show and American Movie Classics host, as well as a politician from the state of Kentucky. He is the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney and the father of actor George Clooney.

Nick Clooney also writes a column for the Cincinnati Post and receives mail from all over the country concerning the things he writes about. Last week he took the opportunity to answer the personal questions that he's received over the past year. Here's a link to that article:

The Cincinnati Post - Inquiring readers just want to know

One of my favorite questions asked: "Any thoughts about retirement?" He replies, "I will retire when that fellow who sends the bills retires."

Good stuff, good stuff : ) Let's hope he never retires.