Skip Navigation

end of KET nav
About the Series | KY Life Host | Paw Pals | Contact/DVD Info
Program 1005

1. Old Crow Inn
2. folk artists Lonnie and Twyla Money
3. Mini Mansions
4. Vernon-Douglas State Nature Preserve
Watch the Program
Season 10 Menu

Boyle County

For more information:
Old Crow Inn, 471 Stanford Road, Danville, KY 40422, (859) 236-1808

Producer, videographer, editor: Ernie Lee Martin

A House To Crow About

Old Crow Inn

To begin this edition, we drop in on Linda and André Brousseau, who happen to live in one of Kentucky’s oldest houses. In fact, their home, the Crow-Barbee House near Danville, is listed by the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest stone structure west of the Alleghenies. Built in Greek Revival style on the scale of an English manor house, this Boyle County mansion is an impressive sight, with 24" limestone walls, two stories plus a multi-room cellar, and Doric columns fronting a Greek portico.

The house started life much more humbly, of course. The first home on the site was a log cabin, built in the year of the Declaration of Independence—1776—by pioneer John Crow. He had accompanied James Harrod into Kentucky in 1774 and established “Crow’s Station” on land he claimed in what is now Boyle County.

Though there is some debate on when the current house was begun, architectural evidence and the researches of one former owner suggest that Crow himself built the stone cottage that now forms its central portion in about 1780. Limestone, of course, was plentiful, and the surrounding land also supplied cherry, ash, and walnut for everything from the roof beams to the pegs that join them.

Crow sold the property in 1781 and continued moving west, to the Green River valley. Before the new owner could move his family in, though, he was killed in an Indian raid, and the house was resold to the Barbee family. It was Thomas Barbee, a statesman and Kentucky Militia general, who turned the place into a manor house in the English style by adding two large wings to the original cottage.

The succeeding owners, the Adams family, opened an inn and restaurant in the 1930s under the direction of “Miss Mary” Adams, who named it the Old Crow Inn in honor of the original settler and hosted many of the area’s biggest social events there. The Brousseaus are continuing part of that tradition by operating a bed-and-breakfast, but the house is no longer made available for big events, to spare it the wear and tear of large crowds. This entrepreneurial family has added several other ventures, though: The farm is also the headquarters of a pottery and crafts works run by Linda, a winery managed by daughters Mignon and Dominique, and an organic farm that supplies vegetables for the B&B table as well as for local sale.

Laurel County

For more information:
• Examples of the Moneys’ work can be seen at Marcia Weber/Art Objects.

Producer, editor: Stephen Kertis
Videographers: Stephen Kertis, Phillip Allgeier, David Brinkley

On the Money

Folk artists Lonnie and Twyla Money

Though the next stop on our itinerary is not quite as grand, it is also a productive place, where both farming and art find a home. Lonnie and Twyla Money of Laurel County are cattle and tobacco farmers and folk artists. Working out of a converted milking barn, they create fanciful animal carvings, with most of the carving done by Lonnie and the finish work and painting done by Twyla.

Lonnie attributes his carving skill to genes, because his grandfather was a carver in Switzerland before coming to America in 1883. After starting with walking sticks topped off with animal heads, Lonnie progressed to full animal figurines. Some are fanciful figures of wild creatures drawn partly from life and partly from imagination. But sometimes inspiration comes from quite close to home, like the black Angus from the Moneys’ own herd that served as the real-life model for a unique carving of a sitting cow.

Daviess County

For more information:
Mini Mansions, 1800 Triplett St., Owensboro, KY 42303, (270) 926-3754

Think Small

Mini Mansions

Ruth Blakeman does little things in a big way. Her Mini Mansions shop in Owensboro is a treasure trove for everyone who delights in dollhouses, from the child who wants something pretty to play with to the adult hobbyist looking for that perfect accessory to complete a Victorian sitting room. Crystal chandeliers, brass towel racks (with or without towels), claw-foot bathtubs, hand-carved wooden jewelry chests (with or without jewelry), plush carpeting, porcelain pedestal sinks, paintings, fine china, a palm tree for the living room ... It’s all here in 1-inch-to-1-foot scale—or smaller. You can even find a tiny birdcage with even tinier birds inside—and a curious cat climbing the side. Mini Mansions sells the houses themselves, too, and will do custom decorating—carpeting, tiling, wiring, painting, and wallpapering.

A collector herself who opened the shop in the late 1980s, Ruth is also an enthusiastic member of the Owensboro Miniatures Society, which meets at the store once a month and sponsors a show each October.

Hardin County

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

Hiking in Hardin

Vernon-Douglas State Nature Preserve

Host Dave Shuffett ends this program with a walk in the woods, enjoying the scenery in the 730-acre Vernon-Douglas State Nature Preserve in Hardin County. This rugged area offers 4.5 miles of trails, often steep, through stands of second-growth tulip poplar, beech, and sugar maple. The spring wildflower display in Hall Hollow is particularly impressive, and the trail to the top of “the pinnacle” provides a view of the surrounding Younger Valley.

The preserve is located about nine miles east of Elizabethtown. Take the Bluegrass Parkway to KY 583. Exit to the south and turn right onto Audubon Trace Road; the Vernon-Douglas parking lot is half a mile from the intersection.

SEASON 10 PROGRAMS: 1001100210031004100510061007
100810091010: Kentucky’s Last Great Places1011101210131014

< Previous Program | Next Program >

Sadie and Charlie Kentucky Life Home
Past Seasons
Browse by TopicAbout the Series
Our HostsPaw PalsOnline VideosContact/DVD Info
Kentucky Screensavers

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951