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Contents:
Program 313

1. Blanche the Mountain Girl
2. the music of cowbells
3. historic Locust Grove
4. Quiet Trails Nature Preserve
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Producer: Donna Ross
Videographer: Ernie Lee Martin
Editor: Dan Taulbee


Mountain Girl

Musician Blanche Coldiron

Blanche Coldiron began a music career during the Great Depression and came to be known as “Blanche the Mountain Girl.” But she put her career on hold (temporarily) to attend to family responsibilities. In the mid-1990s, she returned from that hiatus and made a “comeback”—after 50 years.

In this segment, Blanche shows off her technique on banjo and other stringed instruments. Her style is Appalachian traditional, so authentic that one expert compares listening to her to “heading back to the wellspring to take a drink of pure water.”

Watch This Story (7:19)





Producer, videographer: Ernie Lee Martin
Editor: Esther Reed


Belling the Cow

photo of cow, with bell Cecil Creekmore’s cowbell collection

Next, we have music of a different kind: the soft clang of cowbells, hearkening back to a time when cattle roamed without fences and their owners kept track of them by ear. Cecil Creekmore of McCreary County has loved that sound since childhood, and today he has an impressive collection of antique bells.

Watch This Story (4:16)





For more information:
Locust Grove, 561 Blankenbaker Lane, Louisville, KY 40207, (502) 897-9845

Producer, videographer: Treg Ward
Editor: Dan Taulbee


George Rogers Clark’s Last Home

Locust Grove

In 1775, George Rogers Clark was chosen to be part of a delegation to the Virginia state legislature to lobby for the creation of a new “Kentucky County” from Virginia’s Fincastle County. They got their wish on New Year’s Eve 1776, and Clark, a 24-year-old surveyor who had already seen considerable military action, was sent back to defend the new county. The camp he set up on Corn Island in the Ohio River was the first settlement at the site of present-day Louisville, giving Clark the distinction of having helped to found both Kentucky itself and its largest city.

During the next few years, Clark became a hero of the American Revolution’s western campaigns, rising to the rank of brigadier general. But his career faltered after the war ended, and rumors about his overindulging in alcohol started to circulate. After several strokes made him even more frail (once he fell into a fire and burned his leg so badly it had to be amputated), he moved into Locust Grove, the Louisville home of his sister and her husband. Today the home is maintained as a tourist attraction.

Clark also founded Clarksville, Indiana, just across the river from Louisville. Central Kentucky’s Clark County is named for him, and a statue of him can be found on Louisville’s riverfront Belvedere.

Locust Grove was also the home, for a time, of George’s younger brother William—the Clark of Lewis and Clark. Kentucky Life Program 808 revisited the house in 2001 to document an original play about this historic family, staged in honor of the Lewis and Clark bicentennial and George Rogers Clark’s 250th birthday.

Watch This Story (5:29)





For more information:
Quiet Trails State Nature Preserve, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, 801 Schenkel Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601, (502) 573-2886

Producer, videographer: Gale Worth
Editor: Esther Reed


A Quiet Walk

photo: on the trail Quiet Trails Nature Preserve

To finish off this program, take a fall walk with us in a protected area of Harrison County. Joyce Bender of the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission and Bill Wiglesworth show us around the Quiet Trails Nature Preserve, a former farm donated to the state by Wiglesworth and his wife, Martha, in 1991. With 165 acres of land and three miles of trail, Quiet Trails is known as a good place for watching wildlife.

Watch This Story (7:25)


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