Beattyville/Lee County Tourism takes viewers on a hike around the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve in Lee County, KY. Located 15 miles south of the Red River Gorge and Natural Bridge State Resort Park and only a 6 miles away from Beattyville, KY. Informational video on preparing for a hike, driving directions from the Beattyville/Lee County Toursim Center to the MFRP Trailhead, and footage from the 0.8 mile hiking loop around the 300 acre property owned by the Red River Gorge Climber's Coalition and available for public recreation. Maps online www.rrgcc.org or www.visitleecountyky.com. #hiking #rockclimbing #bumpybackroads
The Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission in partnership with the Downtown Beattyville Alliance, issued an Adventure Story Writing Contest to students and citizens of Lee County. The outdoor adventure recreational areas and attractions in Lee County have been closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Students have been remaining at home unable to see their friends or finish out their school year. Residents in the nursing homes are unable to receive visits from their family and friends. Stories are a way to escape and envision new surroundings or go on epic adventures while remaining at home. The following stores are from local students, citizens, and residents at the Lee County Care and Rehab. Each story will be published in the Three Forks Tradition newspaper and each author will receive $50 prize in the mail. Care packages will be sent to the residents who sent in stories from the Lee County Care and Rehab Center. Thank you to everyone who wrote and sent in a story. We hope you enjoy reading these amazing and imaginative stores.
Grant Hall, 3rd Grade at Lee County Elementary, 8 years old
Once upon a time these two kids went on a hike.They were “inside” kids so they knew nothing about hiking. Most of the time they were playing on their phones. A couple minutes in to the hike, they fell off a cliff because they weren’t paying attention due to looking at their phones. Thankfully they fell into a river. They were still very injured. They looked at each other and said, “I wish we would have stayed home.” They sat down and cried for a little bit. After they cried, they looked at each other and said,” we have to get crafty”. Like I said, they were “inside kids”. They went to pick up sticks and a rope to build a raft.
After six hours, they were done. It was ok. When they got in the water, they sailed away. Soon, they saw a bull shark and a catfish.They were scared and said it was like Shark Doom 3. Soon they heard “don’t be afraid”. They said, “what was that?” “It’s me down here the shark. Do you need directions?” The kids said yeah. The shark said, “Go straight and take a left ok.”
After a while, they found Russell County, that is right next to their county, Wilson County. In two hours it was 4 am. They stopped at a gas station and spent the night there. But first they had to sneak in. They knocked on the door and said to the cashier, ”your wife called you won the lottery.” the cashier said,”I did? I'm out of here. Bye!” They said, “That was easy.” They spent the whole night there. When they woke up, they got up and walked all the way to Wilson County. On the walk home, they both said they don’t want to be inside kids anymore.
Brooklyn Snowden, 5th Grade at Lee County Elementary
The ARTIFACT: Tomahawk that has special powers. It has the power that will destroy the Covic 19 Virus.
HERO: Brooke 11 years old from Eastern Kentucky, she’s about 4 ½ feet talk, strawberry blonde hair. A strong young girl who has a keen sense of justice, happy to help those who need it, but not the loudest person within a crowd. She studies history and is in search of a treasure map that has the clues to the location of the tomahawk. Which is said to be hidden in a trunk, in the elementary school.
SIDE-KICK: Olivia 11 year old from Eastern Kentucky. She’s about 4 ½ feet tall, short black hair she is as tall as Brooke. She knows gymnastics and will take on anything, but she is a loyal friend to Brooke and the pair have known one another since they were born.
VILLAIN: A mysterious figure she’s from Kentucky and is also in search of the treasure map, stopping at nothing to get her hands upon it. She wants the treasure map to find the tomahawk to keep them from distorting the COVIC 19 cause she likes to stay out of school.
Today started out as any other day. Brooke got up and eat her breakfast and then she set in to do her NTI day homework. She had started her home work, when she received a message that told her that there was a tomahawk with special powers that would kill off the COVIC 19 virus. She was all excited and knew that if the tomahawk could be found it would cure the sick and they could lift the quarantine and the world would go back to normal with no sickness. She knew she couldn’t do it on her own so she contacted her very best friend Olivia to help her. When Olivia answered her phone and Brooke told her what she had learned, Olivia was all for finding the treasure map to find the tomahawk. They talked about how they could get together, since there were rules about distance between each person.
The Governor and President said everyone couldn’t be in a crowd. They had shut the school down. The girls were doing work at home for school. All businesses were closed also. Because COVID 19 had made a lot of people sick. So Brooke and Olivia found out that inside the elementary school was where they could find the treasure map that gave clues about where to find the tomahawk. They had to figure out a way they could get into the school without being seen. Since the school was locked up so the kids couldn’t get in.
The first thing they had to do was to find out when there wouldn’t be anyone in the school. That was going to be hard, but they had to do it to save the world and fix it so they could go back to school and have their graduation. They wanted their family and friends to share in the joy of them graduating. To watch them as they walked down to receive their diplomas. This was a very special time for the girls and they wanted everyone to see what that had accomplished.
The time had come for Brooke and Olivia to go to the school. They had arranged to meet outside of the school by the back door so they wouldn’t be seen from the road. They both wore dark clothes so the light wouldn’t glow on their clothes. They hadn’t seen each other for a month now. The COVIC 19 had made the school be closed to all students. They really missed seeing each other because they were more than friends; they were more like sisters.
They both had different ideas about how to get into the school, so they both decided that both ideas were great ones. So they worked with both ideas. Brooke’s idea was to make a diversion so the janitor would hear something and go and check it out, and then they could go inside the door when he opened it to check what the noise was. Olivia’s idea was to call the school and tell the janitor that she needed to get inside her classroom to get her phone that she had left on her desk when they had left the day before they cancelled school. That she needed it and she remembered she had left it at the school. So they decided to use a little of Brooke’s ideas and a little of Olivia’s idea. Olivia called the school and the janitor told her to come on out, he would let her in long enough to get her phone. So Brooke hid behind the door so when the janitor opened the door Olivia stuck something over the door latch so the door wouldn’t shut.
Brooke could get inside the school while Olivia had the janitor down to her classroom after her phone. It worked! Brooke was in the school, she waited while Olivia and the janitor went to Olivia’s classroom to get her phone. Brooke hid beside the trophy case until Olivia and the janitor came back and Olivia left. After Olivia went outside and the janitor went back to work down the hall. Brooke walked over and let Olivia back into the school.
Together they went down to the storage room where all the book fair items were stored. They thought they were alone, until they heard a noise and there they saw the villain, the one person that wanted to stop them from finding the treasure map to cure the Covic 19 virus. She was looking in every room to try and find the trunk where the treasure map was supposed to be. Brooke and Olivia looked as fast as they could to find the trunk so they could find the treasure map. They finally found the trunk and they both were very happy. So they opened the door and looked down the hall and didn’t see the villain, the one person that didn’t want the Covic 19 to be stopped. Cause she wanted to stay out of school, not like Brooke and Olivia. They wanted to be able to stop the Covic 19 and graduate and go on to the six grade.
As Brooke and Olivia were going down the hall, out came the villain and she grabbed a mop broom and tripped Brookie first then she went after Olivia. Brooke dropped the treasure map when she fell against the wall. The villain grabbed it and then Olivia did a cartwheel and hit the villain and she fell and dropped the treasure map. Brooke grabbed the map and her and Olivia ran out of the school and the alarm went off and the villain was captured by the janitor. Brookie and Olivia got away, now they went to a quiet place and looked over the treasure map. The treasure map was written in a way that it was hard to read, but together Brooke and Olivia figured out the map. They had to go back to the school and find a red building on the school property. It was hard because all the buildings were brown, not red. They looked for a long time until Brooke shook Olivia’s shoulder and said what is that color there, under the brown paint was red. They had found the red building, now to find the tomahawk. Then they would save the world. The treasure map said the tomahawk would be in a hole under the bench in a metal box protected under a cloth. They found the bench and then they found the box. They were so excited they had found the answer to destroy the Covic 19.
