Gardens to Gables

Category Archives: Kentucky History

The Demise of Hempstead, Fayette County, Kentucky

Long before its association with clothing, chocolates, or the civil disobedience of actor Woody Harrelson, hemp (without the prefix “industrial”) was a mainstay of Kentucky agriculture. One of my ancestors grew hemp on his Montgomery County farm decades before the Civil War, and in 1869 Kentucky produced Read More

Kentucky Places: Wolf Creek, Meade County

From my earliest days as a denizen of backseat land, watching the world unfold from the car window, I’ve been a careful observer of place names.* Road signs, heralding a waterway or community, were carefully transcribed by me in my ever-present sketch pad or notebook, to Read More

Ghent Baptist Church, Carroll County, Kentucky

The vernacular front gable church with two entry doors has great appeal to a wide audience. I love the simplistic, almost austere beauty of these buildings. As a historic type, they were built in Kentucky through almost every stylistic period and decade, up into the Read More

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

Tell Your Story with StoryCorps: March 16-April 14, 2017

StoryCorps is coming back to town! The nonprofit organization that helps people record stories about their lives and “leave a legacy for the future” will return to Lexington, Kentucky on March 16, parking their  MobileBooth — a sleek Airstream trailer  converted to a recording studio — at Read More

EMBA Building, Sturgis, Kentucky

My first trip through Union County, in Western Kentucky, occurred during a week of spring floods. Our plan to travel along small, meandering rural roads close to the river was often thwarted by standing water. Although our circuitous route missed the county seat of Morganfield, Read More

Marshall House or White Hall, Augusta, Bracken County, Kentucky

Last spring I spent a lovely sunny afternoon exploring the town of Augusta – and the breadth and quality of the historic architecture just took my breath away. A large Federal-style house set within a lawn gleaming blue with violets caught my fancy, and I Read More

Rain Swept and Abandoned: The Rocky Ford School, Casey County, Kentucky

The recent spate of rain drenching the Bluegrass has not only made my backyard soggy, but reminded me how frustrating rain can be when you are out in a downpour, trying to photograph historic resources. (Not that I will ever complain about the rain – Read More

Washington Street House, Campton, Wolfe County, Kentucky

The second story porch was what got me. That, and the roofline – gable on hip, with these curious gable attic dormers, festooned with brackets. Those elements and my penchant for deliberately getting lost  – or wandering down side streets – led me past this imposing late-19th Read More

R. H. Wilson House, Greensburg, Kentucky

The R.H. Wilson House in Greensburg, Kentucky, is a perfect example of one of the historic house forms I adore: a compact, brick, 1.5 story central passage dwelling – usually built during the Federal period. The Federal style is generally considered to be from around Read More