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Program 1112

1. the Homeplace on Green River
2. outdoors writer Johnny Molloy
3. the Kentucky Military History Museum
4. quilter Willie Pride
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Taylor County

For more information:
• The Homeplace on Green River, (270) 465-4511

Producer: Dave Shuffett
Videographers: Prentice Walker, Dave Shuffett
Editor: Jim Piston

On the Green (Part 1)

Homeplace on the Green River

There’s a good deal of history on display in this edition of Kentucky Life, starting with a visit to the Homeplace on the Green River. On a 277-acre farm that has been family-operated since the turn of the 19th century, the governments of Taylor, Green, and Adair counties; the Kentucky Nature Conservancy; and various other partners operate a unique “working timeline farm” where visitors can see the past, present, and future of agriculture.

Sites and activities at the Homeplace range from living history exhibits and a museum to a farmers’ market and ongoing research on the plight of the American chestnut. The farm also maintains heritage breeds of livestock, conducts research on sustainable farming practices, and leases space for crop production. School and other groups can arrange for field trips with activities geared to their specific interests.

Taylor County Extension Agent Becky Nash and Homeplace President Billy Fudge show host Dave Shuffett around and explain some of the objectives of the Homeplace, which they say is the only such facility in the country to combine agricultural history with future-oriented research. While on site, we also explored a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit called “Seeds of Change,” which made several stops in Kentucky in 2004.

Edmonson County

For more information:
Johnny Molloy, 2305 S. Greenwood Dr., Unit #20, Johnson City, TN 37604

Producer, editor: Cheryl Beckley
Videographers: Cheryl Beckley, Shawn Jenkins

On the Green (Part 2)

Canoeing the Green

For our next segment, we take a little outdoors break with a canoe trip on that same Green River, but this time in Edmonson County. The guide is Johnny Molloy, a Tennessee-based outdoorsman who has written almost two dozen books on hiking, camping, paddling, and other outdoor adventures. Among them are a guide to canoeing and kayaking Kentucky’s rivers, a backpacker’s guide to the Sheltowee Trace through the Daniel Boone National Forest, and an overview of outdoor recreation in the Land Between the Lakes.

Franklin County

For more information:
Kentucky Military History Museum, c/o Kentucky Historical Society, 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601, (502) 564-1792

Producer, videographer: Treg Ward

War and Remembrance

The Kentucky Military History Museum

Circling back to the past, we next tour the Kentucky Military History Museum in Franklin County. Located in a crenellated “castle” on a bluff overlooking the Kentucky River, the museum chronicles the weapons, uniforms, exploits, and personal stories of Kentucky’s volunteer military organizations, from the frontier Kentucky Militia of Revolution and Indian War days to its modern-day successor, the Kentucky National Guard.

The building itself is a part of that history, too. The museum is housed in the Old State Arsenal, the third in a succession of facilities built to store state-owned munitions. The first was outgrown, and the second was gutted by an 1836 fire that also damaged the nearby state capitol. It wasn’t replaced for some time, since there seemed no pressing need at that relatively peaceful historical juncture. But in 1850, with the U.S.-Mexican War fresh in their minds, the members of the General Assembly appropriated funds for a new state arsenal. The building committee hired architect Nathanial C. Cook to design the facility, and he came up with a Gothic-style brick fortress—to be built a little farther from the capitol this time.

The arsenal was an important storage facility and cartridge factory during the Civil War, even coming under fire itself during an 1864 Confederate siege of Frankfort, and it continued to serve as a weapons depot through World War I. But in 1934, it met a similar fate as its predecessor when it was heavily damaged by fire. The interior was rebuilt, and the arsenal resumed its function for a time. But by the early 1970s it had been replaced by a new National Guard facility, and the building was turned over to the Kentucky Historical Society as a home for the state’s growing collection of military memorabilia.

Our tour includes photographs, guns, swords, and mementos of conflicts from the American Revolution to the Gulf War and is led by curator Bill Bright. Located at East Main and Capitol Avenue in Frankfort, the museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (ET) and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.

Jefferson County

For more information:
The Secret Code of Quilts, from Carolina Country, has background information as well as examples of symbols and their possible meanings.

Producer, videographer: Dave Shuffett
Editor: Otis Ballard

Freedom Fabrics

Quilter Willie Pride

Our final history lesson comes from quilter Willie Pride of Louisville, whose work reflects African-American traditions and history. According to oral tradition, operators of the Underground Railroad developed a code based on traditional quilt patterns—some of which had been inspired by African designs in the first place. Willie explains how quilts would be hung outside sympathetic homes along the route to help guide slaves heading north to freedom and how symbols like wagon wheels, bear’s paws, crossroads, or stars might indicate that the travelers should keep moving, stay away from the roads, follow the bear’s path, or flee the area immediately.

SEASON 11 PROGRAMS: 1101110211031104110511061107
110811091110: Wild and Scenic Kentucky11111112

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