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Program 1012

1. Buffalo Trace Distillery
2. Salato Wildlife Education Center
3. “Junkman” Albert Hartmann
4. the Natural Bridge skylift
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Franklin County

For more information:
Buffalo Trace Distillery, 1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Frankfort, KY 40601, (800) 654-8471

Producer: Dave Shuffett
Videographer: Brandon Wickey
Editor: Jim Piston

From Barrel to Bottle

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Wherever people settle and begin growing grain, some form of distilling usually follows, and early Kentucky farmers were brewing whiskey by the time of the Declaration of Independence. The Kentucky spirit was different because it was based on corn, not rye, and typically aged in charred oak barrels, which gave it a reddish color and a distinctive taste. It was being called “bourbon” (probably after the county, which itself was named for the French royal family) by the end of the 18th century. In 1897, the Bottle-in-Bond Act specified proof and manufacturing standards. And today, bourbon whiskey is recognized as a unique product of a specific country, like cognac, which comes only from France. By act of Congress, no spirit labeled “bourbon whiskey” may be imported into the U.S.

Host Dave Shuffett starts this edition by exploring some of that history with a tour of the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort. Since 1999, Buffalo Trace has been producing a distinctive bourbon by the same name that’s become a favorite of whiskey connoisseurs worldwide.

But the history of the place goes back much, much further than that. In fact, the site has hosted one form or another of whiskey-making operation since the 1780s. The company even kept operating during the Prohibition era, having received one of only four permits granted nationwide to continue distilling spirits for “medicinal purposes.”

Over its two centuries plus, the distillery has been known by various names. Kentucky Life Program 108 featured a 1995 Kentucky Tourism video taped when it was the Ancient Age Distillery.

Dave’s guide for this 2003 visit to Buffalo Trace is company President Mark Brown. If you’d like to visit in person, the distillery is open to the public for tours every weekday.

Franklin County

For more information:
Salato Wildlife Education Center, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, 1 Game Farm Road, Frankfort, KY 40601, (800) 858-1549

Producer, videographer: Dave Shuffett
Editor: Jim Piston

And Speaking of Buffalo ...

Salato Wildlife Education Center

While in Franklin County, Dave also visits the Salato Wildlife Education Center, operated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The occasion for this visit is a special display on native Kentucky buffalo sponsored by Buffalo Trace Distillery. But Salato and the surrounding State Game Farm have plenty to offer year-round. Their extensive indoor and outdoor exhibits showcase Kentucky’s plants, animals, and habitats, while educational displays offer information on everything from watching wildlife in the wild to gardening with native plants.

The Game Farm is open every day from sunrise to sunset. The Salato Center is open all day Tuesday through Saturday (exact hours depend on the season) and on Sunday afternoon. It is closed on Mondays.

Kenton County

Producer, videographer: Dave Shuffett
Editor: Jim Piston

The Junkman Cometh

Miniatures maker Albert Hartmann

Actually, Albert Hartmann is an artist—it’s just his raw material that’s junk.

In his 80s when we visited in 2003, the Covington man took up miniature building when he retired. Using coffee cans and other discarded objects, he crafts beautiful replicas of antique cars, boats, and World War II battleships. Though the results are exquisite, he says that the hobby is strictly for the amusement of family and friends and to keep his hands busy. He does not sell his creations.

Powell County

For more information:
Natural Bridge State Resort Park, 2135 Natural Bridge Road, Slade, KY 40376-9999, (606) 663-2214, reservations (800) 325-1710

Producer: Valerie Trimble
Videographers: Frank Simkonis, Brandon Wickey
Editor: Jim Piston

The Ride to the Top

Natural Bridge Skylift

Each year, tens of thousands of people from around the world come to Powell County to see Natural Bridge, an erosion-carved sandstone arch that stands some 65 feet high and spans 85 feet. Most take the trail that starts close to the park lodge, but others try a more relaxed option—though one not recommended for those who are afraid of heights: a skylift that deposits you just 600 feet, along a level trail, from the top of the bridge.

The skylift is a private business, owned and operated by Judy and Kerry Shaw. Judy’s father built it in 1967, and it has been a family operation ever since. Behind the ticket window, you’ll also find a small gift shop that sells fudge, quilts, and local crafts.

Our ride on the skylift was in the autumn (the lift operates from Easter to Halloween), amid the spectacular fall colors of the Daniel Boone National Forest. In addition to a less strenuous way to the top, the skylift offers one of the best vantage points from which to see the true size of the bridge itself.

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

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