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Contents:
Program 106

1. musical instrument maker Paul Williams
2. Double Stink Hog Farm
3. rock fences
4. Land Between the Lakes
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For more information:
• Paul Williams, 209 Rogers Avenue, Mount Sterling, KY 40353, (859) 498-7175

Producer: H. Russell Farmer
Videographer: David Brinkley
Editor: Dan Taulbee


Making Music

instrument maker Paul Williams

He shares the name of a well-known pop crooner, but this Paul Williams is not himself a performer. Instead, the Mount Sterling craftsman retreats to his backyard workshop to make marvelous musical instruments for others to use. His creations look as good as they sound ... and sound as good as they look. Professional musicians seek out his hand-crafted instruments for their rich resonance.

Using local hardwoods, Williams builds dulcimers, Celtic harps, arch-top jazz guitars, acoustic guitars, lap harps, and mandolins. Call ahead to visit him in his workshop.

Watch This Story (8:36)





For more information:
Double Stink Hog Farm, (502) 868-9703

Producer/videographer: David Brinkley
Editor: Esther Reed


From Piggies to Veggies

Double Stink Hog Farm

a pair of pigs According to Fister family lore, their Double Stink Hog Farm in Scott County was named by a young son, disgruntled at having to clean out a second hog barn in one day, who proclaimed, “This place doesn’t just stink; it double stinks!” Back then (in the 1980s), hundreds of hogs could indeed be found at the farm.

During the 1990s, though, the focus of operations—not to mention the aroma—changed considerably. Double Stink started concentrating on produce: A venture to sell off a few surplus pumpkins from the porch, using a hand-lettered sign and an honor system for payment, evolved into an elaborate annual “pick-your-own” festival, complete with exhibitors and even a petting zoo for the kids. And the success of Pumpkinfest (weekends in October) encouraged other ventures, from a spring festival celebrating horse-powered planting to sales of sweet corn, tomatoes, flowers, and nursery stock.

Kentucky Life’s visit to the farm captures some of that fun from those days. The farm has since been put up for sale and is no longer open to the public.

Watch This Story (3:58)





For more information:

Rock Fences of the Bluegrass Still in Jeopardy is a 1998 article from Odyssey, a magazine chronicling research at the University of Kentucky, about the work of Karl Raitz and Carolyn Murray-Wooley.

• For books, videos, and information on classes in dry-stone masonry: Dry Stone Conservancy, 1065 Dove Run Road, Suite 6, Lexington, KY 40502

Producer: Janet Whitaker
Videographer: Vince Spoelker


Mending Walls

rock fences

The stone fences that line Kentucky’s byways are the subject of the third segment. Many of these fences are falling into disrepair, but a new generation of stonemasons is learning to carry on the work—and the art—of rebuilding them.

These historic fences are examples of dry-stone masonry, in which the rocks are carefully fitted to hold themselves in place without mortar. The techniques were brought over from the British Isles by immigrant stonemasons, mostly Irish, who passed them along to selected slaves who became master artisans and trained others in turn. Central Kentucky has one of the largest concentrations of 19th-century rock fences still standing anywhere in America—but once had many more. By most estimates, today’s examples represent only 5-10% of what once was here.

In the mid-1990s, interest in preserving and restoring these structures revived, thanks in part to a modern-day British immigrant named Richard Tufnell. After making contact with University of Kentucky researchers Karl Raitz and Carolyn Murray-Wooley, who were studying the history of the stone fences, Tufnell began leading workshops in building and repairing them. Those efforts helped lead to the formation of the Dry Stone Conservancy, which is dedicated to preserving dry-stone structures and training a new generation of artisans in their construction and maintenance. This Kentucky Life segment features a demonstration wall built by the Conservancy at the 1995 State Fair.

Watch This Story (7:18)





For more information:
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, 100 Van Morgan Drive, Golden Pond, KY 42211-9001, (270) 924-2000

Producer/videographer: Gale Worth
Editor: Dan Taulbee


Western Waterland

Land Between the Lakes

Our final stop for this program is a quick highlights tour of the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Western Kentucky. This popular leisure-time destination, administered by the National Forest Service, features a world of recreation opportunities for boaters and nature lovers, including the Golden Pond Visitor Center; the Woodlands Nature Center; and the Homeplace-1850, a living history farm.

Land Between the Lakes was once “land between the rivers.” But in 1944, the Tennessee Valley Authority dammed the Tennessee to create Kentucky Lake as one of its power generation and flood control projects. In 1965, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Cumberland to form Lake Barkley, then built a canal linking the northern ends of the two lakes, creating one of the largest man-made bodies of water in North America.

In this 1995 visit, apprentice naturalist Hank Vacek shows KET’s Krista Seymour some of the recreational highlights. On a return Kentucky Life visit a few years later, we delved back into the history of the region with remembrances by long-time residents of life in the area before the lakes were built. That segment can be found in Program 512.

Watch This Story (3:37)


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