In the box was direction on how to use the tomahawk. What they had to do was hold the tomahawk together and put in the air. Their strong friendship would power up the tomahawk and destroy the Covic 19 virus. Brooke and Olivia prayed together for God to give them the strength to save the world. Together they locked their hands together around the tomahawk and they felt the tomahawk power up. They lifted it into the air and watched as the power got stronger and it set off a ray of light that covered the whole world. The power of friendship saved the world, all the sick were healed and the Covic 19 was gone.
The news from the governor came the next day that something had happened that all sick people were healed and there was now more virus. That now all places could open and the children could go back to school. The kids were excited but the villain she wasn’t, she had been arrested for breaking into the school.
Friday came and all the kids got to have their graduation they had hoped for. Everyone and the Governor and President was proud of Brooke and Olivia for the job they had done with the tomahawk. The tomahawk was put in a safe place so know one would ever be able to touch it. Everything went back to normal and the world wasn’t sick anymore.
Katie Bowman, 12th Grade at Lee County High School
I sat on the bank of the river beneath the towering willow and listened to the frogs croak as the sweet smell filled my senses. I loved coming down here after a heavy rain. The water rushed by, the tumultuous flow so intense. She was so muddy you’d think you were in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. But that’s no surprise, Big Sandy’s been muddy as long as I can remember. Granny says the big spill slurried these streams with coal sludge, polluting the waters and killing everything in it that moved. My granny said she’d just gotten used to drinkin’ that tap water and now she can’t even turn the faucet on half of the time.
I’ve been coming to stay with Granny every summer since I was a little girl. Momma said she got some fine raisin’ here in this town and said I’d get some good lessons from the folks around here. It breaks my heart that this is my last summer here before I go off to college.
She’s a real character, my granny. That woman will cook from daylight to dark and expect me to swallow everything she puts in front of me. Lord, if I did, I’d be as big as this two story house. She ain’t ever picked up a measuring cup in all the summers I’ve watched her cook, says she just knows. Granny is just about the whole towns’ granny. She’s owned the pool hall for years, kept it filled with pop machines and arcade games. Granny sure makes her money off the gamblers that roll in here. She wears these mumu dresses with pockets in them, jinglin’ her change around so everybody knows she’s got some. But she gives that pocket change to all the youngin’s; I’ve never had to spend a dime.
I slowly push myself up off the bank and dust myself off before walking up the hill to Granny’s house. She keeps saying she needs to put a fresh coat of paint on her old farmhouse, but I always tell her that I think the chips give it character. Granny always tells me I’m just like her: too much of a story teller, that I find some hidden meaning in everything I come across. She says we could spin tales to make a grown man’s jaw drop.
As the screen door slams closed behind me, I’m hit with the Sunday smell: ham beans and salmon patties, fried cornbread and taters, my favorite.
“Evelyn, honey, your britches are nasty!” sighs Granny once she catches a glimpse of me.
I give a slight grin, “Look at you! You’d think you were tryin’ to fry yourself with all the flour on that apron,” I chuckle.
Granny rolls her eyes and swats at me, “Wash up youngin, it’s time to eat.”
As I wash up in the bathroom, I catch sight of myself in the mirror. Lord, Granny was right, I look mighty rough. My mousy brown hair fell below my shoulders, stringy from the day spent outside. My full cheeks covered in constellations of freckles, a blessing that only came out in the sun. I splashed water on my face in an effort to settle the pink heat that rested upon my skin.
As I sit down to the feast Granny has made, she pours me a glass of tea. “I got a call from Virginia today,” she says. Virginia is my Momma’s best friend from high school.
“What’d she need?” I say.
“Well, she said that she had some seeds ready to plant tomorrow and wanted to know if you wanted to learn a thing or two?”
I took another bite of beans and nodded, “Why yeah, I ain’t got nothing better to do.”
I helped Granny wash the dishes from supper and went to my bedroom. As a summer breeze drifted in through the window and carried in the sounds of the bullfrogs, I settled into bed and buried my head beneath the quilts. I said my nightly prayer to the Lord, thanking him for yet another day on this beautiful Earth, before drifting off to sleep.
As I drove down the highway in my Bronco, I rolled the window down and took in the cool spring air. I never could stand to drive all boxed up, it suffocates me. It could be the dead of winter and I’d still drive with the window down, heat blasting.
Crossing the railroad tracks, I was once again taken aback at the beauty of this little town. So many people see a place like this and call it washed up, white trash. I see simplicity from a better time. They say it lacks opportunity. I say it only offers opportunity to the loyal folk that keep it runnin’.
Flags line Main Street, one of the last places where the American dream still lives. We’ve got some good fellers here who made us mighty proud defending that flag. Our war heroes are the real celebrities around here. Sometimes, when Granny and I are out to eat, a veteran will walk in and she’ll start nudging me, “Go and shake his hand, Evelyn, thank him for his service! Now go on, you’re being rude.” She’d just about embarrass me to death, but I’d always listen, because she was right.
Climbing the hill to Virginia’s house, you can see the vast acreage of forest surrounding her property. The farmhouse that her daddy built with his own bare hands stands just as beautiful as it was the day he finished it, with a gorgeous wrap-around porch hovering over luscious flowerbeds.
I walked around the back of her house to her large greenhouse, where she was bent over some pots, raking through soil.
“Howdy Virginia!” I hollered, so I wouldn’t sneak up on her.
“Well good mornin’ Miss Evelyn,” she said with a smile, “It’s good to see ya, sweetheart!”
Virginia led me around the greenhouse, pointing out which seeds were ready to be planted today and explaining the differences between their growing needs. She had always been in touch with nature. She even made her own soap with some of the leftover flowers she had at the end of the summer, if they didn’t sell. I hoped she’d lend me her green thumb.
After a few hours of planting and potting, Virginia led me inside to get some lunch. She tossed together a fresh salad with spinach, clementines, and pecans, before saying, “And I top it off with a sprinkle of marigold for good health!” I gave her a smile; it looked amazing.
As I got up from her kitchen table, Virginia said, “I’m ready for another adventure, whaddya say?”
Unsure of what she meant, I went along with it, “Sure, why not,” I laughed.
Virginia strolled past the greenhouse, asking me how my mother was doing as we walked.
“Momma is doing good,” I nod, “Them youngins keep her busy, and she worries about granny getting lonely, so she sends me out here to lift her spirits.”
“Lord honey,” says Evelyn, “you know your granny don’t need anybody. She could fight a running sawmill if she had to.” We both laughed. “But that’s awfully sweet.”
We neared the edge of the woods before Virginia stopped. “You ever went morel huntin’?”
“No ma’am,” I say. “They’re awfully good to eat, though,” I grin.
Virginia leads me down a trail, pointing out decaying tree stumps, “They like to hide over there sometimes. You just gotta keep your eyes peeled.”
After about an hour of searching, tripping over tree roots, and climbing hills, Virginia sharply drew in a breath, “Gotcha,” she said. I hover over her shoulder and catch a glimpse of our golden nugget, before shortly after spotting my very own. “Eureka!” I say.
“There ya go, darlin’,” she says. “You’ve just found your first morel mushroom.”
I couldn’t help but to be at least a little proud. My momma always said you weren’t an Appalachian if you couldn’t appreciate the land’s gifts. I’d call her up when I got home and tell her the news.
“Thank ya, Miss Virginia!” I said, before climbing in my Ford. “I sure do appreciate all your teachin’ today.”
“Why any time, honey, you’re more than welcome here,” she said.
It’s people like Miss Virginia that make me proud of my home. Along with the fact that you can have little adventures like that right here in our backyard. It really makes me appreciate the fact that I was born right here in God’s country and that I’ve got kind people around me who teach me lessons every day.
Madeline McIntosh Sawyer, Lee County, Kentucky
A RABBIT FOR BREAKFAST
It was a cold winter morning back in 1952. With a heavy white snow on the ground. Blankets of white snow covered the pine trees and the old apple tree in the yard. And mountains of snow covered the fruit trees in the orchard.
The creek that ran down the holler was frozen over with heavy snow and ice of winter. Nothing in the yard at the barn was moving. You could see the steam coming from the house and the cow’s nostrils as they came out of the barn into the morning blanket of white.
The rooster crowed once or twice, but no need for more. Nothing at the barn or on the farm was moving that morning. The wind blew and the sun shinned bright and glistened on the fresh layer of snow. It seemed as if time was standing still and the whole world was frozen.
