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Program 1011

1. photographer and entomologist Tom Myers
2. Pleasant Retreat
3. Mullins Log Cabin Country Getaway
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Fayette County

For more information:
• Tom Myers, All-Rite Pest Control, 223 Big Run Road, Lexington, KY 40503, (859) 276-4455

Producer: Valerie Trimble
Videographer: Matt Grimm
Editor: Jim Piston

Going Buggy

Photographer Tom Myers

As a trained entomologist and the owner of a pest control company, Tom Myers of Lexington uses his extensive knowledge of insects to get rid of them where they’re not wanted. But as a nature photographer, he seeks out their home bases all over the world to take exquisite pictures that have appeared in numerous books, calendars, and magazines.

Lately Myers has also been expanding into bigger subjects, including birds, wolves, bears, moose, and the wildlife of Africa. During our visit, he talks about a photography trip to penguin territory in Antarctica.

Garrard County

For more information:
• Pleasant Retreat, 656 Stanford St., Lancaster, KY 40444, (859) 792-2500

Producer: Joy Flynn
Videographer: Matt Grimm
Audio: Gary Mosley
Editor: Dan Taulbee

A Very Pleasant Place

Pleasant Retreat

Next on our itinerary is a visit to a historic house in Lancaster. When William Owsley began building it in the early years of the 19th century, he was a young, up-and-coming lawyer. During the time he and his family lived in the home they called Pleasant Retreat, he was elected to two terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives; named to the state Court of Appeals, where he served for 15 years; and sent back to the House and then to the Senate. He and his wife, Elizabeth, also raised six children. And the house, a three-story brick structure in the Federal style, grew with the family and with its patriarch’s political ambitions.

Owsley moved his family to Frankfort around 1834, when Gov. James T. Morehead named him secretary of state. Soon Owsley himself was being talked about as a possible gubernatorial candidate. In 1843, he even had a new county named for him.

Nominated for governor by the Whigs in 1844, Owsley won a close election against a hero of the War of 1812. But the former occupant of Pleasant Retreat found life in the governor’s mansion not nearly as pleasant. Though he became known as a champion of public education (the one cause for which the fiscally conservative Owsley seemed willing to spend money), he drew controversy for the way he handled the selection and provisioning of volunteer companies for the Mexican War; for pardoning Delia Webster, who had been convicted of aiding and abetting runaway slaves; and for a bitter and very public dispute with his own secretary of state over political patronage. Leaving the governor’s office in 1848, he said, caused him “no emotions of regret.”

Gov. Owsley spent his retirement in Boyle County, where he died in 1862. Meanwhile, succeeding owners of Pleasant Retreat expanded it still further. Today it is open to the public for tours, and visitors can see portraits of the Owsley family as well as two other governors from Garrard County. Another outstanding feature is the dining-room wallpaper. Hand-painted in France, it depicts a large-scale stag hunt.

Grant County

For more information:
Mullins Log Cabin Country Getaway, (859) 824-4306

Producer: Valerie Trimble
Videographer: Matt Grimm
Audio: Gary Mosley
Editor: Jim Piston

Away from It All

Mullins Log Cabin Country Getaway

Another former 19th-century domicile is last on our list for this program. This one is considerably more humble, though. In fact, owner Judy Mullins first became aware of it through a notice that it was about to be demolished. But Judy, who’s always been a fan and student of the arts and crafts of the pioneer era, thought that this Grant County log cabin might be just the right setting to pursue that interest.

So she rescued the cabin, at first as her own little retreat. Friends helped her deconstruct it, move all the logs and chimney stones about a mile to Judy’s property, and then rebuild it on the original design. Now it’s the Mullins Log Cabin Country Getaway, where Judy teaches classes on native flowers and herbs and such pioneer skills as weaving and chair-caning. The cabin—still without running water or electricity—also hosts “pioneer weddings” and is available for overnight guests seeking a frontier experience.

SEASON 10 PROGRAMS: 1001100210031004100510061007
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