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This column is based on information very kindly provided by local historian Jasper Castle. Many people in Madison County do not realize that in 1886, we commercially made our own whiskey right here in the county.

Out on Lancaster Pike, where it…

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With the advent of the new year, Little League sign-ups cannot be far behind. Don Richardson, local baseball coaching legend, shared with me some photos of early baseball teams from the 1950s and 1960s.

See how many of these names you can…

Happy New Year. The year of 2011 will be the 70th anniversary of the entry by the U.S into World War II. Our entry into a two-year old European conflict and the widening of the war into a true “world war” was caused by the Japanese attack on…

The Berea Women’s Club was organized on June 19, 1919 at the Berea Baptist Church by a group of ladies from the Berea community. The purpose of the organization was to bring together women of this area of Madison County for mutual counsel and…

For those of you that might find something familiar about these stories, my longtime co-author, Bob Grise, wrote an article on Archibald Woods some 12 years ago.

In case you have forgotten these strands of Madison’s early heritage, I present…

This is a continuation of an article from the Richmond Climax of some 110 years ago, about the Archibald Woods family. This part of that article presents the more remote parts of that family and their journey from England, Scotland and Ireland to…

Over half of Madison County borders the Kentucky River, so naturally over the years there have been numerous ferries connecting our county with the lands across the river. In an earlier column, I described as many of these ferries as I could find a…

Charles T. Hughes was athletic director at Eastern for 23 years. He came to Eastern in 1929 (the year I was born) and retired in 1972 (by this time I was also on the faculty, having come to Eastern in 1959).

In high school, in Todd County, he…

Here are some interesting newspaper clippings as well as a review of Madison county newspapers from the 19th century, courtesy of Jasper Castle.

“January 6, 1848 — G.L. Pittman, editor of the Ploughboy at Richmond, [was] mortally wounded by a…

Earle Combs, for several years centerfielder for the New York Yankees, was born in Owsley County, Ky. He played baseball for teams in local coal-mining towns. He enrolled at Eastern when he was 17. His first year playing for the Maroons was 1918 and…

Here are some bits of information on the Boone family and Fort Boonesborough.

Boone’s first fort at Fort Boonesborough was actually an unfortified small camp. There was a large mineral water spring called “Sycamore Hollow” nearby. The…

James Estill was born in Virginia in 1750. He came to Madison County in 1775 and a few years later he and his brother Samuel built a fort called Estill’s Station (located about three miles from present day Richmond).

On March 20, 1782 Wyandot…

A favorite newspaper comic strip of the 1930s and 1940s was “The Toonerville Trolley” drawn by Fontaine Fox and based on the memories of his youth in Louisville. He graduated from Male High School in 1904 and after working as a political…

This year is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. Kentucky was a pivotal state in this conflict.

Here are some events from that long-ago war; a war what was, particularly for Kentuckians, the conflict of “a house…

Here are some bits and pieces of Madison County history, not necessarily connected.

Most people know that Green Clay was the father of Cassius M. Clay of White Hall, Madison County. But did you know that he was a second cousin of Henry Clay? Did…

In the Kentucky Encyclopedia, published as part of the state bicentennial in 1992, I contributed the article on Richmond.

Bob Grise and I have written many articles about various subjects related to our hometown over the last 40 years or…

These are three short stories with connections to Madison County.

Squire Boone

Squire Boone left Boonesborough and Madison County in 1779 and founded Squire Boone Station near the location of present day Shelbyville. At that time, it was the…

The county governments of Madison, Fayette and Jessamine counties have a contract according to which they are to contribute to the cost of operating the Valley View Ferry. Recently, Fayette County officials indicated they may drop out of the…

Here are some items from Madison County history. Religious organizations started as follows: Baptists (Tates Creek) 1783, Methodists (Proctor’s Chapel) 1790, Presbyterian (Silver Creek) 1790, Disciples of Christ (county) 1830, (Richmond) 1844,…

This is a listing of early settlement and preemption warrants in Kentucky County, Virginia. As there were very few boundary markers in place and even fewer towns and settlements in the period of 1795-1810, the local watercourses were common ways of…

Although a resolution was passed at the 1840 Boonesborough celebration to conduct an annual gathering, it was not until 1907 that a second gathering was organized and carried out. The event was triggered by the erection of a marker at the site by the…

The Richmond Climax was a weekly newspaper. It was the forerunner of the Richmond Daily Register, which began publishing in 1917.

Here are some ads from the February 1, 1899Climax. This listing gives us a look at the commercial and professional…

A third celebration in Madison County was not exactly like the 1840 and 1907 Boonesborough events. This was the Daniel Boone Bicentennial of 1934. Boone was born November 2, 1834.

Governor Ruby Laffoon appointed a 15-member commission to organize…

That was a long time ago. That is the year I graduated from high school. My senior class provided the nucleus of the Madison-Model state tournament basketball team. We had spent six to 12 years in school together. The first six were Ray Coy, Harold…

Here are some tidbits of county history — not necessarily connected.

The first white men in Madison County included John Finley and Daniel Boone in 1769. In 1770, Squire Boone left a message for Daniel on a rock, letting him know he was back in…

In our column over the years, we have used architectural terms to describe the various historical homes in Madison County. I have no knowledge of architecture and merely pass on to you the information available. In 1988, Lavinia H. Kubiak authored a…

Newcomers to our county may wonder about the name of the Richmond hospital. Here is the story.

Brutus J. Clay II was the son of Cassius M. Clay I of White Hall. Born in 1847, he took an engineering degree from the University of Michigan. In 1905,…

In 1886, E.A. Pollard published a Southern version of the Civil War, titled “The Lost Cause.” Eastern’s library has a 1994 facsimile copy of this book. I found it interesting to read what the author had to say about our local battle of…

I thought I had written up all of the Madison County teams that had been to the state basketball tournament. I have done articles on Berea High, Red House, Richmond High, Waco, Madison-Model (three trips in four years, a third place finish in 1944),…

The Richmond Climax, a weekly newspaper, was a forerunner of The Richmond Daily Register, which began publishing in 1917. Here are three news items from the Climax. Thanks to Jasper Castle for this information about millstones from Madison County…

The Richmond Climax, a weekly newspaper, was a forerunner of the Richmond Daily Register, which began publishing in 1917. Here are some news items from the Climax. Jasper Castle provided this information.

“Wednesday, July 4, 1900 – White…

You may have noticed the pioneer monument which stands at the southeast corner or the Madison County Courthouse. If you look at it closely, you will notice that it once was a fountain. It once sat out in the street so you could let your mule or horse…

I read a book the other day in which the main character got off the train one evening at a small town. He entered the depot and found it empty and ill-lit. The ticket window was open, but no one was in the office. This all reminded me of experiences…

I saw in the Richmond Register the other day that Union City Baptist Church would soon celebrate its 198th anniversary. The following information comes from “Conkwright’s History of Boones Creek Baptist as Given in ‘How Firm a Foundation, a…

I had a call the other day from a man asking me about the local Odd Fellows Lodge. I told him their hall was on the upper level of the building that was once on the northeast corner of North Second and Irvine streets. There was a sign and an arrow…

Boone Tavern in Berea reopened last year after extensive remodeling. This famous landmark is named for Daniel Boone and is located in downtown Berea, along Boone’s historic Wilderness Trail from Cumberland Gap to Fort Boonesborough. Owned and…

When I was young (many years ago), South Third Street was the center of Richmond. If you arrived by bus (Greyhound or Black Brothers) at the station on the corner of Water and South Third, you were only a block away from everything.

You could…
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