In the little three-room country house, James was up at the break of dawn putting coal and wood in the old heating stove. He had been up several times through out the night putting wood in the stove to keep plenty of heat in the small three-room house. The old shingled roof had held up really good in the heavy snow. And the windows were frosted over with frost so thick you couldn’t see out of them. Scrapping the frost from the inside of the window and looking outside, made him realize that winter had made it way up the holler and into the little house that sat near the creek.
James had reached for his old overalls that hang on a nail on the wall along with his flannel shirt. He put on his good warm socks and shoes that he had set by the old wood heating stove the night before. Patches on the knees of the old overalls didn’t bother him none, they only made them warmer. One-piece thermal underwear clung tight to his body for extra warmth he needed to go out and face the cold winter morning.
His wife Mary crawled out from under the good warm covers of her home made quilts. She dressed warmly before she hurries into the kitchen to build a fire in the wood cook stove. She noticed right away that the dipper had frozen in the water bucket. She took some paper and a handful of kindling and put it inside the wood cook stove. She threw in some coal oil and a match and the stove began to crackle and pop. She set the water bucket on the stove to thaw it out. She put the coffee pot on to boil fresh hot coffee to get the day started right. She threw her boots on and headed out to the smokehouse.
Inside the smoke house she looked around and she thought how wonderful all the good home cured pork was that hung in the smoke house. Pork chops, bacon, hams, middling, ribs and tenderloin filled the smokehouse benches and hung from the rafters . All salted down and curing great in the cold of the winter. She thought, what ever was she gonna choose from since she had such a wonderful choice. But since it was so cold, she decided to choose the easiest thing to get. Bacon was her first choice. She took her large butcher knife and cut her a piece from the larger piece that hung down from the rafters. Then back into the house she flew through the deep snow. She sliced the bacon and laid it into a cast iron skillet to fry on top the old cook stove that had the whole kitchen war. Soon the heavenly smell of the bacon filled the room. Homemade biscuit and gravy would surely top all that off.
James had gone to the barn with the milk bucket in hand to get fresh milk for breakfast. He fed the horse and cow and the chickens. He went to the creek that ran down the holler and broke up the ice for the animals to have drinking water. Making sure all was well at the barn; he headed off back to the house.
Mary had a large skillet full of bacon frying on the stove when he entered the door of the good warm house. He said, Mary we will have fresh fried rabbit in the morning for breakfast.
James had been watching a family of rabbits that he had been seeing going under the kitchen floor of the house. Now that the snow had fallen he could see the footprints of them in the snow. So James told Mary that when the evening came, she could help him catch one of the rabbits for their breakfast. She was not at all excited about going outside in the snow to hunt rabbit, but oh well she thought, we will see how it goes when the time comes. So she laughed it off and went on with her daily chores.
So, later in the evening when night fall came in the little house beside the creek. James told Mary to get the coal oil lamp and follow him into the kitchen and to close the kitchen door. She did as he asks. Still wondering how they would catch a rabbit in the kitchen in the dark of the night. And she had hoped that he had forgotten all about the idea anyway. Although a good fresh mess of fried rabbit would be a really good change for breakfast.
On the way into the kitchen, James picked up the hammer. He needed it to pull up a board from the kitchen floor. So, Mary with all her curiosity on what was gonna happen next in the kitchen went along with him. She held the coal oil lamp in her hand and James told her to get up on top of the table and hold the lamp for light in the kitchen. James gently took the hammer and pulled a board up out of the kitchen floor so a rabbit would come up through the missing board in the floor.
Holding the lamp and laughing at her husband, Mary’s eyes got larger and larger as her and James saw a rabbit come up through the missing board in the floor of the kitchen. James gently took his hammer and tapped the nails in the board back down in the kitchen floor as he had trapped the rabbit in the kitchen.
Mary, still on top of the kitchen table still holding the lamp, asks James in a comical way. “What are you gonna do with it now”? Well, James had it all planned out as he told Mary to go on to bed and he would take care of it now.
So, early the next cold snowy morning in the little house by the creek in the holler. Two Special people shared a heavenly breakfast of fried rabbit, gravy and biscuit cooked on an old wood cook stove.
Lots of love, lots of laughter and lots of special memories to hold in their hearts for the rest of their lives for James and Mary McIntosh back in the early part of 1952.
Laugh, Yes we will, at this funny comical but true story. My Daddy James McIntosh told me this story many years ago about how him and Mom caught the rabbit in the kitchen one cold snowy winter evening. I know it don’t sound real, but these two special people really did this. And I am so thankful they told me and that I can write it down and share it with every one who reads and enjoys this article. You know, there’s a lesson to be learned heard in this story. NEVER GIVE UP AND NEVER BACK DOWN IF YOU WANT SOMETHING BAD ENOUGH. With lots of love to both my parents who are James and Mary McIntosh.
The Lee County Care and Rehab Center in Beattyville, KY has a program called "TimeSlips" where residents look at a photo and write a story from the photo. Last summer, the residents reenacted a community play called Neverland. This summer they had plans to work on the Wizard of Oz. The following are the stories that the residents submitted. Each person will be receiving a personalized care package. Thank you LCCR for all you do to care for our community elders.
Written By Rose S.
Resident at the Lee County Care and Rehab, Beattyville, KY
Bobby & Susan’s Great Adventure
One cool May evening in 1913 in the town of Neverland, neighbors Bobby and Susan went on an adventure on their neighbor Captain Hook’s Farm. They were walking around in the woods when they came across a well that was shining bright. They walked over to look down it. The sides were wet, cold and slimily. When Bobby and Susan looked down the well, they saw that it was full of gold! Bobby said, “I’m going down to get us some gold. Susan you stay up here and be our lookout in case Ole Captain Hook comes looking around.” Bobby gently crawled down the well. As Bobby was looking around filling his water bucket full of gold, he saw a pile of copperheads and rattlesnakes around the piles of gold. Bobby was filled was filled with fear. He almost peed his pants. Just when he was about to freak out, he remembered that he had brought a shovel with him. With one eye closed, he started swinging and killing all the snakes!
With all the nasty snakes killed and his bucket full of gold, he was ready to come out of the deep well. As he began to climb out, he notices that the sides were too slimly wet. There was no way he was going to be able to get out of the well. He yelled out to Susan, “Run to the barn and find something to get me out of here. But be quiet and don’t get caught.” Susan ran with all her might to the barn. She picked up some rope and ran back to the well. She tied one end of the rope around her waist and threw the other end down to awaiting Bobby. He tied the bucket of gold on first. Susan pulled it up and then threw the rope down to bring up Bobby. When Bobby got back up to the top, he and Susan counted up all the gold they had in their bucket. They had over 150,000 ounces of gold in that bucket. They was about 2.9 million dollars. They decided that they would spilt the money 50/50. They also decided that they would be greedy and keep it all for themselves.
Written By Callie R.
Resident at the Lee County Care and Rehab, Beattyville, KY
One pretty day Dorothy and her two friend’s tin man and scarecrow we’re on a long journey to see the wizard in Neverland. As they were walking three goons jumped from behind the trees. They tried to shoot them but it missed. But they did capture the scarecrow and they tried to hang him from a tree. But Dorothy and the 10 man came to the scarecrows rescue they jumped up and cut him from the tree.
The scarecrow was so thankful for Dorothy and the 10 man. As I continue down the road 10 man became very weak. He said I just cannot go on I’ve got to stop and pray. But door thing that scares grow we’re not wanting him to pray. They said I know it will fix him maybe some oil so Dorothy got her oil can out of her basket and squeak some into 10 man’s mouth. The tin man was so worried his eyes were as big a silver dollars and the ring in his nose lit up like a Christmas tree. So the scarecrow held the 10 man’s hand and saying a sweet lullaby in his ear. Oh tin man oh tin man calm down we’ve got you out in Man O tin Man Dorothy‘s on the way. The fear in 10 man’s eyes melted as the scarecrow sang his song. After the oil took its time to sit in to tin man’s body they decided to continue onto their journey. Finally after A week on the yellow brick road they finally arrived at the wizard’s castle in Neverland.
Dorothy the tin man scarecrow jumped with glee as they put their arms around the wizard! Oh how they love the wizard! They had a big party at the wizard’s castle and celebrated the arrival of the crew. They partied for 10 days!
