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Program 1814

1. Reptiles and Amphibians at Blood River Seeps
2. Historical Markers 1541 and 1888—Jack and Matthew Jouett
3. The Judge Joseph Holt House
4. The Maysville Players
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Season 18 Menu

Calloway County

For more information:
Blood River Seeps State Nature Preserve
• The Herps web page from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has information on snakes and more.

More From Kentucky Life:
Blood River Seeps

Producer: Brandon Wickey
Videographer: John Schroering

Reptiles and Amphibians at Blood River Seeps

When last we visited Blood River Seeps State Nature Preserve (Episode 1806), we introduced you to the amazing diversity of ecosystems here. In this program, we take a look at the cold-blooded creatures making their home in these distinctive habitats.

As promised, we left no log, board, or rock unturned in our search for reptiles like snakes, lizards and turtles, as well as amphibians like frogs, salamanders, and newts. State herpetologist John MacGregor of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is doing a reptile and amphibian survey here, and the information will be used to help the nature preserve manage the land.

This 193-acre preserve south of Murray in Calloway County contains a high quality, globally rare ecosystem—the coastal plain forested acid seep, which is simply a seasonally wet basin fed by acid groundwater. The potential for rare species living here is high.

What kinds of reptiles and amphibians can you find here? Among the species we saw on our visit were a coal skink (a mid-sized lizard), a marble salamander, a spotted dusky salamander, an Earth snake, and a ringed snake.

If you're out at night, the Western mud snake might catch your attention. It's a standout with red or pink belly bars accenting its glistening black skin. A non-venomous snake, it lives on salamanders, frogs, and fish. Also making its home here is the nocturnal three-lined salamander, a whopper at nearly 8 inches long. Its tan yellow body has three dark stripes—one down its back, and two down its sides.

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Woodford and Fayette counties

For more information:
Jack Jouett's Ride from
Matthew Jouett biography from the Jack Jouett House State Historic Site

Producer: Jim Piston

Historical Markers 1541 and 1888—Jack and Matthew Jouett

This historical marker segment recalls a famous father and son, one an unheralded war hero, the other a renowned artist.

The father, Jack Jouett Jr., played a little known but pivotal role in the American Revolution, saving Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia legislature from capture by the British. On June 3, 1781, the young militia captain was enjoying himself at a tavern in Louisa, Virginia, when he happened to spy British troops riding in. He quickly surmised that they were on their way to Charlottesville, where Governor Jefferson and the legislature had fled after Benedict Arnold's raid on Richmond. Jack made a heroic, all-night 40-mile ride through back roads to sound the alarm at Monticello.

Virginia's legislature honored Jack for his bravery, awarding him two fine pistols and a sword. Although he is known by many Virginians as their own Paul Revere, his story has fallen into relative obscurity outside the state.

After the war, Jack Jouett settled in what eventually became the state of Kentucky and raised a family. His second son, Matthew, displayed a talent for portraits at an early age. Nonetheless, Matthew followed his father's wishes and practiced law. He served in the War of 1812, but after the war was over he devoted his energies to his first love, art.

Already respected for his portraits, he sought to become even better. He studied in 1816 under the famous Gilbert Stuart, who said Matthew was the only student he had who was worthy of his teaching. Among the notable men of the era who sat for a portrait by Matthew were the Marquis de Lafayette and Henry Clay. Matthew died young at age 39, but is renowned to this day as Kentucky's greatest painter.

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Breckinridge County

For more information:
The Judge Joseph Holt House

Producer: Paul Smith
Videographers: John Bacon, John Schroering
Audio: Roger Tremaine

The Judge Joseph Holt House

He served in many capacities as a public servant—commissioner of patents, postmaster general, even secretary of war. But Judge Joseph Holt (1807-1894) may be best known for presiding over the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators as the country's first judge advocate general.

Holt was one of Abraham Lincolnís most trusted allies and ardent supporters, but his achievements have largely faded from the record. He suffered a storm of criticism from Southerners for his role in prosecuting the Confederate president. He even issued a pamphlet in 1866 defending his actions, titled Vindication of Judge Advocate General Holt From the Foul Slanders of Traitors, Confessed Perjurers and Suborners, Acting in the Interest of Jefferson Davis.

What a welcome retreat his home in Breckinridge County must have been. Now this historic three-story brick home is undergoing restoration, bringing the public servant who lived here back to prominence.

The home resembles an Italianate villa in many respects. A cast iron porch extends along the front of the home. The western part of the house dates to 1850; the east wing is believed to date from the 1870s. The county acquired the property in 2008, and work is ongoing to stabilize the structure and make needed repairs.

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Mason County

For more information:
The Maysville Players

Producer: Frank Simkonis
Audio: Doug Collins
Audio Post: Brent Abshear
Editor: Dan Taulbee

The Maysville Players

The Washington Opera House is home to the Maysville Players, one of the oldest established theater groups in Kentucky.

Theatrical productions date to the early 1800s here. The first opera house was built in 1851. When it was destroyed by fire in 1891, a new one was built and named after the Washington Fire Company, which funded the rebuilding.

The Opera House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In its early years, it hosted a number of famous performers, including John Philip Sousa and his band, Buffalo Bill Cody, and cowboy movie star Tom Mix.

The Maysville Players, who began as a theatrical troupe in 1961, bought the opera house in 1968 and began staging productions there. Productions this season include the comedy "Tuna Does Vegas," the award-winning drama "Proof," and the musical "The Honky Tonk Angels," as well as a show by the summer youth theater program, "Thoroughly Modern Millie Junior."

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SEASON 18 PROGRAMS: 18011802180318041805180618071808180918101811181218131814181518161817181818191820

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