Gardens to Gables

A New Sort of Story

I’ve written many times about my love of history and how my own personal family history, stemming from deep roots in central Kentucky, has inspired, influenced, and shaped me. Sometimes, the familial connections that stretch across this region have felt confining – anyone who has Read More

Travels in Virginia: A Giant Coffee Pot on the Side of the Road

A giant silver coffee pot on the side of the road possesses a certain sort of magic, almost certainly the power to encourage drivers to conduct a hasty U-turn to make sure that what they saw was, yes – a building shaped like an enormous Read More

Coal, Brick, and Stone: The Historic Schools of Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky

I’ve explored – and daydreamed about – many a rural hamlet, with only a few souls still in residence, while most lie peacefully in the small family cemeteries nearby. Old churches, post offices, feed mills, and schools still stand, in various stages of decay, to Read More

Escape to the Catskills: Exploring Callicoon, New York

It’s been a exhaustively hot summer in Kentucky this year. Although graced by the technology of central air conditioning, I’ve thought with longing about children’s books I read decades ago that described the decampment from urban cores to shady mountain retreats (I believe the Bobbsey Read More

Exploring in Maysville, Kentucky: Philip Discovers Phillips Folly

One of the perks of being a lover of historic architecture is the complete annihilation of boredom. There is always something new to see and appreciate, even in the most modest and humble of buildings (unless I happen to be stranded in sprawl land, surrounded Read More

For the Living and the Dead: The Historic Tradition of Family Reunions

I’ve never shied away from “purple prose” in my own writing, and I find the language in the historic newspapers to be the heights of delightful floridity.This past weekend, my family celebrated its 123rd annual (or 122nd, we’re not exactly sure) reunion – a long-standing Read More

A Late (and Humid) July Sojourn in Mobile, Alabama

I’ve never really considered Kentucky to be southern – one of the things I love most about this Commonwealth, in addition to its geographic contradictions, is its ability to defy categorization and labels. And after spending five days in Mobile, Alabama, I return to the Read More

The Death of a Corner Gas Station in Newport, Kentucky

There are any number of attractions that cause me to pull my car over and hop out with my camera – historic corner gas stations being near the top of the list. I’ve photographed the ones I know of in Lexington (my favorite is in Read More

An Architectural Whimsical Treat: The Storybook Style

All buildings have stories (that’s my personal philosophy anyway). But some architectural styles are all about the story – such as the aptly-Storybook Style – a short-lived, whimsical flourishing of houses evocative of fairy tales, medieval Europe, and an architect’s fevered imagination. And, it all Read More

Namesakes and Gables: The Henry Clay Peak House in Warsaw, Kentucky

I am always amused by the lists released each year heralding popular baby names, and the origin of some of those choices. The practice of naming babies after famous people isn’t a trend unique to today’s pop culture obsessed world. In Kentucky, scores of children Read More