Written By Wanda C.
Resident at the Lee County Care and Rehab, Beattyville, KY
Spring Time Love
It’s a warm spring night, April 16th 1970 to be exact, and it time for the school dance at Hazel Country School. Sarah and David are out on the dance floor. The twinkle lights are twinkling brightly off Sarah and David’s pretty red hair. They were dancing together like they loved each other. Sarah with her eyes closed and bright lipstick on goes in for a kiss. David backs up as to be afraid of Sarah’s incoming kiss. When he backs up, Sarah didn’t attempt to kiss him and went back to dancing.
They danced for a little bit longer until the dance was almost over. Sarah leaned in again to kiss David and this time surprisingly he let her kiss him. She planted a kiss right on his lips. Sarah’s dad will not be happy to hear that she kissed that boy. She will probably get grounded but Sarah doesn’t care; she kissed David at the dance and that’s all that matters!
Written By Teresa S.
Resident at the Lee County Care and Rehab, Beattyville, KY
Once upon a time Dorothy, Big Bad Lion, Tin man, Scarecrow and Toto were stuck in Oz. So they went and talk to the Wizard hoping that he can help them. The Wizard was behind the curtain at the castle. No one wanted to knock on the giant door. Finally decided all of them outed knock at one time. There was a loud clad and out came the Wizard. "Who Knocked on my door?" The lion cried in feat. The Tin man calmed him down saying "There, there don't be afraid."
Dorothy spoke up, "We have one request fro out. First we brought you some fruit in my basket." The Wizard was very thankful. He said, "What are your request?" Dorothy said " I need to get home and my friend the Scarecrow needs a heart." The Wizard thought and said "I cannot help you with the heart, but I can tell you to follow the Yellow Brick Road back home. They thanked him and began their journey down the Yellow Brick Road. As they were walking, they began to worry about how the Scarecrow was going to get his heart, The Lion, who was the Scarecrow's best friend, said "I'll give you my heart." They all began to cry. What great friendship they were displaying.
When all of a sudden out of nowhere, a beautiful fairy came. She said, " I heard what has been going on and I think that is a wonderful gesture of sacrifice. I will give the Lion a heart and I will give Dorothy a pair of red ruby shoes that will help her get back home." They were all excited and jumped with glee. Dorothy clicked her shoes together five times and they magically arrived back in Kansas. They all lived on the farm together forever.
This article was written by Gladys Sale and published in the Beattyville Enterprise on April 21st, 1960. It recounts the story of Hanna McGuire who was born Africa, her experiences on the ship that brought her to Virginia, and how she came to Beattyville, KY. It is an interested archived article that should be shared especially as this is Black History Month. It can be hypothesized that based on the resourced documents from the deed references and her Last Will in Testament, that Hannah could be the first African American to own property in Lee County. Hannah McGuire's headstone can be found in the Riverview Cemetery in Beattyville, KY. References for the recorded documents can be found at the end of the article. The article by Gladys Sale is an exact copy of her original words and has not been changed writing style phrasing, punctuation, or spelling in any way.
Hannah McGuire, Born in Africa, Slave, Property Owner
By: Gladys Sale
Published: April 21st, 1960
Among the Saints who’s bodies lie at Riverview, one is singular. The modest slab which marks her place reads as follows:
“Hannah McGuire Born Feb 15, 1782, Died March 29 1889. A mother’s feeling in thy bosom glowed which heaved in kindness with each gentle breath”
Nothing is known of her birth except that she was born somewhere on the coast of Africa. Only fragments of her early life is known; these she often told to the white children, whose eyes gleamed with wonder about the land east of the Three Forks of the Kentucky River in about the ocean. For years adults reckoned her age, counting from the age, so in so, thought she was when he or she first saw her. Hannah herself set Feb 15 as her birthday because she said that on that date, in some unknown year, God had bestowed on her a great blessing. Year after year the children begged for her story.
Hannah told of playing with other black children on the shore. She remembered half naked black men and women. When almost grown I think, white men captured her and four other negros and took them aboard their ship. Standing huddled in the stern with the four others of her race, she for the first time became conscious of herself as an individual. She felt the ship begin to move she watched the shore line disappear.
First she lived in Proctor, later she lived on Lower Stuffelbean.
On the voyage full of new sights and experiences, she had no longing for home because she did not remember her mother, nor was she beset by fear because she was young. She and her four companions explored the boat, watched the clouds, and the waves. The white men were kind; she became their favorite.
One day a larger ship hove in sight and began to overtake them. The slaves changed their course but the strange vessel vessel gave chase and fast closed the distance between them. Hannah watched while the white men tied together with a rope, her four companions; she was taken deep into the interior of the boat, put in a copper still and told to be quite. While in there she heard a cannon fire, she felt the ship slow down, and she heard excited voices as the boat was searched. After she felt the ship begin in move again, she was brought on deck in time to see the other ship drop beyond the horizon. She did not see her four traveling companions again; presumably they were dropped overboard.
The landing at Norfolk, VA was an incident of confusion and frustration for Hannah. She next remembered that she was with a white man named Haddix, who was taking her to his New England home. There, she a young slave girl, quick and fresh from Africa, learned from her Mistress to scrub, to cook, to preform a slave’s duty. Hannah thought of Mrs. Haddix as the only mother she had known who with her gentle voice, taught her not only to work but to believe in God; nor had she been denied the joy and laughter inherent in her race. Hannah became civilized, took on the the gentle and serene personality that characterized her life.
When the salt works opened in Perry County, Mr. Haddix moved there with his family and slaves. One evening before a winter fire was not long enough for Hannah to relate to the McGuire children all the joys and woes of that wilderness.
It is not know how long she lived in Perry County. But is defiantly known that before the Soldiers returned from the War of 1812, Mr. Haddix sold Hannah to a man names McGuire who lived at the mouth of the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River. The facts about her life from that time are not conjecture. The exact date of her arrival at the home of James McGuire is not known but it is possible at about the same time there was another arrival in the home - that of a baby girl named Jane, called Jenice, who was born in 1814. Hannah served Deamy and James McGuire until their death during the Civil War.
Then, as was the custom, she assumed their surname because she held them in love and respect. She continued in work for the McGuire children; she was never far from them. At one her last years were spent in the old John G. Jamison house recently torn down.
During many months of semi-invalidism her daughter Nancy attended her. The “Three Forks Enterprise” from time to time mentioned the condition of the “venerable centenarian.” Hannah, from her window, could see the home of Jenice McGuire now an elderly lady also. Janice often visited her along with others, and invariable the subject of her age was discussed.
While the life of Hannah ebbed live around the Three Forks - that wilderness to which she had come 70 odd years previously - quickened. The children and grandchildren of the early pioneers were stirring. Animal traces had become well trod paths to the Three Forks. Many had migrated to Beatty Town for gain, for adventure, for prospects of a good life, or for lack of a better place to go. Old Beatty Town had been put on the map of Kentucky as Beattyville, the county seat of Lee County. A sturdy brick courthouse had been built. A fine new Hotel to be called “Nina Webb”, meaning watering place, was being built of brick. It was to be three stories high, with a lobby, a dining room large enough for dances, drawing rooms, and suites. And it was to have running water on every floor! It was to be fabulous! Only one thing marred its future.
Across from the street where the Mollie Lyons house now stands was the private burring ground of Jane and John G. McGuire. In it were members of their family, their slaves, and members of other families of old Beatty Town. When approached Mr. McGuire told the Nina Webb company the conditions under which he would allow the bodies to be moved. Experts were to move them with care; the bodies of his slaves were to be moved with the rest and placed just over the hill from the spot he chose for his own family; and in the future, any negro who had once been a slave of the McGuires, and so wished, was to be allowed burial there.
