Lamon Vanderburgh Harkness, one of the largest stockholders in Standard Oil, was born January 6, 1850, in Bellevue, Ohio. In 1891 he bought Walnut Hall Farm, here in Kentucky, and began a successful breeding stable. The farm became one of the best-known Standardbred farms in the world. Heirs ran the farm until 1972 when they sold it to the Commonwealth of Kentucky to become the Kentucky Horse Park on September 7, 1978.
The purpose of the Kentucky Horse Park was to educate the public on Kentucky Horses and a place for retired champion horses to live. We visited the park, where we got the red carpet treatment.
We saw various breeds of horses in a demonstration of their characteristics.
Learned about draft horses,
and took a ride through the park.
The park has their own Mounted Police.
Barbara has tea in a Bedouin camp with their Arabian horse.
It appears I am 17 1/4 hands high.
Barbara gets standing ovation with her horse, beauty.
Their are numerous retired racing champions at the park. We saw a few, including Funny Cide who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 2003, and the Breeder’s Cup in 2004.
Funny Cide has something to say to you:
See you on the trail.
For you fine liquor fans, what is the oldest continuously-operating distillery in the United States? Since I am in Kentucky, you can surmise it is here. They also claim that within the last decade they have won more awards than any other distillery IN THE WORLD.
Long before there was a Frankfort, or a Lexington, this particular area was part of a major path of migration for buffalo. It was here that their trail (or “trace”) crossed a shallow part of the Kentucky River. This was a good location for settlement, which is what Hancock McAfee and Willis Lee established in 1775, where they began distillation.
The first distillery was constructed in 1812 by Harrison Blanton. In 1870 the distillery was purchased by Edmund H. Taylor and given its first name, the Old Fire Copper (O.F.C.) Distillery, which you can see on various buildings.
The distillery had been sold and resold numerous times. During Prohibition, the distillery was allowed to remain operational, in order to make whiskey for “medicinal purposes”. In June 1999, under new owners, the distillery changed it’s name to Buffalo Trace to rebrand it’s products and expand it’s marketing.
Warehouse C was built in 1885 and has 5 floors. The taste of the whisky is altered by which floor it is on. The lower floors are cooler than the upper. This warehouse holds 24,000 barrels.
Another building housed the site for the bottling of their premium small batch bourbons and whiskies. Today, they were bottling Blanton’s single barrel bourbon. Each step of the bottling process is carried out by hand.
Barbara bent her elbow at the tasting bar. She gets double, since I don’t drink. They did have Rebecca-Ruth Bourbon Balls, which I did eat (we also visited her factory earlier, but they did not allow pictures).
Originally a part of Virginia, Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union on June 1, 1792 . Officially, it is the Commonwealth of Kentucky. There are 3 other commonwealths: Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. The term has no particular significance in its meaning and was chosen to emphasize the State is governed by the populace. Kentucky is known as the “Bluegrass State,” although I did not see any.
We visited Frankfort, the Capital of Kentucky. The Capitol Building, appears ordinary on the outside, but the inside was impressive.
The law library had a coffin formed from law books.
The Great Room had infinity mirrors:
Of note were the murals of Francis Davis Millet born November 3, 1848 in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. Davis was a classmate of Kentucky’s governor and agreed to design and paint the mural pendentive areas. He drew sketches and then went on a cruise on a luxury liner. The Titanic did not bring him back to Kentucky. 100 years later, EverGreene Architectural Arts was commissioned to paint the murals from his sketches. I could not find the actual artist.
Jefferson Davis, who was born in Kentucky, had his statute in the building. Look at it, before the do gooders take it down.
Tidbit of Information: Kentucky declared itself neutral at the beginning of the Civil War. Nevertheless, delegates from 68 of Kentucky’s 110 counties met, passed an ordinance of secession, and adopted a new state constitution and seal. Though President Davis had some reservation about the circumvention of the elected General Assembly in forming the Confederate government, Kentucky was admitted to the Confederacy on December 10, 1861. Kentucky was represented by the central star on the Confederate battle flag. The government existed primarily on paper, and dissolved following the war.
We went to Frankfort Cemetery to view the gravesite of Daniel Boone. It was not very impressive (in fact, more than likely, this is not the gravesite of Daniel, who is probably buried in, Marthasville Mo.). This gravesite does overlook the river and Capitol Building.
