The King of the Bootleggers and Kentucky

In 1927 Courier-Journal prohibition reporter Mary Chenoweth exposed two corrupt officials in northern Kentucky.  This clash between the Courier-Journal and the local government is documented in the Robert Worth Bingham Additional Papers through correspondence and legal depositions on bootlegging in northern Kentucky. In a nine page letter dated 18 April 1927, Bingham summarized the history of corruption in the area […]

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“A day to be forgotten?”

August 4th will be here in less than a month – 23 days to be exact. And why is this date significant? Well, it marks the date Dom Perignon found just the right recipe for that first bottle of champagne in 1693. It was the day in 1862 that the United States government instituted the first income tax – 3 […]

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The Pleasure Ridge Park Distillery

In the years before National Prohibition, there was a distillery in southwest Jefferson County called the Pleasure Ridge Park Distillery. This distillery was put out of business by prohibition and faded from the local memory. All that remains of the distillery is the street named “Railroad Avenue” that runs where the railroad spur that connected to the distillery was located. […]

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Jug Band Music Is Making a Comeback

One of my first assignments as Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator was to research the history of jug bands. Jug Bands? Musical groups whose sound revolved around whiskey jugs? My personal experience with jug band music consisted of Brisco Darling and his family band on reruns of The Andy Griffith Show. I certainly hadn’t heard of a resurgence of jug […]

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Hope His Premium Was Paid Up!

I’m a student of western history. One of my favorite areas of reading growing up was the long conflict between Native Americans and Euro-Americans as the tide of white settlement moved ever westward. A particular fascination was the Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer’s Last Stand. It was one of the Indians’ greatest victories over the U. […]

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Bourbon events at The Filson, past and present.

Do you love bourbon? Are you interested in Kentucky’s distilling history? If you answered yes to the following questions, then don’t miss Mike Veach’s upcoming talk, “Political Intrigues and Scandals of the Distilling Industry,” at the Filson Historical Society, Friday June 24, noon. Knowledgeable on all things bourbon related, distilling historian Mike Veach is renown for his excellent bourbon events […]

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Using Online Resources to Solve Photographic Mysteries

By Robin Wallace Family history, and in particular family photos, were a very important part of my upbringing.  When I was a child, both of my grandmothers loved to tell me stories about my ancestors, and I treasured the hours we would spend pouring over old family photographs.  At the time, I did not realize how lucky I was to […]

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Fletcher Forage Ration manufactured in Louisville, Ky

Of all the major business enterprises and manufacturing companies existing in Louisville in the 19th century, perhaps one of the most unique was The Fletcher Forage Ration Company. Matthew Fletcher, a native of Louisville, was issued two separate patents. In December of 1863 he was issued a patent for his forage ration, a compressed mixture of hay and grain used […]

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The Cumberland Gap

The Cumberland Gap, situated in the Cumberland Mountains section of the Appalachian Mountains on the Kentucky-Virginia border about a quarter of a mile from where Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee meet, is very important to the history of Kentucky and the Western United States.  The Gap was first used by the Native Americans as a westward gate to hunting grounds in […]

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Whiskey Row Still in Strong ‘Spirits’.

By Sarah-Jane Poindexter Developers, preservationists, and many Louisville citizens issued a collective sigh of relief this week upon Mayor Fischer’s announcement that “Whiskey Row” will not be demolished.  Five buildings of this historic block on Main Street, which could have seen seven buildings demolished as early as next week, will now be saved.  Whiskey Row is a beautiful example of […]

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