Thus it was, that Hannah’s bodies was among the first to go directly to Riverview. Hands she had known and nourished from brith prepared her body for burial; dressed her in a long foulard dress of Copenhagen blue with closely gathered valencin-ness lace around the high neck, and at the waists. Which had been bought at far away Cincinnati by James McGuire for his daughter, Percilla McGuire Dunaway. On a spring day in 1889, a wagon burring her body led the procession out McGuire Ave. A goodly company both white and colored accompanied it. The women who rode side saddles. The horses were slick and spirited. Some rode in wagons others walked. At the open grave the negros sang. A colored minister who’s name is lost, preached. Then a white man, the reverend HC Lockwood in Ecclesiastical robes read for Hannah McGuire the Burial Office - the age old service which had been read for many pioneers and patriots - George Washington, James Madison, Patrick Henry, the same service which was later to be read for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Robert H Taft, and King George of England. Then the negros sang while the men both white and colored, as was the custom took turns with the shovel to fill in the grave. They left her grave unlike the pioneer graves she had known, strewn with rocks and timber for camouflage against wild animals; the pointed it neatly, and with their shovels they spanked the fresh earth until it glistened and shown.
On the 23rd of April, 1889 more than three weeks after her burial-the last will in testament of Hannah McGuire was reduced in the Lee County Court, filed and proved by the oath of Mr. James Madison Beatty and Mr. Thomas Pryse. In it she first gave “to God glory for all his mercies and blessings through the period of a long life.” She gave to her daughter, Nancy all that she had for caring for her in her old age. Nancy was to notify all of her mother’s children and grandchildren of the time and place of her burial and time for them to be there. She was to burry her “ decently but not expensively”, and she was to give each of her children $25. And she wished to be “interred in the old family burring ground near the old residence of James McGuire, deceased on the middle fork.”
Born in Africa, a captive of white men miraculously saved by being hidden in a copper dumb, sold into slavery in Virginia, a pioneer slave in Perry County, bought and brought by another pioneer to the Mouth of the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River, a free citizen of the United States, a women of property who's Last Will in Testament is on file in the Lee County Courthouse, a child of God she still lies just over the hill from Jenice, the baby daughter of James McGuire.
Among the Saints who's bodies lie in Riverview, one Hannah McGuire is singular.
1) David Goosey and wife deed land to Hannah McGuire March 1881. Lee County Court House, Deed Book 2, page 242 . It said in the deed that the land was purchased at the amount of $210.00 for 36 acres with mineral rights included. Best guess from the property description is that the land was at the mouth of South Fork River on the Proctor side.
2) Hannah McGuire Last Will In Testament Written in 1888 - Will Book 1 page 60. In her will, Hannah left all her property and mineral assets to her daughter Nancy Mattocks. Hannah also left each of her named children $25 each: Matilda Haddix, Albert Haddix, Cicily Wilson, and Nathan Haddix.
3) Pulled from the archives at the Lee County Public Library, Beattyville. This article ran in the Beattyville Enterprise, April 21st, 1960 and was written by Mrs. Gladys Sale. Article also referenced in the Lee County Centennial History book Vol 1.
Leadership LEAP Applications due February 27th, 2019. Check out the program Facebook Page!
The steering committee for the Leadership LEAP program, which includes Estill, Jackson, Lee & Powell Counties are looking for participants for the 2019 program year. This program began with Estill County alone in 2010 and quickly grew to include four counties in a regional effort. To the surprise and delight of the steering committee, the amount of collaboration and sharing among our four counties has far surpassed anyone’s best expectations. In addition, our contributing sponsors and partners have been overwhelmingly supportive in making this program a success.
Leadership LEAP is a year-long commitment by the participants in which they come together once a month around a different topic and in a different community. Topics cover economic development, healthcare, tourism, law enforcement/drug abuse prevention, education, government, leadership skills and team building. Participants are held to a strict attendance policy, which is a typical practice among leadership programs across the state and nation. This policy is in place to enhance the camaraderie of the class and to protect the integrity of the program.
The purpose of the Leadership Program is to expand the network of potential future leaders in our communities; enhance the participants’ knowledge of the structure and operation of local businesses, schools, healthcare providers, government, civic and charitable organizations; introduce the participants to local leaders in each learning sector throughout the counties; foster a better understanding of local issues and develop leadership and team building skills in the participants.
Kentucky’s state motto is “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” This has never been more true for small rural counties like ours. LEAP is one avenue for the up-and-coming leaders in our region to get together, learn about each other as people and as communities, and to share ideas about how we can all work together to make tomorrow better for us all.
If you are interested in being a participant in this program and you reside or work in Estill, Jackson, Powell, or Lee County please download the application at www.estillcountyky.net/leadership-leap and mail it in as the application directs by February 27th. If you have any questions about the program please call the Estill Development Alliance at (606) 723-2450.
You can also reach out to the Steering Committee. Estill County representatives, Lindsey Rogers (LRogers@WSKVFM.com) Shaye Walker (ShayeWalker@Outlook.com); Jackson County representatives, Tammy Wiggs (TammyWiggs@JacksonEnergy.com), Jeff Bingham (firstname.lastname@example.org); Lee County representatives, Renita Fox (RenitaFox@JacksonEnergy.com), Dedra Brandenburg (email@example.com); Powell County representative, Ethan Moore (ethan@WSKVFM.com).
Leadership LEAP Graduates (Includes Leadership Estill County from 2010)
*denotes participants who intentionally represented more than one county.
If you are thinking about building a cabin, placing your room on AirB&B, or maybe even start up a tourism related business such as guided services or a restaurant, then these numbers may help you understand how our area is steadily growing. This is an overview report of tourism in the Beattyville/Lee County and Red River Gorge Area. The numbers are based upon the 2016-2017 Tourism Economic Impact Report provided by the Kentucky Tourism Arts & Heritage Cabinet which was released in May 2018, and also from the 2018 transient tax information collected by the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission.
Facts and Stats:
Charts and Graphs:
Below are a few graphs illustrating the seasonality of tourism in Lee County based on lodging sales and the total growth over time. In 2018 (yellow line graph) there was a large peak in spring following by steady growth from May through July then a decline until September followed by a very large peak in October. The second and third quarters for 2018 was the best performing summer stretch, compared to the same months in previous years. Also 2018, had the best October that Lee County had ever experienced for lodging sales totaling $245,833. That averages to over 1,600 night stays in the month of October alone, based on an average night stay of $150 per night.
It has become a tradition that in the fall, my friends would travel to the Red River Gorge area and spend the weekend in a cabin. We would adventure, go out to dinner, and get caught up on each other's lives. The weekend getaways in the past have been full of hiking, zip lining, and kayaking, but this year was something new.
It all got started in early October after a meeting between the a few members of the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission and a group leaders of different four wheeling clubs including Aaron Roddey of the Ohio River Four Wheelers, Curtis Caldwell of Eastern KY Offroad, and Jeremy Robbins of Kentucky Krawlers at Hollerwood Park. Together we were able to create a promo video for the upcoming SFWDA 3rd Annual Meet and Greet Ride which was planned on November 3rd. The group leaders invited us to attend the ride the following month.
The event was the same weekend we had planned to have our girls weekend at a cabin called Monkey Business. My friends and I decided it would be so fun if we could join the event and go off roading that weekend. Hollerwood Park Manager, Keith Mason and Curtis Caldwell with Eastern KY Offroad, asked around to see if anyone had space in their vehicles so that we might able to go and take photos, videos, and give a unique outsider's perspective on the ride. A few days before the event Luke Bogner with ECO-OHV came through with a van so that we would not only be able to go on the ride, but also ride together. To be honest, when Luke sent over a photo of the van I was skeptical of its abilities. Talking on the phone with him the night before, I warned him that we are a bunch of loud silly women when we get together and that he was in for a long day. He said he was looking forward to it and would make sure we had a great time!
On Saturday morning, we arrived at the Natural Bridge Campground and looked around. The place was packed! There were all kinds vehicles going through inspections and getting lined up in groups according to their difficulty. The registration looked well organized and efficient. We wondered through the crowd of rigs to the front of the line, where we spotted the van and finally meet our driver Luke. It was still 30 minutes until time to roll out, so we walked around checking out all the rigs. There was a driver's meeting to attend, where we listened as Aaron Roddy talk to everyone about being courteous, respecting landowners, staying on the trail, “Leave No Trace”, no playing around in the creeks and other important items such as no drugs or alcohol. Aaron did a wonderful job of thanking each of the sponsors and everyone for being there.
Once the meeting was dismissed and the drivers head back to their rigs, many stopped to take a look at the van. We all climbed in in the van and other drivers were telling us to be sure and bring back Luke in one piece. It wasn't until we were situated safely in the van that he informed us that it was once a prisoner transport van and the doors could only be opened from the outside! Another drawback is that none of the back windows opened either. We were laughing before the wheels even started rolling.
