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Bill Thayer

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Kentucky Scrapbook

A state of the United States of America: 104,700 square kilometers. 2000 population: 4,040,000. Capital: Frankfort.

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The Old State Capitol in Frankfort.

I'm no expert on Kentucky: so far, I've spent only a month in the commonwealth, much of that time in one small corner of it; so that of the 120 counties in the Bluegrass State, this site will show you (for now) bits of only five. Still, if everyone shared what we knew and liked, the world would be a better place, so here's my little contribution:

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[ 6/16/09: 38 pages, 30 photos; plus those in my diary ]

Letcher County is the remote little pocket I mentioned, in the southeast corner of the state; once a booming coal area, now much quieter although coal is still being mined. A brief orientation page for now leads mostly to a 140‑page sourcebook on Jenkins, the largest town in the county.

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[ 3/9/06: 1 page, 7 photos; one more in my diary ]

On my first trip to Kentucky, getting to Letcher County from my plane landing in Louisville required a drive across the state. If there was one place to stop, Frankfort and the Daniel Boone gravesite was surely the right choice.

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[ 7/27/06: 2 pages, 14 photos ]

Another town once booming thanks to its coal mines, Cannel City has fared far less well than Jenkins; it is now a ghost town, but its history hasn't vanished altogether.

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[ 8/8/06: 3 pages, 16 photos ]

The Manchester Marked Rock (listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the Red Bird River Shelter Petroglyphs) is something altogether different: a sandstone boulder with undeciphered markings. No shortage of theories, but I think I'd better stick to a few good photographs of it. . . .

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[ 7/27/06: 1 page, 3 photos ]

Elkhorn Primitive Baptist Church in Shelby Gap; very minor, but it's the thin end of the wedge: some of the more prominent sights of Pike County will eventually make it aboard.

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[ 3/16/09: about 635 pages of print, presented in 36 webpages ]

In addition to my own first-hand material and photos, above, History of Kentucky collects material written by others: for now, the early history of the area around the time it became a state; centering on the Spanish, French, British, and backwoodsmen intrigues, including of course those of one of Kentucky's most famous pioneers, Gen. James Wilkinson.

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Site updated: 2 Apr 16