Located in the southern part of the Commonwealth, Glasgow sits at the entrance
to the Western Waterland. Convenient to the sites and attractions of Bowling Green,
cave country, and Louisville, Glasgow has a history and charm all its own.
Founded in 1799 by a group of Revolutionary War veterans, it boasts historic homes
and buildings, museums, a downtown walking/driving tour, and a Civil War fort.
Begin your Glasgow visit by stopping at the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce,
where Bill Dearman and his staff have brochures and maps to help you find your
Check into the lodge, or a cottage, at Barren River State Resort Park, just a
few miles from downtown Glasgow. Louie B. Nunn Lodge has rooms overlooking the
10,000-acre Barren River Lake. There are also 22 two-bedroom cottages, which can
be booked up to one year in advance. Advance reservations are required.
After settling in, head back toward Glasgow, watching for the turn-off to Houchens
Park Farm. There’s a large sign on Scottsville Road promoting the park. Turn in
by the sign. Follow the road up a hill, past another road that branches off almost
immediately, and take the first blacktop on your right.
It was here, in 1917, that Ervin Houchens established his first store in what
would become a multi-store, multi-million dollar supermarket chain-Houchens-scattered
across south-central Kentucky. Six buildings and exhibits make up the self-guided
tour of the park.
Start at the Winn School, originally located one mile west of its present location,
where from 1891 to 1947 area youngsters were educated in this one-room schoolhouse.
Bench desks, teacher’s table/desk, books, photos, and other artifacts celebrate
the rural learning processes. Across the gravel drive is the Transportation Building,
housing Houchens’ prized 1913 Model T Ford, his 1970 Chevrolet Impala, and one
of the store’s original delivery bikes, complete with a basket for groceries.
The Ervin Houchens Museum commemorates the founder’s commitment to his employees
and the community by way of scrapbooks, photos, and numerous awards.
The original 1917 store building has shelves and countertops crowded with samples
of the products once sold there. The Grist Mill, where farmers brought their grains,
is right beside the store. The Machinery Museum, across the road, displays a variety
of farm tools from the late 1800s through the 1950s.
Returning to downtown Glasgow, use Glasgow’s Historic Homes guide, which details
nearly 30 houses, to scope out some of the most architecturally attractive old
homes in town. Highlights include the 1852 Hall Place on South Green, a Federal-style
building with 14-inch-thick walls; Seven Gables, also on South Green; the circa
1812 Governor Leslie mansion on East Main; the 1824 Logan-Bush Apartments on Front
Street; and Spotswood on North Race, said to be the oldest home in town.
While in town, be sure to check out St. Helen’s Catholic Church. Founded in the
late 1890s by converts (there were no Catholics in Glasgow at the time), it physically
resembles a fairy tale building. The story of its founding is even more amazing.
Having little or no financial resources to construct the church, the congregation’s
ladies scoured the surrounding countryside for rocks, which they gathered in their
aprons. The rocks were subsequently loaded into wagons pulled by mules and hauled
into town, where church members assembled them into the present structure. The
sanctuary contains 16 stained-glass windows. Local parishioners donated 15. One
came from England’s Duke of Norfolk, in recognition of the efforts put forth by
the church’s female congregates.
Glasgow’s public square contains numerous turn-of-the-century buildings, many
with 1950s-style facades. Today’s George J. Ellis Drug Company building, for instance,
has been the site of a drugstore since it was erected in the 1880s. They boast
that “all the gossip fit to spread” can be found there!
Beula C. Nunn Park, across from the courthouse, stands on the site of the 1799
Matthews Tavern operated by blacksmith John Matthews and spouse Jainny, a midwife
and herbalist. There’s a memorial to Glasgow native and bandleader Billy Vaughan;
another memorial to long-time resident Luska Joseph Twyman, educator, civil rights
advocate, and the first African-American mayor of a Southern city; and a World
War I monument depicting a Springfield rifle.
The Museum of the Barrens, just off the public square, has vignettes of 200 years
of Glasgow and Barren County life. Highlights include displays on the Settles
rifles, made in Glasgow during the early 1800s; the Honeycutt antique nickel-plated
pistol collection; a military display featuring uniforms from World War I and
II; an 1849 Pleyel piano; a copper-topped table owned by Franklin Gorin (1798-1877),
the first white child born in Barren County; plus a series of exhibits on a child’s
life, 1837-1901; wildlife; women’s hats; and musical instruments. The museum will
be moving by year’s end to the new South Central Kentucky Cultural Center, just
around the corner.