The first part of the journey was an interrogation of Luke’s personal life (poor guy), the ride and the van. Where did he live? How did he find this van? Were we going to get stuck? Most importantly, where did he find the Sasquatch air fresher hanging proudly from the rear view mirror? He did a great job talking about how there were two hills that he was concerned about, and even managed to show us video on his phone of the hills he was talking about. Once into Estill County we turned up the hill from town toward the furnace loop and then went up and up and up (and up some more). The views were spectacular and the road went from blacktop to gravel to mainly dirt.
The van really did well on climbing up the hills with 7 people in it. We stopped at a beautiful forest road and hiked down to Tucker Cave. The leaves on the trail were slippery, but the morning sunlight coming through the trees, the mossy boulders, and the spectacular views had everyone in a great mood even though it was still a little cool. The hike down to the cave was short and the cave itself was fascinating. A trickle of water came out of the cave and dropped down a solid cliff wall onto the moss covered rocks below. There were natural steps you could climb granting access to the cave entrance and allowing one the opportunity to look around inside.
Once back in the prison van we bumped our way down a steep ridge and up another steep ridge. Over the radio people in the convoy behind us were asking Luke how his "prisoners" were doing. The first obstacle was a rocky, muddy, uphill road with a switchback at the top, followed by a longer uphill climb. Luke radioed Brad, in the Jeep behind us, to take the lead in case we needed a tow. As we started up the hill, I could feel the van's back end slide sideways, loosing traction as it tried but couldn't make it the first go around. Luke put the van in reverse and everyone started laughing. The van had started beeping as it backed up, prompting even more inexplicable laughter. The second try was a success as Luke put the van in second and floored it up the hill. The second part of the hill was rocky and half way up the van got stuck on a rock and wouldn't go any farther. Luke turned the wheel left, then right, then left again, trying to get traction, but it was to no avail. He had to back down the hill a little ways and find a new path. Climbing this hill was like being at a horse race. As the horses turn for the home stretch and the closer the horses came to the finish line, the louder the crowd would cheer. The same was happening in the van, which was christened the White Elephant by this rowdy group of ladies. About a quarter of the way up, then half way up, and again at three quarters the way up, the cheering from the passengers steadily increased until we made it and everyone was praising Luke for this driving skills. We stopped at the top of the hill near an oil well and got out of the van for a photo opportunity. Other drivers were also getting out, and several asked us asking if we had fun, because they could hear us screaming all the way down the hill.
Lunchtime was at Bear Track Grocery in Lee County. The store did a great job of making sandwiches and checking out customers promptly. My friends and I ate lunch on the back porch of the grocery store, which has a covered porch built on the cliff’s edge, overlooking the Daniel Boone National Forest. After lunch we loaded back up and went north on New Virginia Road, then turned southeast on Bald Rock Road. We traveled through the Pendergrass Murray and Bald Rock Recreational Preserves and saw multiple parking areas full of cars belonging to rock climbers from all over the US and Canada. Once back on the black top road, we turned toward HWY 11 and headed north back toward Slade.
One great things about traveling in groups with CB radios is everyone was aware of what was coming. At one point we passed a group of SXS's, dogs in the road, and another group of rigs. Communicating on CB's made people pay more attention to their surroundings, watch for dangerous obstacles or ensured drives would slow down while passing homes along the way. Everywhere we stopped, the group picked up any trash from the sides of the roads, leaving the scenery more beautiful than when we arrived. It was a wonderful trip full of laughs, bumps, mud, and spectacular views. For the local people who live and go off roading around the Lee, Powell, Estill, and Wolfe Counties, being apart of these off roading clubs would, in my view, be a positive thing. There are rides every month and sometimes every weekend. At every event, you would meet new people from all over KY, Indiana, Ohio, and other surrounding states. Getting involved with the trail repair projects and clean ups also help sustain the trails and roads for everyone who would come and enjoy the beauty of what we have to offer in our area.
Here are some quotes from the ladies in the van. Be sure and check out a few photos and video clip of our trip in the big white van.
"Didn't find me a mountain man, but that's ok…found something even better...a prison van that takes you for wild ride!" - Susie, Louisville, KY
"You've never been off-roading until you've done it in a prison van filled with girls and the best driver ever! " - Debbie, Leesburg, FL
"Best way to view Kentucky backroads….with a great guide to show us around and a group to ride with" - Amanda, Orlando, FL
On Saturday, November 3rd 2018 from 8am-5pm the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, Ohio River Four Wheelers, and Kentucky Krawlers hosted the Third Annual SFWDA Meet & Greet Ride.
Clubs such as the Ohio River Four Wheelers, Kentucky Krawlers, and Eastern KY Offroad clubs who ride most weekends in the area invited other members of the SFWDA who to come and ride in the Gorge and experience some trails that this area has to offer, also to show appreciation for all the support that the SFWDA has provided to help develop and promote the Daniel Boone Back Country Byway.
Volunteer from several local clubs assisted as guides to different levels of street legal rigs. There were a total of 210 slots available from the easy group which consisted of stock vehicles with all terrain tires to the Extreme group which required 37in tires, two lockers and winch to participate. All rigs must have carried a First Aid Kit and a Fire Extinguisher, also at check in all rigs go through an inspection before being lined up in the riding group they registered for. For the first time this year there were 25 slots made available to SXS’s of the Eastern KY Offroad, a new SXS based group established this year.
In a Facebook announcement a few days before the event it was told that all 210 slots were full for the event. This became evident Saturday morning as group leaders headed out from the Natural Bridge Campground in Slade at 9am leading as many as 25-30 rigs per group. Group leaders took followers to different locations in the Red River Gorge Area including parts of Lee, Estill, Wolfe, and Powell Counties for all day riding along the Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway and at Hollerwood Offroad Park.
The Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Director, Dedra Brandenburg and 6 of her friends, from Florida, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, were able to join the Easy/Beginner group on Saturday. ECO-OHV club member, Luke Bogner, came through with a 12 passenger van for the group of girls to ride in. This van was a repurposed prison transport van with four wheel drive and a long wheel base. Bogner also served as group leader to 20 rigs. The group loaded up Saturday morning and headed toward Estill County to do the furnace loop then stopped at Beartrack Grocery in Lee County for lunch before heading down New Virginia Road, through Bald Rock, and back toward Slade.
Learn more about these clubs online through Facebook and the Web. There are rides almost every weekend and club rides such as this promote safety, leave no trace, and tread lightly ethics while also supporting the local economies through the purchase of gas, food, and lodging for the weekend. Economic impact number from this weekend’s ride have not been released but will in the next few days.
The following article is from https://kentuckyexplorer.com/nonmembers/KEaprilsample.html it is a very good read about one persons perspective of Beattyville in the 1890's.
A Bird's Eye Look At Beattyville, Capital Of Lee County, One Hundred Years Ago
Small Town At The Forks Of The Kentucky River Was Thriving In 1895
By William J. Lampton - 1895
Beattyville is the county seat of Lee County, which was erected in 1870 out of the counties of Owsley, Estill, Wolfe, and Breathitt, and named Lee after General Robert E. Lee.
Beattyville was Beattyville long before it was the county seat of Lee County, having been incorporated in 1845, and named in honor of Samuel Beatty, a pioneer who died there in 1889. It was originally called Beatty, but the feeling, which characterizes some localities that a town isn't a town until it has "ville" stuck on to its name, prevailed to such an extent that it became Beattyville. And nobody knows just when the change took place.
When the county was plucked out of the sides of its neighbors, Beattyville and its sister town of Proctor, on the opposite side of the river, forthwith entered into a scrapping match as to which should be the capital, and though the first court was held in Proctor, Beattyville hadn't much difficulty in the final capture of the coveted honor. She has retained it since, and Proctor sits silent on the hill beyond and weeps for the glory departed.
But let us not point the finger of scorn at Proctor. When the L & E railway completes its branch down that side of the river, Proctor is going to give a mighty leap into the air and kick its heels high over the hills of Lee in the exuberance of a new birth.
The population of the county is 7,000 and of the town 1,200. That is the claim for the town, and possibly it is slightly in excess though the town limits are copious and 1,200 people don't cover much ground when they are bunched.
