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Program 618

1. the lost resort at Chalybeate Springs
2. folk dancing with the Coffeys
3. Pine Mountain State Resort Park
Season 6 Menu

Edmonson County

Producer, videographer, editor: Cheryl Beckley

Taking the Waters

Chalybeate Springs

For a time in the 1800s, it was the place to be. The well-to-do came to “take the waters,” bringing along their eligible sons and daughters in the hopes that a suitable match might be found. Like Dawson Springs farther west (featured in Kentucky Life Program 614), Edmonson County’s Chalybeate Springs was a place to see and be seen while (one hoped) curing yourself of a variety of vague ills.

Now, though, few remember the springs’ resort days. In this visit, folklorist Dale Young and Dr. Samuel Gray, the current owner, talk about how they are working to preserve this nearly lost piece of Kentucky’s past by gathering photos and writings.

The word “chalybeate” is actually a generic term. Coined in the 17th century, it refers to any water that contains iron salts or tastes of iron. There are Chalybeate Springs in Arkansas, England, Pennsylvania, and various other locales, plus a Chalybeate Well in Tennessee. Many of these places are still thriving resorts, though they no longer focus on the dubious curative properties of their water.

And, of course, Edmonson County doesn’t exactly lack for visitors these days, either: It’s the home of Mammoth Cave National Park.

Shelby County

Producer, videographer, audio, editor: Gale Worth

Dancing with the Folks

A folk dance gathering

Fun, fellowship, and good exercise come together in our next segment. It’s a visit to the Shelbyville home of Don and Sylvia Coffey for one of their folk-dancing gatherings. As Sylvia explains, this particular style of dancing is fun and easy to do—and allows participants to carry on a tradition that stretches back hundreds of years.

If the Coffeys look familiar, it could be because you’ve seen them on Kentucky Life before. Don played a dulcimer of his own making, with Sylvia singing along, in Program 613.

Bell County

For more information:
Pine Mountain State Resort Park, 1050 State Park Rd., Pineville, KY 40977-0610, (800) 325-1712

Producer, videographer, audio, editor: Ernie Lee Martin

Hiking the Pine

Pine Mountain State Resort Park

Next, trade your dancing shoes for hiking boots as we visit Pine Mountain State Resort Park in Bell County.

Kentucky’s first state park, Pine Mountain was established in 1924 to preserve and showcase some of the most rugged and spectacular mountain scenery in the eastern United States. Some of the lodging facilities date back to the 1930s and feature the handiwork of the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps, which built many of the park’s log cabins and rock walls.

The park’s most famous rock, though, is the Chained Rock, and it also recalls a back-breaking manual effort from Great Depression days. In 1933, a group of local citizens organized an effort to anchor a huge boulder, precariously balanced on a cliff top, that looked like it might topple down onto the city of Pineville at any minute (or at least that’s how the story goes; the actual danger may have been exaggerated a bit in the interest of creating a curiosity for tourists). A few mules and a lot of human volunteers dragged a donated one-and-a-half-ton chain up Pine Mountain and attached it to steel rods sunk deep into the adjoining cliffs.

Pine Mountain is also renowned for beauty of a more delicate nature. Each year since 1931, the park has hosted the Mountain Laurel Festival in honor of the indigenous evergreen shrub that covers itself in pink and white blooms each spring. The festival is usually scheduled for the last weekend in May.

Pine Mountain State Resort Park is 15 miles north of Middlesboro off U.S. 25E.

Trigg County

For more information:
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, 100 Van Morgan Drive, Golden Pond, KY 42211-9001, (270) 924-2000

Western Vistas

Land Between the Lakes scenery

To wrap up this show, we squeeze in a little more natural beauty with a “music video” featuring wildlife and scenery from Land Between the Lakes, the vast and scenic Western Kentucky wonderland created by the damming of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers to form Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.

SEASON 6 PROGRAMS: 601602603604605606607608: The Dixie Highway609
610: Along U.S. 68611612613614615616617618619620621622623

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