The third annual Touchstone Energy® Motorcycle Charity Poker Run takes place Saturday, August 31. The 156-mile trip through scenic Kentucky leaves at 12:30 p.m. EDT from South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative in Somerset, then goes to Inter-County Energy Co-op’s office in Danville, Blue Grass Energy co-op’s Lawrenceburg office, Salt River Electric Co-op in Bardstown, and finishes up at Nolin Rural Electric Co-op in Elizabethtown. There will be cash prizes for poker hands drawn at the stops and part of the entry fees also goes to support the WHAS Crusade for Children.
For information on registration, entry fees, and other details call Frank Owen Brockman at Farmers Electric Cooperative, (800) 253-2191, or e-mail at
Lake Cumberland on Video
A 50-minute video on the history of Lake Cumberland celebrates the 50th anniversary of the naming of the lake.
The Story of Lake Cumberland uses more than 20 interviews and historic film footage to tell the story of the lake that is visited by nearly 7 million people a year.
The video is on sale in the Lake Cumberland area for $19.95. It is also available through Sentimental Productions at (800) 762-0338 or on the Internet at
Fences of Stone
A drive down rural Kentucky roads reveals hundreds of stone fences. Some are new, some are restored, and still others have remained untouched since their creation.
Until now, travelers in southeastern Kentucky’s Clay County didn’t see stone fences. A group of women decided to change that and sought the help of Jan Hutto, Clay County native and the first woman certified as a master stone craftsman in the United States.
The women wanted to preserve Kentucky’s heritage while at the same time teaching young people a job skill that could keep them in Clay County after graduation.
Daphene Lewis is part of Clay County’s Women Involved in Agriculture team. She is optimistic about the future of stone fencing and the potential it holds for employment in the area.
“Stone fencing is becoming a lost art in Kentucky,” she says. “The main goal of the project is to teach the children a skill they can use as a money-maker in the county. But it’s also an art and something they can take with them if they choose to leave the county.”
Lora Lee Howard, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension agent for family and consumer sciences, plays an integral role in the stone fence project by coordinating many of the funding efforts, encouraging school children to get involved, and developing ways to gain support in the communities of Manchester and Burning Springs.
“We’re really trying to teach our youth and adults a heritage skill,” Howard says. “Jan (Hutto) is from this area and she really wants to help people learn a skill that will keep them in Clay County if they want to stay here.”
The current project is a fence started by Clay County Middle School students at an emerging community park in Burning Springs.
The students have worked with Hutto, Lewis,
Howard, and other women to begin a fence that will eventually serve as the welcoming feature of the park. So far the students have used seven tons of stone but the finished product will utilize nearly 50 tons of stone.
Students at Burning Springs Elementary School, adjacent to the new park, have started a fund-raising project for the cost of the stone by collecting pennies from their classmates. Howard said the students wanted to have a part in the park and that was a fun way to do it.
Howard has also helped start a “Buy A Ton” project in the local community. She said businesses agree to buy a ton of stone for the projects at a cost of about $120, and in return the donors receive a certificate to hang up at their business showing their participation. Howard says right now they have about 15 businesses participating in the “Buy A Ton” project. The first seven tons were donated by a company in Corbin.
The students are primarily learning to use the dry stone technique for fencing, but a future project at Clay County High School will challenge students to use the technique for a unique landscape design. Another project will also be started at Clay County Middle School.
“Landscaping is becoming very popular in the county,” Lewis says. “We’ve got a gardening club in the county now and stone projects could be a big part of that in the future.”
Whether for fences or landscapes or just learning a fun new skill, those involved in the project are helping preserve a Kentucky tradition. All the stones are laid free-hand with no mortar to continue the same tradition started by Irish immigrants to the area more than 150 years ago.
—Aimee D. Heald