Beattyville is located on the Kentucky River just where it becomes the Kentucky River, that is to say the North and South Forks connect there, and the Middle Fork puts in a couple or three miles above town. It is about eighty miles from Lexington, which puts it about equidistant from Cincinnati and Louisville, and Louisville has the bulk of the town's trade and her newspapers are the only ones taken to amount to anything, the Courier-Journal leading all competitors.
It is a town of the sixth class and is therefore not eligible to the high dignity of having a mayor and city council. It seems to worry along, however, very comfortably with a board of trustees and a police judge and town marshal, the judge and marshal only getting paid for it.
The courthouse, completed in 1873, is of brick and cost $12,000, which is a little high considering how handsome a building may be put up in these days for that amount of money. I was greatly pleased to note, however, one feature about it which distinguishes it from all the courthouses of all the towns I have yet written about, to wit, it hasn't a clock on its steeple. I thought possibly the clock had run down some night and jumped into the river, but I was reliably informed by Judge Breck Hill, a man of immaculate truthfulness, that there had never been a clock there.
The jail at the rear of the courthouse is of brick and cost $7,000. It is new and strong, with all the modern conveniences, but it wasn't strong enough to hold the man who killed Sheriff Simms at the fair last year, though the bridge trestle to which the crowd of indignant citizens hung him during the night seemed strong enough to hold him without any trouble at all.
In the matter of church buildings, the Christians, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians are provided with houses of worship, while the Methodist brethren have to take to the courthouse. The Episcopal church is the finest in the mountains. It is of stone, of chapel design, and was to have been built for $4,500, but the contractor left it unfinished. It has taken a new start now and may be done before a great while, but a church like that can't be built for $4,500 of anybody's money. It is located on a point of lookout, and is an attractive feature of the landscape. The Christian congregation set its house also on a hill, just across from the stone church, but the spirituality of the brethren was insufficient to lift them to such heights, so they sold the building for $1,200 and built quite a handsome shingle and frame church for $3,000 down in the bottom in a very poor location but without a climb to it. The Baptists are finishing a pretty frame church, and the Presbyterians have one a hundred or so feet higher up the hill. These cost about $1,500 each. The Episcopalians have a regular pastor stationed among them, while the others have to hustle around among their neighbors.
We come now to the next best thing to religion, to wit, the public schools, and you ought to see the Beattyville public school building! It is of the rococo, renaissance, Graeco-Roman, catch-as-catch-can order of architecture, one-story high, and never saw a paint brush in its life. In other words, it is something the people of Beattyville ought to be so heartily ashamed of that they would contribute their own money to remedy it if they couldn't get it another way. There are 380 scholars enrolled, with an attendance of 100, and the wonder is that 100 children can be found who would go to school in such a place. I presume the building must have cost as much as four dollars and thirty-seven cents in high times. The schools are in charge of Prof. W.H. Harris, with one assistant, and the pay for all is $900, which is little enough, the Lord knows.
There is no fire department, but the bucket brigade does noble service when a fire breaks out.
Neither are there any electric lights on the streets. There are street lamps, however, but they are never lighted and when a Beattyville citizen wants to go anywhere after dark he depends on the moon or a lantern. I have wondered sometimes where the manufacturers of lanterns sold their goods, but I know now. Everybody in Beattyville has one, and they bob around at night like a lot of lightning bugs.
Beattyville is the City of Bridges, having in her midst six of these useful structures for passenger and railroad purposes.
There are no banks, though in the boom days she had a couple.
Neither has she any saloons. Still, for a very temperate town, more men seem to have hit the pledge a lick and busted it than any place I have visited in a long time. I fear the wild and wooly blind tiger lashes his tail and tears up the ground in the neighborhood. I am glad to testify that the drug stores don't sell liquor as they do in some local option towns.
There are thirteen stores in town, three sawmills, a stream grist mill, and the Avent, the Beattyville, and the Crystal Creek coal companies and several individuals who dig and ship coal. The principal business is coal and timber, and about three hundred carloads of coal are shipped each month. The coal is of good quality and is shipped all over the state. Between two and three hundred men are employed about the mines, and labor troubles are not unknown. Coal sells in town at six cents a bushel, delivered.
There are four doctors, and the Riverside Cemetery of five acres is a thriving institution.
Fourteen lawyers make an average of from $100 to $2,000 a year, the latter sum being the exception rather than the rule.
There has never been a legal hanging, though one man received a death sentence which was afterward commuted to life imprisonment. The one lynching took place last year, when Oscar Morton was hanged on the trestle within a few hours after he killed Sheriff Simms. It was the quickest on record.
Feuds do not prevail, but six men have been killed on the streets at one time or another, all of them in personal difficulties, except one, the first man killed in Lee County, Abe Wilson, who was assassinated at night by unknown parties.
The postmaster is F.A. Lyon, and he relieved Uncle Sam of responsibility by owning the building the office occupies. He is also a good fellow and looks as if post-officing agreed with him.
There is no library nor is there a copy of any of the reading magazines taken in town. Not one, which is more of a reflection on the town than it is on the magazines. The town is also short on Y.M.C.A., and there isn't a club of any kind. It is just as well, perhaps, that there isn't.
There are about 300 Negroes and twenty-five foreigners, principally Welsh and Irish miners.
The water works are yet to be built and there is no laundry. Lexington and Winchester act in the capacity of washer-women to those residents of Beattyville who affect the hard-boiled shirt and the ironed collar and cuff.
Beattyville is at the head of navigation on the Kentucky River, and something like $250,000 has been spent by the government on a dam and lock here, which are now more in the way than anything else. Just why the engineers should begin at the head of a river to lock and dam it instead of at the other end does not appear, though some distinguished politician who worked the appropriation might explain.
Socially, Beattyville is the Paris (France) of the mountains, and the youth and beauty love to dance and hold church suppers and boat rides and have a good time generally. The girls are pretty and dress in the latest styles, and are quite fin de siecle in all the little details that go to make up society with a big S. The men wear dress suits on swell occasions, and the stranger in those parts would scarcely realize that he was in a mountain town.
There are three hotels in town, one, the Ninaweb Inn, cost $25,000; and as a hotel is the attractive point to visitors in town. I want to say that Beattyville owes more of its attractiveness to the outside world to this hotel than to anything else within its gates. It is modern and well kept, with a commanding location and Charlie Dorman and his handsome wife to see that every visitor goes away with a good impression of the entire surroundings. Of all the towns I have talked about in the Courier-Journal only Beattyville and Richmond are properly equipped with hotels.
This is bringing Beattyville to the front as a summer resort. Many visitors came during the past summer to enjoy the good air, the pretty hill and valley scenery, the fishing and boating, and all the other good things nature has given, and they went away to tell the story to others, and come again next year. Kentucky just now is short on home summer resorts, and these Eastern Kentucky mountains are full of charming sites only awaiting development. Beatty-ville stands at the head of the list, owing to her possession of three rivers, and in these the visitor's interest never lessens.
The traveler reaches Beattyville over the Lexington and Eastern Railroad, formerly the Kentucky Union, from Lexington, connecting there with Cincinnati and Louisville over the L&N and the C&O, and with all points east over the C&O at Winchester, and with points south over the L&N at the same place as also at Lexington, so that her railroad connections may be said to be ample. I ought to say that Beattyville is seven miles from the L&E over the Beattyville and Cumberland Gap road, a short road opened in 1892, two years after the K.U. gave the town egress other than a mountain road or a trip down the Kentucky River on a sawlog steamboat to Ford, seventy-five miles. The L&E is now surveying a road down the other side of the river through Proctor and on to the great Sturgeon coal fields, which will probably be opened next year. It is twelve miles in length and can be built for less money than the B. and C. G. people want for their road, which by the way, is a paying piece of property just now.
