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Program 111

1. historic Paducah
2. Fantastic Fibers
3. Wigwam Village
4. Grow It, Eat It, Wear It expo
Season One Menu

For more information:
Paducah McCracken County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 128 Broadway, P.O. Box 90, Paducah, KY 42001, (270) 443-8784 or (800) PADUCAH

Producer/videographer: Gale Worth
Editor: Esther Reed

River City West

Historic Paducah

Climb on for an old-fashioned horse and carriage ride and learn about the architecture of historic Paducah in our first segment for this program. The picturesque, tree-lined streets of the beautifully preserved McCracken County seat offer wonderful examples of churches, commercial buildings, hotels, and shops, all reflecting Paducah’s heritage as a bustling commercial center.

The site where Paducah would be located was selected by George Rogers Clark (who also founded Louisville) as part of his mission to establish frontier defense posts during the Revolutionary War. Located at the junction of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers, it seemed a natural transportation hub. George’s brother William—the Clark of Lewis and Clark—actually established the settlement and chose the name, possibly in honor of Chief Paduke, a legendary Chickasaw leader.

Paducah grew rapidly in the decades before the Civil War. Thanks to the rivers, it became a center of shipping for locally harvested timber as well as the dark tobacco grown in the Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky. The construction of several major railroad lines added to its commercial importance and attracted a cosmopolitan mix of immigrants. Today, Paducah’s historic neighborhoods reflect the influence of substantial German and Jewish populations during the antebellum period.

Of course, where the river gives, it also takes away: This profile also contains archival footage of the devastating Ohio River flood of 1937. The most damaging of a series of dramatic floods, the ’37 disaster prompted the construction of an ambitious floodwall. Kentucky Life Program 302 has a closer look at the floodwall, which has been adorned with specially commissioned murals. For more Paducah history, see the segment about the Tilghman Heritage Center in Program 607.

For more information:
Yeiser Art Center, 200 Broadway, Paducah, KY 42001-0732, (270) 442-2453

Producer: S&W Productions

Artful Apparel

Fantastic Fibers

While in Paducah, we also took a look at the Fantastic Fibers exhibit at the Yeiser Art Center. This annual juried show spotlights wearable art and other fiber exhibits—including, in this edition, hats made from industrial screen.

Located in the historic Market House, the Yeiser Art Center has both a permanent collection and rotating exhibits showcasing historic and contemporary visual arts and fine crafts. It is open Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information:
Wigwam Village, 601 North Dixie Highway, Cave City, KY 42127, (270) 773-3381

Producer: Craig Cornwell
Videographer: Frank Simkonis
Editor: Dan Taulbee

Sleeping in Circles

Wigwam Village

In the 1930s, Americans hit the road in droves, as the Great American Family Vacation was born. And as the competition for those travelers’ dollars heated up, creative entrepreneurs went out of their way to set their establishments apart from the crowd. Many of the great roadside attractions from that era are only memories now. But one that has endured is Wigwam Village in Barren County, where visitors to the Mammoth Cave area can sleep in concrete versions of teepees, arranged in a circle to encourage neighborliness.

Wigwam Village was the brainchild of Frank Redford, who found inspiration both in Sioux culture and in someone else’s roadside attraction: an ice cream shop he’d seen that was built in the shape of an upside-down cone. The Cave City village, opened in 1937, was actually his second in Kentucky. He first built a Wigwam Village in Hart County in 1935, then patented the idea in 1936. Later, he expanded outside the state, building five more Wigwam Villages throughout the South and West. Only one other, in Arizona, is still operating.

Wigwam Village #2 in Cave City, though, is thriving. In fact, if you want to check it out for yourself, you will want to make reservations well in advance. Its popularity stems partly from nostalgia—it’s officially a historic landmark now—but also from plain old-fashioned frugality: Nightly rates at Wigwam Village, though not at 1930s level anymore, remain low.

The village is open March 1 through November 30. It is located on U.S. 31 West in Cave City. Take Exit 53 off Interstate 65 to Route 90E toward Glasgow. Turn left at the second light onto U.S. 31 West and go about one mile; Wigwam Village is on the left.

For more information:
Cooperative Extension Service, College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, (859) 257-5605

Producer/videographer: Gale Worth
Editor: Esther Reed

Agriculture 101

Grow It, Eat It, Wear It expo

In our final segment, you can learn about agriculture alongside some Northern Kentucky 5th graders who turned out for a “Grow It, Eat It, Wear It” educational demonstration in 1995. The kids saw sheep and learned how wool is sheared, spun, and made into clothing; learned about dairy products; and found out about draft animals “right from the horse’s mouth.”

Held in Highland Heights, the Grow It, Eat It, Wear It expo was a project of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.

Watch This Story (5:29)

SEASON 1 PROGRAMS: 101102103104105106107108109110111112113114115

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