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Old Timer’s Day In Rabbit Hash

  Twenty-five miles southwest of Cincinnati, on the banks of the Ohio, sits
the town of Rabbit Hash. Founded in 1831, its population tallies five.

  One of the stories about how the town got its name involves two salt
agents in the 1800s, meeting across the river from Rising Sun, Indiana. Asked
if there was anything good to eat at the tavern landing, one agent said there
was plenty of rabbit hash.

  William Nelson wrote in The Buried Treasure: A Rabbit Hash Mystery that
around 1847 the Ohio River flooded, causing a multitude of rabbits to flee to
the hills. During the winter, a group of men sat around the General Store, talking
about a lot of things, including how many rabbits they had killed. With the
holidays approaching, a man named Frank said they were going to have rabbit
hash for Christmas dinner.

  Floods destroyed much of the early records of Rabbit Hash, so no one
may ever know the real origin of the name. But the General Store is still open. 

  Rabbit Hash General Store is now on the National Register of Historic
Places as being the oldest continuously run (since 1831) general store in the
United States. It combines the old with the new; you can even buy a bottle of
Rabbit Hash Briar Brewed Beer. The post office closed in 1912, but the store
still houses the original mail pigeonhole rack.

  Rabbit Hash holds its Annual Old Timer’s Day, usually on the Saturday
of Labor Day weekend. As a tribute to long-time residents, it features great
entertainment and lots of food.

  Old Timer’s Day started about 1979 when the honorary mayor had a meeting
with friends, and thought it would be a good idea to do something for the older
folks in the neighborhood. Word spread about a new event and volunteers lined
up to help with food and entertainment.

  Today, about 2,500 people from as far as Colorado and Texas attend.
Some of the entertainers are the Country Step Cloggers, the Buffalo Brothers
singers, and the Rabbit Hash Ramblers.

  The mayor’s mother makes a quilt every year, which is raffled off and
brings in funds for the Rabbit Hash Historical Society. Contests abound, and
are different each year. Past contests have included frog jumping, hubby calling,
and rolling-pin flinging.

  You can get to Rabbit Hash by taking I-75 to Florence, then U.S. 42
to Union, turn west on Highway 536, then go 11 miles to Rabbit Hash. Things
get started about 10 a.m. and usually last until midnight. And they promise
not to serve rabbit hash.

          -Sandra Nestor

Scholarship Winners

  Kentucky Women in Rural Electrification (WIRE) has chosen three winners
to receive $750 scholarships for 2000-2001. They are: Bradley Bickett of Owensboro,
a member of Kenergy electric co-op, based in Henderson; Kelly Browning of Lebanon,
a member of Inter-County Energy Cooperative, based in Danville; and Jason Toller
of Maysville, a member of Fleming-Mason Energy Cooperative, based in Flemingsburg.

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