When the railroad came within reach of Beattyville in 1890, it precipitated a boom, and the population jumped up from 300 to 1,000 in about fifteen minutes, while the prices of real estate jumped clean over the population. One firm bought 1,600 acres of land for $60,000, another took 1,300 acres for $35,000, and individuals took what they could get at any prices people chose to ask. Fifty dollars a front foot for suburban lots that a short time before could have been bought for $5 or $10 an acre was not thought exorbitant while property in town sold right along at $100 a front foot. Subdivisions with fancy names sprouted up everywhere on the hills and the people went wild. Plain old Main and River and Center Streets were forgotten in Grand Avenue, Pryse Boulevard, Carlisle Avenue, and Lexington Avenue, and Crystal Park glinted like a gem in their midst. But like many others, it failed to hold up and now the dream is over, and the people are standing together to give Beattyville such a foundation that when she rises again, she will stay there. And it looks as if she will get there in good shape, for only recently as much as $780 was paid for an acre of ground in one of the boom subdivisions which cost originally $50.
The boom did some good, however, for the population of the town was only 165 in 1887, and now it is seven times as big.
The Beattyville Enterprise is the leading newspaper. It leads all competitors, and Brother Pollard claims with consistency the largest circulation in the city. P.S. - There is no other paper.
There is no opera house and shows are scarce.
There is one bicycle somewhat out of repair and no bloomers. Six typewriters show progress in that direction. Carriages and buggies do not flourish owing to the lack of good roads. The young ladies and some of the married ones are very graceful and daring equestriennes, and they ride good horses.
Millionaires are scarce, fortunes ranging from $50,000 down, but everybody has all he can eat and drink and plenty of clothes to wear.
The Beattyville fair is the great autumn attraction. I went there to take it in, and I did, making my appearance five minutes after I got inside the gate, as a judge in the pretty baby ring. Fortunately for me only one entered, and I got off easy. The fair grounds are located on a high hill with a winding mountain road leading up to them, and when they have reached a higher state of cultivation they will be large and elegant. Judge Mann was the general-in-chief of the fair, and I'm willing to pit him against any man in the state as a field talker and an adept at saying the right thing at the right time. A committee of ladies awarded him the blue ribbon as being the handsomest man on the grounds, but the committee evidently didn't see Breck Hill or Secretary Phillips or Postmaster Lyon or me, though we kept ourselves in plain view all the time.
Caleb Breckinridge Hill is the county judge, and he can tell a story and then tell four dozen more, equal to anybody in the state.
Sam Spicer is another distinguished citizen, and Preston Sloan was in the army for "three years, four months, and ten days" and was shot eleven times. Preston gets a pension for being on the winning side.
Beattyville has not yet contributed a national character to the list. One man in the county never wore a boiled shirt, never owned an overcoat, nor wore gloves, never had on a collar but once, and wheat bread makes him "sick to the stomach." Another says he never smoked a pistol nor shot a cigar in his life. Samuel Brandenburg was the first white child born in the county.
The only brick buildings in town are the courthouse, the jail, the bank building, and the Ninaweb. The Episcopal church is of stone and wood makes up the remainder, including a number of very pleasant home-like residences with pretty shaded door yards. Now and then a bit of brick or flag sidewalk appears, but there is not as much of it as there will be in future.
I omitted to state in my remarks on the educational facilities of Beattyville that the Episcopal rector conducts a school in connection with the church. The building is a substantial one of frame and overlooks all the valley. It is a good thing for Beattyville besides.
I may also say that nearly every church has a bell, and the Beattyvillian can't offer as an excuse for staying away from church that he didn't know it was time to go.
By the way, I attended a church supper one night, and I found in the soup the beautiful young ladies served us, what is unusual in the ordinary oyster soup of church suppers, to wit, oysters. In this regard Beattyville sets a grand example to all the churches of this country of ours.
The location of Beattyville is picturesque in the extreme, and when she has grown to greatness, she will equal Rome in the number of hills she sits upon. At present her scatteredness, so to speak, detracts somewhat from her compactibility.
Get your friends together and sign up for our first ever co-ed volleyball tournament in Beattyville, KY along the banks of the Kentucky River. The KY River Rally Volleyball Tournament will be held on Saturday, July 14th. The tournament is for 16 year olds and over. Co-ed teams with 3 men and 3 women on the court at one time. Check out the flyer for more info. Sign up by email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone (606) 464-5038 or Facebook event page. Proceeds go to the LCHS volleyball team.
Background: The Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission just installed a new public volleyball net system on grass court that is behind Jack's IGA at the river. Inspiration for the public volleyball grass court came from the Lee County High School volleyball team as they have won the district volleyball tournament two years in a row. Volleyball is a fun and exciting game for all ages and this new net has the capability of sliding up to 8 feet for men's games, 7 feet 6 inches for co-ed, 7 feet 4 inches for women's volleyball or even slide it down to 4 feet for youth to play.
Learn to Square Dance!
Join in the fun on Main Street for an old time mountain square dance on Friday, June 29 at 7:00pm, during the Locally Made Market & Classic Car Cruise In! Fun and easy dances will be taught and called by Frank Jenkins and Deborah Thompson of Berea. Both are experienced callers and love to teach old time dancing to new folks. It’s even more fun to have live old time and bluegrass music by a band led by Gene Gatts of McKee.
Be a local vendor!
It is free for local artisans to set up and sell their handmade crafted items. Local farmers are also welcome to set up to sell any produce, fresh cut flowers, honey, and more. If you are interested in being a vendor check out the application on this webpage for the Locally Made 2018 Events. These events are every last Friday night of the month April-November!
Bring your classic car!
Free registration for the classic car cruise-in on Main Street. the first 25 cars will receive a dash plaque. It is a great opportunity to cruise around and park on Main Street, right next to the artisan market and street dance.
Personal Note from the Blog Author:
Appalachian square dancing is always fun and interesting to watch. The caller tells the dancers what to do, sometimes just a simple turn in direction or breaking off into smaller groups. I remember in elementary school, the gym teacher Mrs. Spencer would try to teach us different dances like the may-pole and the twist. Vaguely, I remember her trying to teach us basic square dancing. The boys and girls didn't want to touch because that was the time in our lives when boys had "cooties" and dancing with them would be "ewww". Years later, I remember going to Natural Bridge State Park with my family and watching them dance at Hoe Down Island. (They are still dancing there on Saturday nights!) This is probably what most people remember about local square dancing and clogging. There was always a big crowd and the men wore their cowboy boots and hats. The ladies would wear dresses and twirl around to the music. In August, I always enjoy watching the square dancing exhibition at the KY State Fair in Louisville. The professional dancers would make your head spin just watching them. So, if you already love square dancing or you would like to learn how to do it, this event is the perfect opportunity. Mark your calendars and bring the family to Main Street, Beattyville on June 29th.
To learn about more local events follow the Downtown Beattyville Alliance Facebook Page and the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Facebook Page.
Here is a neat video from a square dance in Berea, KY in 1987.
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS!
Deadline: 12pm Thursday, June 28, 2018
Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission
5 Weeks Summer Internship
July 2nd - August 3rd, 2018
Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission is currently looking for a self motivated person who has an interest in history and a passion for the local community, to work as a summer intern at the Tourism Center Caboose on HWY 11 in Beattyville, KY under the supervision of the Tourism Director. The summer internship is a 25 hours a week paid position at $15 per hour. It will consist of editing/enhancing audio recordings from the Lee County Oral History by-monthly sessions and uploading them to online servers of the KY Oral History Commission and the Eastern Kentucky University Oral History Library. The task will also include creating an online podcast and linking the podcast to the The Lee County Public Library website and the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism website. This person will also assist the tourism director in other projects as needed.
Must be a senior at Lee County High School as of fall 2018 or a recent Lee County High School Graduate enrolled in college for the fall 2018 semester.
Must have personal laptop.
Must attend July 9th & 23rd Lee County Oral History sessions at the Lee County Public Library.
Experience with or willing to learn Audio/Video Software
Knowledge of Social Media Platforms
Familiar with or willing to learn Podcasting
July 2nd-August 3rd, 2018
25 hours a week at $15.00 per hour
Cover Letter and resume must be received by mail to Beattyville/Lee County Tourism, P.O. Box 738, Beattyville, KY 41311 or dropped off at the Tourism Center Caboose by 12:00pm Thursday, June 28th, 2018. Top three applicants will be notified by 5:30pm the same day. Top three applicants must be available for interviews on Friday morning before noon, June 29th, 2018. Internship begins Monday, July 2nd, 2018.
Contact Dedra Brandenburg at the tourism office via phone (606) 464-5038 or email email@example.com.