More impressive was the monument and gravesite for William Justus Goebel, born January 4, 1856 in Albany, Pennsylvania. He moved to Kentucky at age 7. Upon graduating from law school, he got involved with politics. Goebel was a controversial politician, almost bringing the State of Kentucky to civil war. Through, what might have been political corruption, he was elected Governor of Kentucky, and shot shortly thereafter. The day after being shot, the dying Goebel was sworn in as governor. Goebel is the only governor of a U.S. state to have been assassinated while in office. (Food for thought: Is it really an assassination if you are shot before you take office, but die in office?)
Argillite, Kentucky to Frankford, Kentucky: 139.6 miles
3 hours 12 minutes
On our way to Lexington, Kentucky, we stoped at a KOA campground, located in Argillite, Kentucky, along the way. The name refers to argillite, a type of stone, related to shale. Again, we just hung around the campground. It was an interesting trek through the mountains to get here.
Greenbrier River, West Virginia to Argillite, Kentucky 191.2 miles
3 hours 53 minutes
Andrew Lewis, born October 9, 1720, was an Irish-born American pioneer, surveyor, and military officer. In 1751 he established a camp here which attracted pioneer settlements. However, the Shawnee Indians wiped out these early settlements, killing all the men and carrying off the women and children. In 1774, Colonel Lewis was tasked with removing the Shawnee’s, which he did. The town of Lewisburg, named after him, was formally laid out in 1780.
The Lewisburg Presbyterian Church was built in 1796 of local limestone. Now known as the Old Stone Presbyterian Church, this building is the oldest church still in continuous use west of the Allegheny Mountains. The church escaped damage during the Civil War, when it was used as a hospital and for billeting troops. Following the Battle of Lewisburg, May 23, 1862, Confederate dead lay in the sanctuary. The Union commander refused to allow services, in retaliation for sniper fire that killed one of his wounded soldiers. The Confederates were unceremoniously buried in a trench along the south wall of the church. After the war, 95 soldiers were reburied in a common grave mounded in the form of a cross, on a hill just beyond the Church.
The State of West Virginia came into existence on June 20, 1863.
Went to the Old Stone Presbyterian Church were I gave my sermon to an unpacked congregation.
In 1902 Andrew Carnegie donated $26,750 dollars to the Lewisburg Female Institute to build a performance hall. Of course, they named it Carnegie Hall.
I can now say, I sang at Carnegie Hall.
On April 21, 1821, John North, Clerk of the Greenbrier District Court, purchased a 2 acre plot in Lewisburg and constructed this house. Today, this house is the Greenbrier Museum.
We traveled all over this country to view this item located in the museum:
It is the training saddle of Robert E. Lee’s horse, Traveller. Not the saddle Lee used, but the saddle to get the young colt use to a saddle on his back.
The Greenbrier River is a tributary of the New River, in southeastern West Virginia. We are camping on the river in a campground, appropriately called, Greenbrier River Campground.
Ashbury, Virginia to Greenbrier, West Virginia: 230.2 miles.
4 hours 25 minutes
In 1292, that is 200 years before Columbus discover the Americas, Adam de Prestwich built himself a manor house in Lancashire, England. Around 1376 the manor house was named Agecroft Hall (a combination of words standing for “wild celery” & “a fenced in area”. The significance of this name has been lost for over 600 years). The house went though many families, by marriage and inheritance. By 1925 it was in such disrepair, it was scheduled to be torn down.
Thomas C. Williams, Jr., a wealthy entrepreneur, who owned property on the James River, on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, wished to build a true English manor house on his 23-acre estate. He purchased the Manson in 1925. The manor house was dismantled, piece by piece, crated, transported across the Atlantic, and reconstructed on the Williams’ family farm site. The intention was not to replicate Agecroft as it had stood in Lancashire, but rather to create a functional and comfortable mansion reminiscent of its English predecessor. The floor plan was changed, and all the modern conveniences of the day were added.
The project was completed during the spring of 1928, after 2 years of re-construction. The following year Thomas Williams died. Agecroft Hall is now a museum, which we visited.
In addition to the house, which we have now seen quite a few, they had extensive gardens.
Because of the recent rains, the James River is just under cresting.
Is this an alien crop circle?
Oh, I see it is time to go.