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Program 1712

1. Canoeing the Little Sandy River
2. Our Town—Springfield
3. Covered Bridges
4. Maplewood Farm
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Season 17 Menu

Elliott County

For more information:
• See Dave's Kentucky Living article about his trip

Producer: Dave Shuffett
Videographer: Prentice Walker
Audio: Brent Abshear
Editor: Kelly Campbell

Canoeing the Little Sandy River

Over the years, Dave Shuffett has tackled many of Kentucky's waterways: Franklin County's Elkhorn Creek, Tygart's Creek in Greenup County, the Cumberland River in McCreary County, and the Red River through Red River Gorge, to name a few. This time he travels to Elliott County for a journey into a wilderness wonder.

The Little Sandy River runs along the bottom of Laurel Gorge in Elliott County, and on a daylong canoe trip down the river, Dave discovers amazing rock formations, waterfalls, and other natural wonders.

Elliott County is often described as a diamond in the rough. And Laurel Gorge offers as breathtaking a landscape as you will find anywhere. This wild and secluded gem features sandstone cliffs 100 to 300 feet tall, gigantic boulders, and seasonal waterfalls.

You can learn more about the flora and fauna of this area by visiting the Laurel Gorge Cultural Hertiage Center near Sandy Hook, which offers interactive exhibits on Appalachian life.

Washington County

For more information:
Springfield, Ky., website

Producer: John Schroering
Audio: Noel Depp

Our Town—Springfield

This Washington County town bills itself as the place where the Lincoln legacy begins. Abraham Lincoln's grandfather, Abraham Sr., settled in the Beech Fork area of Washington County in 1782, about five miles north of Springfield. Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, the 16th president's parents, were married in Washington County and their original marriage records are in the Washington County clerk's office in Springfield.

The Springfield Welcome Center is located in the Opera House on Main Street, which was built in 1900 and renovated in 2004. The Opera House auditorium hosts concerts as well as community theater and children's theater productions.

In October the chamber of commerce puts on the Kentucky Crossroads Harvest Festival and Jim Beam Barbecue Classic Cookoff. The barbecue contest attracts dozens of cooks competing to make the best beef brisket, ribs, chicken, and pork. To satisfy your sweet tooth, there's also a dessert contest.


For more information:
Kentucky Covered Bridges from the Kentucky Atlas and Gazetteer
Covered Bridge History and Design from the Pennsylvania Covered Bridges website

Producer/Editor: Jim Piston
Videographers: Warren Mace, John Schroering, Angelic Phelps
Audio: Warren Mace

Covered Bridges

Kentucky once had more than 700 covered bridges. Today, the 13 that remain are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A short two-day drive illustrates the history of the bridges, which were engineering marvels of their time.

Most people are familiar with trusses from roof construction. In covered bridge design, trusses above and below the deck form the structural support that dissipates bridge load—often in aesthetically appealing geometric patterns. Smith-truss-design bridge

As truss design evolved, bridge designers of the 1800s made engineering advancements that bear their names, including the Howe truss, the Wheeler truss, and the Town's lattice truss. The Goddard Bridge in Fleming County, believed to date from the early 1800s, is the only Town's lattice truss bridge in the state. The Bennetts Mill Bridge in Greenup County is the only surviving Wheeler truss bridge in the nation.

The Johnson Creek Bridge in Robertson County, pictured here, is a 131-foot-long Smith truss design.

Boone County

For more information:
• From the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center: Margaret Garner

Producer: Frank Simkonis
Audio: Brent Abshear, Frank Simkonis
Editor: Dan Taulbee

Margaret Garner and Maplewood Farm

The tragic story of Margaret Garner, who killed her daughter rather than allow her to be returned to a life of slavery, was the inspiration for Toni Morrison's novel Beloved. Today the Boone County farm where Margaret was enslaved, Maplewood Farm, is an archaeological site.

In January 1856, Margaret Garner escaped with her husband, who was enslaved on another farm, and children across the frozen Ohio River to freedom in Ohio. Found the next day by her owner, Archibald Gaines, and federal marshals, she fought surrender and cut her young daughter's throat.

In Cincinnati courts, the federal fugitive slave law clashed head-on with Ohio's attempt to prosecute Margaret for murder. The court ruled she must be returned to Archibald Gaines and to slavery. Moved to plantations farther south in the ensuing months, Margaret died of typhoid in 1858.

Maplewood Farm is privately owned, but the Boone County Historical Society will give tours. An archaeological dig in 1998 revealed the foundations of the main house and several artifacts from the early 1800s, such as pottery, utensils, and coins.

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