Gardens to Gables

Category Archives: Crossroad Communities

The Abel Gabbard House, Sandgap, Jackson County, Kentucky

On June 10, 1886, a post office was established at a crossroads in northwestern Jackson County, Kentucky, and the community around it christened “Collinsworth.” This wasn’t the birth of the village, for it had been around well before the Civil War, but a post office Read More

Community Hub: The Hardcastle Store, Warren County, Kentucky

When the news media reports a winning lottery ticket, my imagination shifts into overdrive. My plans for my imaginary lottery spoils include buying up lots of farmland for preservation, endowing numerous non-profits, and buying my own country store (adjacent to my farm, of course). In Read More

The Hansford B. Ferguson House, Morgan County, Kentucky

I’ve often found myself hiking along creeks for several miles to reach a historic house site, far removed from the current road network. Invariably, these hikes have been at the height of summer, with all the joy that entails in Kentucky’s humidity… My temporary discomfort, Read More

Perspectives: The Gift of Vernacular Buildings

The month of January found me suspended in a maelstrom of deadlines. The joy I typically find in my profession disintegrated into a frenzy of writing, severe brain strain, and a complete lack of appreciation for the fascinating buildings that were my subject. Then, one Read More

Wandering Woodburn: A Warren County, Kentucky Treasure

It’s been years since anxiety gripped me about getting lost in Kentucky. Back when I succumbed to those fears, it was my driving skills that should have caused nervousness, not the likelihood that a wrong turn would result in me getting hopelessly lost for days. Read More

Discovering a Familiar Stranger: Sewell Shop, Clark County, KY

The familiar landscape is the one that often receives the least notice. But when that landscape changes, the disorientation strikes with ferocity, and a palpable sense of loss. For all  my love of crossroad communities – places not quite a town, grown organically at the Read More

Piqua, Robertson County, Kentucky

Roads are curious thing – and in Kentucky, they are big business. A new road delivers up promises of jobs and economic development; sometimes the premise for a project seems to be nothing more than “if you build it, they will come.” A road also Read More

A Whimsical Wednesday in Summer Shade, Kentucky

When I talk to people about vernacular architecture, I catch myself comparing it to messy but delicious experiments in the kitchen, or unexpected adventures, or exploring a brand new place.  Sometimes, you might cook up some comfort food. Or you could  create something brand new. Read More

Names and Places: Frances, Crittenden County, Kentucky

There are as many origin stories about the names of Kentucky’s small towns and crossroad communities as there are these spots on the map. Sometimes the postmaster (or postmistress) got to choose the name. Perhaps a nearby industry inspired the name of a place, or Read More

There’s Gold in Those Rocks! Gold City, Simpson County, Kentucky

My great-great-great-grandfather’s farm, originally christened “Mt. Pleasant” in the early 19th century, was renamed “Klondike” in the late-19th century, when one of his grandchildren headed to Alaska with dreams of striking it rich in the Klondike goldfields. We have a box of crumbling letters he Read More