Monday, May 31, 2010

Kentucky Babe

One from our Creeps Records blog:

Composed by Adam Geibel and Richard Henry Buck in 1896, this obscure tune was recorded by the Vassar Girls Quartet on an Edison Cylinder in 1907. To the novice ear, its melody may sound nebulous and impenetrably cornball - and, well, it really sort of is - but stay with it for the duration of the recording and see if its haunting ethereal tones don't reach you on some level. I can still hear it in my head hours after listening to it, and how often can you say that about a cylinder recording?

Vassar Girls Quartet - Kentucky Babe (mp3)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Vinland Energy Company Ruins Family Cemetery

As reported in the Lexington Herald-Leader, a bulldozer for Vinland Energy of London, Ky., was recently caught destroying a family cemetery near Fourmile, KY.

According to the article, Vinland Energy Vice President of Operations Scott Gilbert said the company had no idea that the cemetery was there, and pointed to maps of Bell County which don't list the graveyard. However, the graves were clearly visible, and there's no reason on Earth anyone standing on that property could not know it was a cemetery. The land was inspected by a surveyor - whose identity is not yet known - who tied a ribbon around the area designated to be bulldozed. It is unfathomable that neither he nor the bulldozer operator could not have noticed the graves.

And as a commenter on the online edition of the Herald-Leader noted, it took only a quick internet search to find proof that the cemetery's existence was indeed well-known.

What the news story doesn't tell us, though, is how Vinland came to get the rights to dig there in the first place, and who specifically authorized them on the property. It also doesn't spell exactly what sort of "project" Vinland was there for, but we do know that Vinland is in the business of oil-well drilling and natural gas. They're a subsidiary of a larger oil-drilling company called Vanguard out of Texas.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Behind Downtown Louisville's Facade

Some of the buildings on Main Street in Louisville have actually been demolished except for their fronts. Hopefully these facades will remain intact with new structures erected behind them, to keep the city's Victorian charm.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Maple Hill Manor

Maple Hill Manor wears many hats - it's a historic home, a Bed & Breakfast, a craft store, an orchard, a nature preserve, and an alpaca/llama farm. But it's also a haunted house. William Lynwood Montell, in his book Haunted Houses and Family Ghosts of Kentucky, includes a chapter devoted to Maple Hill's ghosts.

The house was built in 1851 by slaves, who took three years to painstakingly cut all wood by hand and make the bricks on-site from scratch. The original owners were Thomas McElroy and his wife young enough to be his daughter, Sarah Maxwell. Of their seven children, four of them died in the house at a very young age. Thomas and Sarah both eventually passed away in the home as well.

All of these family members have been cited as possible sources for the spirits, but there's more: the Battle of Perryville was fought in 1862, and left wounded and dead laying all over the area for miles. Many of the troops were brought to nearby Springfield homes, including Maple Hill, to recover and regroup. Some died on the premises.

Aspects of the hauntings that have occurred here have taken on a number of forms: knocks on doors with nobody there, sounds of footsteps coming from empty rooms, associated cold spots, inexplicable perfume odors, odd lights showing up in photographs, and prophetic lucid dreams experienced by some guests who have slept here.

Maple Hill Manor is located at 2941 Perryville Road in Springfield. Even without the fascinating ghost rumors and history, it's a delightful place to stay - check it out!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Rogers Restaurant

One from our Transylvania Gentlemen blog:

Doff your hats and bow your heads, in memory of Lexington's great old Rogers Restaurant which was torn down a few years ago to make room for a boring and neighborhood-wrecking apartment complex.

I remember reading a Lexington Herald-Leader article about the place that said it must have been a bookie joint at some point in its checkered past, because when the last owner did some renovations, he discovered a secret panel that had concealed a secret room filled with telephone-line connections. Oh, to have been here in its glory days.

Support your local 50s-retro old-man saloon, folks, wherever you are. Enjoy 'em while they're here, because they'll all be pulled down sooner or later by the forces of postmodernism so they can put up a bank or a tanning salon or a quickie-mart. It's no country for old bars.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Edward W. Edwards Admits to Two More Murders

Louisville's serial killer Edward W. Edwards has some more breaking news. This from Channel 3000:

MADISON, Wis. -- Authorities in Ohio said Tuesday that Edward W. Edwards has confessed to a 33-year-old double homicide, according to a CNN report.

Edwards, 76, is awaiting trial in Wisconsin's Jefferson County in a separate double homicide case. He's accused of killing two teenage sweethearts nearly 30 years ago in Jefferson County.

Edwards faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Tim Hack and Kelly Drew, who disappeared from a wedding reception in Sullivan in 1980. Their bodies were found in the woods weeks later.

The Summit County prosecutor's office and the Norton Police Department said that Edwards has admitted killing a young Ohio couple in 1977, CNN reported.

In the Wisconsin case, investigators arrested Edwards in July after they matched DNA on Drew to him.

His trial in Jefferson County is set to begin June 14.

Note that the Jefferson County referred to in the article is in Wisconsin. Edwards had been living in Louisville for years when he became implicated in crimes in Wisconsin. Since then, he's become a suspect in many other cold case files.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Riptide Under Water

More flood images: our friend Dan Brandenburg just emailed these photos of the Riptide On The River restaurant and bar, half-submerged by this past weekend's floods. Here's hoping they get back up and running soon, because I wanna linger in their Tiki Bar this summer!

Weirdest Derby Horse Names?

Someone at the Huffington Post posted a silly article entitled "The 11 Weirdest Names to Win the Derby". Unfortunately, it must have been written by a child or a profoundly uneducated person, since there's utterly NOTHING weird about any of these names.

What's weird about Pleasant Colony? Or Swale (the word refers to swamplike low-lying wetlands)? Chateaugay is a city in New York. And Giacomo is the Italian equivalent of "James" and is one of the most common names in Italy. And Thunder Gulch? Pensive? Come on. It takes a small and sheltered mind indeed to find these names weird.

The writer also seems unaware that many racehorses are named by combining elements from each parent's names, thus the offspring of Alydar and Bel Sheba was dubbed Alysheba. If Huffpo thinks that's weird, they should check out purebred cat shows, whose entrants have names like GP Kaylee's Midnight Ryder of Kaybill and GP Skinzin Queen Nefertiti of True Zue.

If I had to pick the weirdest of the Derby Horse names, I'd probably select 1916's George Smith (pictured), mainly because it's so glaringly normal amidst a sea of abstract equine nomenclature.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Beargrass Creek Flood

Severe flooding hit the Old Cannons/Seneca Park area along Louisville's Beargrass Creek this past weekend, leaving many sections of road impassable.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

More Tombstone Junction Images

Many thanks to Linda Tarter for emailing us some fantastic scans of old Tombstone Junction photographs!

For more information about Tombstone Junction, consult your copy of Weird Kentucky, page 160.