After visiting the museum, take a jaunt over to Fort Williams, on the knoll above
Glasgow Municipal Cemetery. In 1861 Glasgow was a hotbed of Confederate sympathizers,
and a favorite resupply point for Morgan’s Raiders. It was decided to establish
a fort on the heights above the town to interdict Rebel units. Thus, Federal troops
became an ever-present part of Glasgow life for nearly two years, attending church
services and becoming part of the town scene. On the morning of October 6, 1863,
however, the war really came to town! A bombardment began, destroying the fort’s
powder magazine, and surprising the troops encamped within the fort. In the ensuing
melee, CSA Colonel John Hughes, commanding 120 men of the 25th Tennessee Infantry,
managed to rout most of the 300 green troops of the 37th Kentucky Mounted Infantry
left to man the fort.
To arrange your own Glasgow tour, contact: Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce,
118 E. Public Square, Glasgow, KY 42141, (270) 651-3161.
Day Trips & Short Stops
“Racing as it was meant to be.” That’s Keeneland’s slogan. And this Bluegrass
racecourse has been upholding the traditions for more than 60 years.
A day at Keeneland is far more than watching the thoroughbreds run. When the fall
meet begins on October 9, devotees of the sport, as well as just folks, will be
treated to an array of activities.
Hal Price Headley, one of the track’s founders, insisted that there should be
a “place where those who love horses can come picnic with us.” Consequently, a
lovely park was created where visitors can roam verdant lawns and admire artfully
planted bushes and trees.
Visitors are welcome to attend early morning workouts, chat with jockeys and trainers,
and breakfast Southern-style after the runs.
Keeneland wants you to bring the family on Saturday mornings. After the workouts
and breakfast there’s a variety of children’s activities scheduled, from face
painting to trying on pint-sized jockey’s silks.
The United States Marine Corps Marching Band is scheduled to perform on Friday,
October 15. There will be “show and tell” programs at the paddock every Saturday
at 9:00 a.m., where veterinarians, farriers, outriders, and other horsefolk share
their knowledge and experiences. Also on Saturday mornings, free handicapping
seminars take place in the historic Keeneland Sales Pavilion, where many of the
world’s most famous thoroughbreds have been bought and sold.
You may also want to take time to visit the Keeneland Library, a world-renowned
repository for reference works and tracts on racing, breeding, and related subjects.
While there check out the bronze statue collection, the horseshoe collection,
and the photos and scrapbooks detailing the racecourse’s history. And, of course,
you won’t be able to leave without picking out a memento of your visit in the
For additional information, contact: Keeneland Race Course, P.O. Box 1690, Lexington,
KY 40588, 1-800-456-3412.
Hunting dog training
Upland bird seasons are about to open. Whether you fancy quail or grouse, you
only have about a month to prepare.
Coinciding with the opening of upland bird seasons will be the legions of hunters
who fill the forests and fields of the Commonwealth with shouts and whistle blasts
as they try to work a dog that isn’t under control.
“They stay on top of the dogs, and won’t let them hunt. They’re trying to tell
this dog what he should be doing, instead of letting him have his own mind, and
hunt the way he should,” says Eddy Shuck.
Shuck, owner of Happy Ridge Quail Farm Farm and Hunting Preserve in Pleasureville,
is one of the best hunting dog trainers in the state. He has a long history, for
instance, of turning out finished gun dogs when the animals are still puppies.
His pointer, Jim, for instance, won a major hunting field trial when he was only
22 months old.
The only time Eddy uses his whistle is the occasional time he wants the dog’s
attention-to change direction, for instance, or to call him in. There is none
of that constant blowing of whistles or screaming at the dog that’s so common
in the hunting fields of Kentucky.
We’ve always felt that if a man is yelling at his dog all the time, or is blasting
the whistle nonstop, it means the dog isn’t trained well. By definition, he is
out of control.
With a little training, however, that dog will behave the way he should. And you
get to enjoy the hunt that much more.
Serious training starts with “whoa” breaking. “Whoa! is the most important command
there is,” Shuck says. We don’t know any trainer who’d disagree with him.
There are many reasons Whoa! is important. Maybe he’s running toward a traffic-filled
highway. Or maybe he’s broken at the flush. Or a rabbit grabbed his attention
and he’s decided to chase it. Whoa! stops him in his tracks, and you can then
continue the hunt, or call him back in, or whatever.
Other field commands use Whoa! as a starting point. If you want your dog to be
steady to wing and shot, he has to be Whoa!-broke first. Steady to wing and shot
is nothing more than an extended Whoa! command.
So, if you’re spending more time yelling at your dog than hunting over him, teach
him to Whoa! Everything else stems from that. It’s not too late to get this done
in time for the upcoming seasons.
If you need help teaching Whoa!, or have other training needs, contact: Eddy Shuck,
Happy Ridge Quail Farm and Hunting Preserve, 111 Shuck’s Rd., Pleasureville, KY
40057, (502) 878-4903.